‘There Was Another Budget That Was Done Underground’

The Northern Senators Forum has declared its intention to engage President Bola Tinubu concerning the alleged discovery of N3 trillion padding in the 2024 budget.

The Chairman of the Forum, Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP–Bauchi Central), revealed this during an interview with the BBC Hausa Service.

Ningi stated that the Forum had engaged consultants to thoroughly review the 2024 budget, intending to disclose how an extra N3 trillion was covertly inserted beyond the amount approved by lawmakers.

He also indicated that the Forum planned to address Senate President Godswill Akpabio with its revelation regarding the alleged N3 trillion ‘padding’ in the near future.

Concerning the forum’s initiative to examine the 2024 budget, Ningi said: “This is true; for the past three months, we have engaged consultants to review the budget for us. We have some experts that are working on it line by line.

“We have seen the huge damage that was done not only to the north but the entire country in that budget. We are supposed to sit with the Senate President to inform him about what we have observed.

“We want to show him what we have seen in the budget that is not acceptable; we will not accept them, and we don’t want the country to continue spending money on those things.

“Apart from what the National Assembly did on the floor, there was another budget that was done underground, which we didn’t know.

“The new things we have discovered in the budget were not known to us. We haven’t seen them in the budget that was debated and considered on the floor of the National Assembly.

In response to the supposed discovery of N3 trillion padding in the budget, Ningi added: “For example, it was said that there was a budget of N28 trillion but what was passed was N25 trillion.

“So there is N3 trillion on top. Where are they, where is it going? So, we need to know this. There are a lot of things.

“We are coming up with a report and we will show the president himself and ask him if he is aware or not.

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