Alleged Budget Padding: Senate In Rowdy Session Over N500m ‘Palliative’

All the ranking Senators got N500m each. I am a ranking senator and I didn’t get.” - Jarigbe

The Senate was in a rowdy session at the Plenary on Tuesday after a revelation by Senator Jarigbe Jarigbe (PDP, Cross-River North) that all ranking senators got the sum of N500m.

Jarigbe stated this during the debate of the motion on breach of privilege moved by Senator Olamilekan Adeola.

Senator Adeola had come under orders 9, 10, 41, and 51 to move a motion of privilege and issue of National importance against Senator Abdul Ningi over his interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (Hausa Services).

Jarigbe stated that the issue had been clarified that the missing N3.7tn, as alleged by Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central), had been clarified under the Government Owned Enterprises and first line charge.

He said, “I thought this issue should have ended when the chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, explained that the N3.7tn were under GOEs and the first line charge.

“That explains everything but if we want to express our grouse, I also have mine and we are all culpable. After all, all the ranking senators got N500m each. I am a ranking senator and I didn’t get.”

Having disclosed this, the Senate was thrown into a rowdy session.

Ningi, in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (Hausa Service) on Saturday, was quoted to have said, “For the first time in Nigerian history, today we are operating two different budgets. One budget was approved by the National Assembly and signed by President Bola Tinubu and the one was implemented by the presidency.”

He stated, “The one approved by us is ₦25tn while the one operating by the Federal Government is ₦28tn.

The Bauchi senator was further quoted to have said, “We resolved as people Representatives to see President Tinubu on this issue, with facts and figures, to ask him if he is aware of this embarrassment or not, then from there we will take action.

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