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Budget Padding: Twist As Top Senator Reveals How N3.7 Trn Was Discovered

Cross River North Senatorial District’s representative, Senator Agom Jarigbe, expressed his perspective on the handling of Senator Abdul Ningi’s allegations of budget padding during a recent appearance on Arise TV.

Senator Ningi, representing Bauchi Central under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), claimed that approximately N3.7 trillion in the 2024 budget lacked project allocation, sparking significant controversy.

Jarigbe emphasized that rather than resorting to the press, Ningi should have brought the matter directly to the Senate floor for discussion during plenary. He highlighted that subsequent investigations revealed that the contentious N3.7 trillion was actually designated under Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs), judiciary, and the National Assembly, falling within the first line charge category.

In Jarigbe’s words during the interview, “For the noble Senators that decided to investigate the budget and even got a consultant to look at it, they probably decided to do that before Senator Ningi, who is a leader of that Forum, took it up. I don’t think it was necessary for them to do that and even go to the press, I think it would have been brought to the floor of the Senate to be discussed in our executive section.”

”You discover that when the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation explained the situation, the N3.7 trillion was discovered to have been captured under the GOEs, judiciary, national assemblies. Those were in the first line charge. It was like an optical illusion. N3.7 trillion was a fallacy. If it was brought to the floor of the Senate, the controversy would have been explained.”

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