Connect with us


Alleged Budget Padding: Ningi’s Suspension Yet Address Issue – Obi



National Leader of Labour Party Mr. Peter Obi said the suspension of the whistleblower of the N3 trillion over the alleged padding of 2024, has not addressed vital issues emanating from the allegation.

Senate on Tuesday, suspended former Senate Leader Senator Abdul Ningi for allegedly accusing the executive of padding the 2024 budget.

Obi on his X platform on Wednesday, said the executive admitted that there was only N1.2 trillion padded not N3 trillion as alleged by the Senate.

The former Labour Party presidential candidate noted that the fresh allegations have also cropped up over indiscriminate and unbalanced allocation of constituency projects by the Senate leadership.

Obi noted that a civic group, Budgit, through its official, agree with the Senator, that there was budget padding.

“They allege that there was no detailed project allocations for about N3.7 trillion in the 2024 Appropriation Act.”

The LP National Leader stated that the suspension of the senator involved has not addressed the issue, adding that the upper legislative house owe the Nigerian public a clear clarification over the various claims and counterclaims, “Including that of the executive arm, to be able to know exactly what is happening, and also disclose to the public, the amounts allocated for constituency projects for appropriate monitoring of implementation by the public.”

Obi noted that in his comment on what the N3 trillion could be used to achieve in the areas human development index, health and education, the N1.2 trillion the executive accepted of padded “is still a very significant amount.”

According to him, it is almost five times “the N251.47 billion proposed for Universal Basic Education, which is the foundation of education, in the country.”

He stated that the greatest challenge to human resource development in the country is education, which he said, “has been identified as most critical at the basic level.

“Nigeria has about 20 million out-of-school children today because of the poor investment in education.

“These are resources that would have been utilised to ensure that our children are taken off the streets and returned to schools.”

The former Anambra State candidate believed that the N1.2 trillion the executives claim to have been padded, if channelled to the critical areas of development, could have positively impacted the nation and uplifted the people.

“And if indeed the report from the Budget is true, that there is about N3.7 trillion without any detailed project allocations, I strongly urge the Senate to do more detailed work of channelling these funds into the critical areas of development – education, health and pulling people out of poverty, which will in turn, minimise the criminality we are facing today.

“We must, as a matter of urgency, put a stop to all the wastage of our scarce resources, amid the excruciating hardship in the country.

“Let every penny of our public fund be used for public good. That is the only way to achieve the new Nigeria we are working towards,” he added.