Ndume says budget padding is merely a media creation
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Ndume says budget padding is merely a media creation



Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, has shot down allegations of budget padding against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and three principal officers of the House, describing it as mere media hype.

According to Ndume, what lawmakers did was to merely add, subtract and adjust the budget in line with their constitutional duty.
Ndume stated this on Friday when he spoke with State House correspondents after attending the Jumat prayer with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja alongside five other lawmakers.
He opined that if the lawmakers were not empowered by the constitution to tinker with the budget, there would not have been any reason for the President to submit the document to the National Assembly.
The Senate Leader said the controversy over budget padding in the House was simply a case of personal differences between Dogara and Jibrin, adding that the way Jibrin is going about it is not the way things are done in the National Assembly.
Ndume said: “The issue of budget padding is more of a media hype than reality. We are not doing budget now, we only have Appropriation Act which is a law and you know the process of implementing a law.
“I do not know where the issue of this budget padding we are talking about is coming from. If we are not to tinker with the budget as submitted by the President, then there would not have been the need to submit it to the National Assembly.

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“We have the constitutional duty to add, subtract and adjust. That was what was done. This is the first time we did a budget that was collectively produced in the sense that it was done in such a way that the Senate, House of Representatives and the Executive played different parts.

“This time, the President took his time to ensure that he did not only sign on the budget, but also signed on budget details that he is satisfied with.
“What is happening now is a fallout between individuals, it is more of personal thing between Dogara and Jibrin.
“That is not the way differences should be settled. We have an in-house process that is followed if we have such issues”, he stated.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews …


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