Alleged Budget Padding: Nigerians Deserve Better Explanation From Presidency, National Assembly - Peter Obi

Alleged Budget Padding: Nigerians Deserve Better Explanation From Presidency, National Assembly – Peter Obi

3 months ago
2 mins read

 Presidential  candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Mr Peter Obi, has called on the Nigerian government to give better explanation to the citizens on the alleged N3 trillion discrepancy between the budget approved by the National Assembly for the 2024 fiscal year and the one being implemented by the executive.

Obi in a statement via his official X handle expressed dismay over such narrative coming more than one month after the budget was passed.

 “I find it deeply disconcerting and a matter of grave concern and even shameful to read about the alleged N3 trillion discrepancy between the budget approved by the Nigerian Senate and the one being implemented by the presidency,” Obi stated.

He lamented that the alleged discrepancy is especially worrying because it represents over 10 per cent of the national budget (estimated at N29 trillion) and is more than the combined education (N1.54 trillion) and health (N1.38 trillion) official budgets.

“This lack of transparency in managing public funds is a breach of trust between the Nigerian people and their elected leaders.

“With insecurity, hunger, poverty, inflation, and unemployment plaguing the nation, these actions are insensitive to the people’s plight. Every naira of our budget, especially in these challenging times, should be judiciously used to build a better Nigeria,” he further stated.

READ ALSO: Kaduna School Abduction: Peter Obi Calls For Better Security Measures To Avoid Future Occurrence 

 The formal Anambra State governor stressed the importance of transparency and accountability in achieving good governance.

“We also deserve full accountability of all our scarce resources placed in public trust. Therefore, we, the Nigerian people, demand a public explanation from both the National Assembly and the Presidency regarding the purpose and process of adding this alleged N3 trillion allocation to the officially approved national budget for 2024. “Transparency and accountability remain the cornerstones of good democratic governance at all levels. This is our unwavering commitment to building a New Nigeria which we insist remains POssible,” he added.

Prime Business Africa reports that Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP), representing Bauchi Central  in the Senate, had in an interview with BBC Hausa Service claimed that what the Senate passed as 2024 budget was N25 trillion, not the N28.7 trillion that is currently being implemented by the executive, alleging that N3 trillion was added.

He equally alleged that the budget was skewed and do not adequately cover the needs of the north, adding that the Northern Senators’ Forum has commissioned some  consultants to assess the 2024 budget and unravel how the N3 trillion said to have been added.

Responding, the Presidency, in a statement by Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said Ningi’s claims is “false.”

It said President Tinubu had initially presented a N27.5 trillion budget to the National Assembly on November 29, 2023 and the National Assembly while exercising its appropriation powers, increased the proposed budget by N1.2 trillion to N28.7 trillion, which was subsequently signed into law by the president on January 1, 2024.

The Presidency  accused Senator Ningi of deploying primordial antics and divisive rhetoric to heat up the polity at a time President Tinubu’s government is busy working towards fostering national cohesion, unity and inclusive politics.


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