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2024 Budget: Ningi’s Allegation Of Padding Lacks Substance — Group

The Coalition of Civil Society Network (CCSN) has dismissed the padding allegations made by the suspended Bauchi Central Senator, Abdul Ningi, over the 2024 budget,…

The Coalition of Civil Society Network (CCSN) has dismissed the padding allegations made by the suspended Bauchi Central Senator, Abdul Ningi, over the 2024 budget, saying there was no substance or evidence to back up his claims against the National Assembly.

A statement signed by the National Convener of CCSN, Adamu Adamu Matazu, on Saturday, said the 2024 budget was adjudged by experts to have passed through a rigorous process and was fully vetted in accordance with due process, adding that Ningi’s allegations were made to rock the boat of the leadership of the National Assembly having lost out in the Parliament leadership elections of June 13, 2024.

“The Coalition of Civil Society Network in the wake of recent events, deems it necessary to address the suspension of Sen. Abdul Ningi, Senator representing Bauchi Central at the Nigerian Senate, following allegations of budget padding. Sen. Ningi’s reckless accusations of budget padding to the tune of over N3 trillion, against the Senate President and the Leadership of the Senate, have been met with rightful skepticism and dissociation from his fellow Northern senators. It’s evident that Sen. Ningi’s actions are a disservice to the principles of governance and the trust bestowed upon elected representatives.

“The Appropriation Act was adjudged by experts to have passed through a rigorous process and was fully vetted in accordance with due process and government protocols.

“Sen. Ningi’s recent allegations of budget padding lacks substance and credibility. An Appropriation Bill crafted by experts does not contain expenditures without corresponding projects or services. His claims are devoid of factual evidence and demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of budgetary processes,” he stated.

Matazu noted that it was evident that Senator Ningi did not understand what is Statutory Transfers in budgetary terms, saying the law envisaged the need for funds to be appropriated to cater for expenditures not clearly envisaged by the Appropriation Act and such funds are critical for the survival of critical government institutions and agenda.

“The National Assembly as empowered by the Constitution, retains the authority to alter and modify the Appropriation Bill to reflect the needs of their constituencies. Therefore, the final decision on project implementation lies with the Federal Government.

“Sen. Abdul Ningi’s actions are reminiscent of a defeated opposition figure clinging to past campaign rhetoric. His inability to accept the outcome of the elections reflects poorly on his character. We urge Sen. Ningi to retract his baseless allegations, educate himself on budgetary terminology and prioritize the interests of the nation over personal vendettas.

“We commend the National Assembly for the swift passage of the 2024 Appropriation Act. Maintaining synergy with the executive is crucial for recalibrating the economy and fostering national development.

“In conclusion, the Coalition of Civil Society Network reiterates its commitment to upholding transparency, accountability and good governance. We urge all stakeholders to prioritise the collective well-being of the nation above political expediency,” Matazu stated.

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