2024 Budget: Senator Ningi Says N3.7trn Not Linked To Any Project

Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central) has maintained his assertion that over N3.7 trillion in the 2024 budget is not allocated to any specific project. In a recent address to journalists in Abuja, Senator Ningi reiterated his stance, despite the potential consequence of suspension by the Senate, stating that he is prepared to bear any repercussions.

The senator’s claim stems from a BBC interview (Hausa Service) in which he alleged a disparity between the budget passed by the National Assembly and the one implemented by the Presidency for the 2024 fiscal year. According to Ningi, while the National Assembly approved a budget of N25 trillion, the Presidency is operating with a budget of N28.7 trillion.

Senator Ningi clarified that his comments were made in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the Northern Senator Forum (NSF), of which he serves as chairman. He emphasized that during the interview, he did not suggest the existence of two separate budgets but rather highlighted the lack of project allocations for the N3.7 trillion discrepancy.

In reaffirming his position, Senator Ningi expressed his willingness to accept any consequences, viewing potential suspension as an honor in line with his faith in God and his conviction that power is transient. Despite potential repercussions, Ningi remains steadfast in his commitment to transparency and accountability in budgetary matters.

Ningi said: “I said we have established beyond reasonable doubt that N25 trillion so far has nexus in the budget. That means that there is money, there is project, and then there is location.”

“But we are yet to ascertain N3 trillion of that budget. We have established the N3 trillion of that budget, we have not established its location and the place.”

“However, I said going forward, the budget evaluation is ongoing. And I said lastly, the intention of the northern senators, as regards budgetary allocation, was to meet the Senate President with our findings and subsequently meet President Bola Tinubu.”

“I have never acted as a regional person. And I have never spoken as a regional person but I’m proud to say I’m a very proud northerner.”

“It wasn’t a budget matter, but a budget issue came. I believe in one God, and I believe power is transient. I believe what we are doing is temporary. I’m not scared of whatever you here, I am not scared of any issue like suspension.”

“If because I said what I would say, then I will be suspended, so be it. It will be an honour.”