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More controversies over N3.7trn gap in 2024 budget


2024 budgetABUJA — More controversies appear to be swirling around the 2024 budget as more indications that the portion of the budget attributable to some federal government institutions lack details and transparency.

The affected institutions, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, were allocated between N3.5 trillion and N3.7 trillion without specific expenditure heading, or stipulations of what the monies were meant for

These were some of the findings of BudgiT, a fiscal policy analytics and advocacy organization with its Co-founder, Seun Onigbinde, declaring that Senator Abdul Ningi, who blew the whistle on the budget was right about the low level of transparency in the 2024 Appropriation Act.

This came as the Minority Leader of the Senate, Abba Moro, expressed concerns yesterday that the Senate is currently having credibility problems, following suspension of the whistle blower, Senator Abdul Ningi.

This is even as Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, also yesterday threw his weight behind Senator Ningi, the lawmaker representing Bauchi Central senatorial district, who was handed a three-month suspension by the Senate for his expose, just as Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, and Transparency International in Nigeria, TI-Nigeria, declared Senator Ninigi’s suspension as sheer attack on freedom of expression and opposition’s rights.

Similarly, the presidential candidate of Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Mr. Peter Obi, urged the Senate to come clean and clear all allegations associated with the N3 trillion padding in the 2024 budget.

Onigbinde, who was a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme late Tuesday, stated: “There should be a detailed breakdown of the budget. On that point, Senator Ningi is right”.

Ningi, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) resigned as Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum, even as he was suspended by his colleagues in the red chamber on Tuesday over budget padding allegations.

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