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Northern Senators to meet Tinubu over N3trn ‘padding’ in 2024 budget

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Northern Senators to meet Tinubu over alleged N3trn ‘padding’ in 2024 budget

The Northern Senators Forum plans to hold discussions with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu regarding the alleged N3 trillion insertion in the 2024 budget.

Senator Abdul Ningi, the forum’s chairman, disclosed this during an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, expressing concerns about the budget implementation. Ningi claimed that the Senate had initially debated and passed a budget of N25 trillion, while Tinubu was implementing N28 trillion.

The forum intends to investigate the additional N3 trillion and other undisclosed inclusions in the budget, seeking clarity on the discrepancies. He mentioned that there was another budget prepared “underground,” unknown to lawmakers.

The forum engaged consultants for three months to meticulously review the budget, identifying what they perceive as significant damage to the North and the entire country.

President Tinubu had presented a N27.5 trillion budget proposal initially, which the Senate increased to N28,777,404,073,861. Ningi alleged that the Senate was unaware of the additional N3 trillion, raising concerns about transparency and proper legislative processes.

The forum plans to present a detailed report to Senate President Godswill Akpabio and President Tinubu, emphasizing the observed discrepancies and their impact on the country.

Ningi mentioned specific projects, such as the Mambilla Power Project, Ajaokuta Steel Company, and River Niger dredging, that they intend to address during the discussions.

Ningi expressed disappointment with Tinubu’s administration, particularly in addressing key projects that are crucial to the North’s development.

He highlighted the Ajaokuta project, the Mambilla power project, and the dredging of the River Niger as areas where expectations have not been met. Senate spokesman Senator Yemi Adaramodu refuted the allegations, stating that the Senate was not aware of any varied execution of the 2024 appropriation mandate.

Adaramodu assured the public of the transparency of the budget processes and legislative oversight. The impending meeting between the Northern Senators Forum and President Tinubu aims to seek clarification on the budget concerns and advocate for more transparent and inclusive governance.

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