Senator Abdul Ningi Sets the Record Straight on 2024 Budget Controversy

Senator Abdul Ningi, representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District, has sought to clarify his remarks regarding the 2024 Appropriation Act, asserting that he was misquoted and misunderstood in recent media coverage.
Recall that in an interview with BBC Hausa, Senator Ningi raised concerns about discrepancies in the budget figures, alleging that the National Assembly passed a budget of N25 trillion, contrary to the N28.7 trillion implemented by the Federal Government.
However, in a subsequent conversation with Channels TV, he emphasized that his remarks were not aimed at implicating President Bola Tinubu or insinuating the existence of two separate budgets.
Ningi, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum, clarified that his comments were based on concerns raised by Northern Forum lawmakers, who engaged a private auditor to scrutinize the budget for irregularities.
He also clarified that he stands by his utterance as a Senator and not the Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum.
He added that it has been established beyond doubt that N25trn was rightly allocated in the budget, citing three parameters (money, project, and location) but cannot ascertain the project location for the other N3trn.
He said, “I am not afraid of suspension by the Senate. I stand by what I said: N3.7 trillion is not traced to any project in the 2024 Budget. I spoke for myself and not on behalf of the Northern Senator Forum. I never said the federal government is operating with two budgets. I only said N25 trillion was traced to projects and N3.7 trillion was not traced to any project.”
Stop Making Wild Claims
Meanwhile the Presidency on Sunday, dismissed Senator Ningi’s claims, refuting allegations of operating two versions of the 2024 budget.
In a statement titled ‘THE FACTS ABOUT 2024 BUDGET,’ Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, accused Senator Ningi of making wild claims.
He stated that the presidency considers it appropriate to inform Nigerians that there is no truth whatsoever in the allegation made by the lawmaker.
The statement reads in part: “To begin with, President Tinubu on November 29, 2023, presented a budget of N27.5 Trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly made up of N9.92 Trillion recurrent expenditure, Debt Service N8.25 Trillion, and Capital Expenditure N8.7 Trillion.
“This was widely reported. He did not present a budget of N25 Trillion.
“Contrary to the strange view expressed by Senator Ningi, there was no way the Senate could have debated and passed a N25 Trillion budget that was not presented to the National Assembly.”
Onanuga urged against spreading unfounded claims and divisive rhetoric, urging stakeholders to focus on factual information and constructive dialogue.
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