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Obi to Senate: Exonerate self of N3.7tr budget scam

Senate President Godswill Akpabio | File Image

Exonerate self of N3.7tr budget scam, Obi tells Senate leadership

Fresh allegations have also cropped up over indiscriminate and unbalanced allocation of constituency projects by the Senate leadership

By Valentine Amanze

The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Mr. Peter Obi, has joined other Nigerians in asking the Senate to exonerate itself of over N3.7 trillion 2024 budget padding allegation.

This is coming on the heels of the revelation made in the media by the SenatorAbdul Ningi, representing Bauchi South in the Red Chamber, alleging budget padding and other financial recklessness.

Obi in his X handle, @PeterObi, on Wednesday, expressed worries over highlevel corruption among the ruling class and the speedy suspension of Ningi, the whistle-blower, from the Senate.

He told the upper chamber that the public deserved to know the truth about the allegations especially as the Senate and the Executive were having discordant tunes on the matter.

National Assembly complex | File Image

Obi also pointed out that Nigerians deserve explanation from the Senate leadership on the fresh allegations on the sharing of constituency funds in the budget.

Also read: Senate: Ningi bags three months suspension over budget padding claims

Obi’s words: “The fuss over the alleged N3.7 trillion padded into the 2024 budget raised by a Senator still rages as the Senate’s reaction of suspending the whistle-blower has not addressed vital issues emanating from the allegation.

“The Senator is insisting on his allegation and the Executive agreed that there was only N1.2 trillion padded not N3.7 trillion as alleged by the Senate.

“Fresh allegations have also cropped up over indiscriminate and unbalanced allocation of constituency projects by the Senate leadership.

“A civic group, Budgit, through its official, has also added voice to agree with the Senator. The group alleged that there was no detailed project allocations for about N3.7trn in the 2024 Appropriation Act.

“As the Senate suspension of the senator involved has not addressed the issue, they still owe the Nigerian public a clear clarification over the various claims and counterclaims, including that of the executive arm, 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.

“I had particularly elucidated in my earlier comment on what we can use the N3.7 trillion to achieve, by showing that it is more than the national budget of the two most critical components of the human development index, health and education, combined.

“Now that the executive arm has accepted that the padded amount is only N1.2 trillion, it is still a very significant amount, when you consider that it is almost five times the N251.47 billion proposed for Universal Basic Education, which is the foundation of education, in the country.

“Today in Nigeria, the greatest challenge to human resource development is education, which 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 N1.2 trillion as the executive claimed to have been padded, if channeled into the critical areas of development, could have positively impacted the nation and uplifted the people.” valoa2000@yahoo.com

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