Alleged Budget Padding: More Northern Senators Distance Selves From Ningi, ••• Re Affirm Loyalty To Tinubu

 

In a statement released by Senators Iyal Abbas from Adamawa, Ibrahim Bomoi from Yobe, Abdullahi Yar’ Adua from Katsina States and four others, they made it clear that they do not agree with the statements made by the Forum’s Chairman, Ahmed Ningi.

The jointly signed statement reads: “We, the undersigned on behalf of the Senators from the 19 Northern States and the FCT, under the aegis of Northern Senators Forum (NSF), hereby state that Senator Ahmed Abdul Ningi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bauchi Central, who also happens to be the chairman of our forum, was on his own in the claims he made on the BBC Hausa Service on the 2024 budget.

“As such, the view he expressed was his personal opinion, sentiment and unfortunately skewed, incorrect and misleading.

“There was never a time where we held a meeting and mandated Senator Ningi to address the press on the said matter.

“The budget was presented to the National Assembly during a joint session of the two chambers – Senate and House of Representatives – by President Bola Tinubu on November 29, 2023, in line with the requirement of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Both chambers of the National Assembly diligently and meticulously debated, processed and passed the proposal of the President. And satisfied with it, the President assented to it.

“It is clear that Mr President presented a budget of N27. 5 trillion to the National Assembly and the Assembly passed a budget of N28.7 trillion based on the need to make increases or decreases in the appropriations of the various MDAs, which is in tandem with the legislative powers of the National Assembly in order to address critical projects and services across various sectors.

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“Therefore, the statement made by Senator Ningi that the 2024 budget presented to the National Assembly by Mr President was the sum of N25 trillion was not correct and that should not be taken as the position of the Northern Senators Forum.

“To the best of our knowledge, there was no budget padding whatsoever that was done to the 2024 budget.

“The assertion by Senator Ningi that certain things were done to the bill is his personal opinion. It is not the view of the generality of us, the Northern Senators.

“Hence, we strongly and collectively dissociate ourselves from his action which was grossly unparliamentary.

“That, we, the Northern Senators are solidly behind President Bola Tinubu and we will continue to support him to succeed in addressing the challenges facing our country.

“Nigeria, at this particular moment, does not need ethnic sentiments but collaborations of all to bring prosperity to our beloved country, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We will continue to work with our brothers and sisters from the southern part of the country to move our country forward for the benefit of all and sundry.”

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