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Ningi: Integrity Of Senate Chamber Has Been Totally Damaged – Akpabio

Amid the controversy trailing the interview by Senator Abdul Ningi, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday said the integrity of the Senate has been totally damaged.

Ningi, who represents Bauchi Central, claimed in a recent interview with BBC Hausa that the National Assembly passed a budget of N25 trillion for 2024, which is in contrast to the N28.7 trillion being implemented by the federal government.

Speaking during an open session he president on the floor of the Senate, Akpabio said the upper chamber has been subjected to ridicule as Nigerians are bashing the parliament.

Akpabio faulted Ningi’s earlier interview and for also granting a follow-up interview where he purportedly justified his initial claim of budget padding.

“Nigerians are bashing the Senate. Many Nigerians will never in future come back to respect this chamber. The integrity of this chamber has been totally damaged and we wanted you to repair it with your speech,” he said.

“Instead of that, you said you have more documents to prove what you are saying. This thing is in the public glare. I have not received full details up to this moment. If you had given me full details, I would have been able to know what you know.

“So far, what you know is only known to you, it is not known to any other person. I don’t know how you rushed to the press carrying different versions. The social media is very fast. From Canada, the United States, everywhere, the story was budget padding by the Senate.

“I can quote a section of the Premium Times that said ‘this is the highest level of budget padding in Nigeria’s history where the budget passed a budget of N25 trillion but what we collect was N28 trillion.”

The senate president recalled that President Tinubu presented a budget proposal of N27.5 trillion to the National Assembly last November.

He also dismissed rumours that the President presented a budget estimate of N25 trillion, a move that has been clarified by the presidency also.

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