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What I Told Ningi When He Brought The Budget Padding Issue To Me


The Chief Whip of the Senate, Ali Ndume, has disclosed that he warned his colleague, Abdul Ningi on the allegation that the 2024 budget was padded by over N3 trillion.

Ndume said he told Ningi to seek a consultant to analyse the budget.

However he stated that Ningi refused to listen to him.

Recall that, Ningi who represents Bauchi Central at the Senate, was on Tuesday suspended for three months over claims of budget padding.

Reacting to the development during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, Ndume insisted that the suspended Bauchi senator was wrong with his claim.

Ndume, “I sat next to the Senate Leader (Opeyemi Bamidele), he was very angry about what Ningi did, but honestly me too. What he (Ningi) did was wrong because I was involved.

“In the first instance, it started when they said capital project was skewed to the South. The total in that budget that was brought before us by the President was not up to N9 trillion, it was N8.9trn and they are talking of skewed capital project to the South and the total adding up to N15 trillion.

“That N15 trillion is strange, even with the amendment that we made, the capital component of this budget is not up to that.

“I told him he was wrong. I had even warned him when he brought the issue to me. I had told him to get a consultant to analyze the budget. But he refused to listen to me.”

Ndume said Ningi was trying to make 2024 project an ethnic and political issue, which according to him is wrong.

The Senate Chief Whip said that when Ningi first presented the case to him, he told him to provide evidence which he could not.

He insisted that as a senior member of the Senate, he can attest to the fact that the North was not shortchanged by the South in the budget as claimed by Ningi.

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