Chaos in senate as they argue over alleged N500m received by senior Senators, N3trn Budget padding

Things got pretty chaotic in the Senate on Tuesday as the Point of Order raised by Senator Olamilekan Adeola, who chairs the Senate Committee on Appropriations, turned into a heated exchange when Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe from Cross River North escalated the situation.

Senator Olamilekan Adeola, who represents APC Ogun West, raised a point of order in response to an allegation made by Senator Abdul Ningi, who is from PDP Bauchi Central and also the former Senate Deputy Leader and Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum.

Chaos in senate as they argue over alleged N500m received by senior Senators, N3trn Budget padding
The Nigerian senate

Ningi had raised concerns about a possible N3 trillion budget padding in the N28.7 trillion 2024 Appropriation Act.

According to him, the budget passed by the National Assembly for the 2024 fiscal year is N25 trillion, but the one being implemented by the Presidency is N28.7 trillion.

The senators were divided on the matter, and they took turns expressing their views on the Senate floor. But here’s where it gets even more interesting: Senator Jarigbe, who is from the PDP, revealed that some senators allegedly received N500 million each, but he claimed that he didn’t receive any of it.

“All of us are culpable. Some so-called Senior Senators here got 500M Naira each from the 2024 Budget, I am a ranking Senator and I didn’t get anything. No Senator has a right to accuse Senator Ningi,” Jarigbe said.

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio tried to restore calmness on the floor.

Recall that in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (Hausa Service) on Saturday, Senator Ningi said that the budget being implemented by the Presidency is N28.7tn, whereas the one approved by the National Assembly for the 2024 fiscal year is N25tn.

In the interview, Senator Ningi was cited as saying, “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 ₦25trn while the one operating by the Government is ₦28tn.

“Apparently, we discovered ₦3trn was inserted into the budgets for projects without locations. This is the highest budget padding that happened in Nigerian history under Senator Akpabio’s watch.”

He added, “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.

“Let Nigerians be patient with us. This is a national issue; it affects all Nigerians in respective of party, tribe or religion.”

Meanwhile: The Senate through its spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu (APC, Ekiti South) had in a chat with our correspondent refuted the claim on Saturday night stating that there was no padding whatsoever in the budget.

Adaramodu said, “There is no budget padding as far as the Senate and the National Assembly are concerned.

“The national budget is a public document, which expressly states the expected revenue and the expenditure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The Senate under the leadership of Senator Godswill Akpabio is not aware of any varied execution of the 2024 appropriation mandate, as approved.

Senator Adaramodu added, “The budget presentation and approval processes were made in the public glare, while the Presidential assent was also in a public ceremony.”

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