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Peter Obi demands complete review of 2024 budget amid budget Padding controversy

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Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s candidate in the 2023 general election, has demanded a comprehensive review of the 2024 budget in light of the recent scandal involving a purported N3.7 trillion padding by the Senate.

In a statement on Monday, the former Anambra State governor said that the National Assembly needs to begin an immediate reassessment of the budget, given its early stage of execution, to facilitate the urgent redirection of funds to vital sectors.

Obi pointed out that Nigeria is dealing with a range of critical challenges in education, healthcare, economic, and power sectors, necessitating immediate attention and budget allocations.

  • “Having followed the controversies trailing the 2024 budget and having read some of the budgetary provisions and allocations of resources, I wish to respectfully appeal for a total review of the entire budget.
  • “The Executive and Legislative arms should initiate an immediate review of the budget as it is still in early days of implementation in order to enable them do urgent virement of resources to critical areas.
  • “The nation’s resources should adequately be appropriated to critical areas like security, fighting poverty and solving the challenges of hunger and food insecurity, power supply, especially considering the difficult times that we are in,” he said.

Backstory

The allegation of budget padding made by Senator Abdul Ningi of Bauchi Central has led to a heated dispute among federal lawmakers, with some accused of securing more constituency project funds than others.

  • For instance, speaking on the Senate floor, a lawmaker, Senator Jarigbe Agom-Jarigbe said that some senior senators received a total of N500 million each from the 2024 budget.
  • Moreover, the Red Chamber suspended Senator Abdul Ningi for accusing the Senate of budget padding with no evidence to demonstrate the validity of his allegations.
  • Ningi was suspended for three months.
  • The resolution of the Red Chamber was a sequel to a point of order raised by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Adeola Olamilekan, during the plenary.

 


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