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Government & Politics

We Will Act Against Those Who Padded The 2016 Budget If… – Presidency Speaks

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President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed when he will act following shocking revelations and allegations against some NASS members.

President Muhammadu Buhari
The Presidency has said it will be forced to act on the controversy raging in the House of Representatives over allegations that some people padded the 2016 budget by inserting unapproved additions to the national budget on one condition.
The Presidency says it will act if it is referred to it.
It would be recalled that over N42 billion were inserted in the budget at committee level well after the House had passed the budget which forced the President Muhammadu Buhari to delay his assent for nearly three months.
But, last week embattled former chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin made strong allegations against Speaker Yakubu Dogara which unearthed shocking corruption and bribery going on in the House.
While speaking to Daily Trust what action the government will soon take, Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina revealed that the alleged padding of the budget was a matter within the National Assembly.
He said when the matter was sorted out in the House of Representatives and referred to the executive, the Presidency would act on it.
“It is a National Assembly matter, especially the House of Representatives. When it is sorted out there and referred to the Presidency that is when the Presidency can do anything about it.  
“There is the principle of separation of power,” the presidential spokesman said.
It has also been uncovered that the same infractions that took place in the House of Representatives also had taken place in the Senate.
Revealing details to Daily Trust, a senator said: “National Assembly is one, the Senate is not left out in the padding of the 2016 budget. As you know, the budget was harmonised by the Appropriation committees of both Chambers”.
It was also revealed that both appropriation committees of the House of Reps and the Senate colluded and inserted similar projects in the budget.
“Every budget item has to be agreed upon by the two chambers. All the things buried by the House leaders were also buried by the Senate. So, they both dug the same holes for those things to be buried in.
“As a matter of fact, the two appropriation committees worked together throughout the budget period before they reported back to the respective chambers for approval. 
“Invariably what you have in the House is what you have in the Senate, but that of the Senate may even be worse.
“A minister told me that … they inserted an intervention project of N6 billion in his ministry, but when he told them one of the agencies under his ministry had a similar project, they opened up and said the project was meant for the them.
“You can remember what Ogbeh said after the budget defence. He said he saw some strange insertions in his ministry’s budget. That was done in connivance with the two appropriation committees,” the lawmaker said.

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