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Budget Padding Controversy: Northern Senators Disowns Ningi over ₦3.7tn Allegation

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Budget Padding Controversy: Northern Senators Disowns Ningi over ₦3.7tn Allegation
Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central)

Northern Senators Forum, including APC and PDP, have disowned Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central) for allegedly accusing the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, of budget padding of ₦3.7 trillion, yet a call for investigation has ensued.

Over the weekend, Senator Ningi alleged before the plenary that “Apparently, we discovered that ₦3.7 trillion was inserted into the budget without locations. This is the highest budget padding in Nigerian history under Senator Akpabio’s watch.”

More so, Senator Ningi insists that the Presidency operates two separate budgets at a news conference in Abuja, where he chairs the Northern Senators Forum, yet maintained that ₦3.7 trillion was loafing, saying any proposed project did not accompany the funds.

A position that a member of the NSF, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim (Ondo South) frowned upon and has sought Ningi’s sanction and investigation for giving false information after it garnered several news reports coverage.

I am not afraid of suspension, says Ningi

Despite facing a potential call for suspension, Ningi has denied saying the President was operating two separate 2024 budgets. Yet he told reporters that the views he expressed during his weekend interview aired on BBC were his personal opinion and not those of the NSF.

Furthermore, he expressed that the BBC interview he had in Hausa was misinterpreted, stressing that those who informed the President’s Media and Publicity spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga, did so with the sole aim of tarnishing his good name.

“At no time did I say Bola Ahmed Tinubu is implementing two budgets. At no time did I say Bola Tinubu was biased against the North. The Hausa version is there. At no time did I say Bola Ahmed Tinubu is implementing an ₦25 trillion budget,” he reiterated.

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