EditorialScandalous Budget Padding Allegations

Scandalous Budget Padding Allegations

GTBCO FOOD DRINL

March 17, (THEWILL)- The 10th Senate under the leadership of Godswill Akpabio as President is in the news again and for the wrong reason. The scandalous budget padding allegations rocking the Senate under his leadership is simply another messy affair.

Despite all the justifications made so far, the hallowed Red Chamber will really find it very difficult to clear these messy and scandalous allegations for a very long time to come, no matter the explanations.

Although the “whistle blower,” Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member representing Bauchi Central Senatorial Zone at the National Assembly, has been suspended for three months, the allegations have further opened another can of worms at the 10th Senate under Akpabio.

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The Senate must have made a serious mistake by not investigating Ningi’s allegations before rushing to suspend him. Just like the suspended Senator said, if the Senate thought his suspension would silence him, the ”battle” has just begun.

Frankly speaking, the Senate cannot in any way silence a whopping N3 trillion budget padding allegation by simply suspending Ningi – another smart way to ”off the mic” – a style the Akpabio leadership at the Senate has been noted for.

This time around, the allegations and accusations against the so-called ”ranking Senators” have further gone to show the rot in the system and sheer insensitivity on the part of the lawmakers at a time most Nigerians are struggling to make ends meet under the prevailing hardship across the country.

The persecution and castigation of Ningi by his colleagues at the Red Chamber has also shown that the Senators do not care a hoot about what happens to the ordinary Nigerian as long as their own bread is continuously buttered through fraudulent pillaging and sharing of the nation’s commonwealth.

One can then understand why the lawmakers have resisted all efforts to remove constituency projects from the annual budgetary allocations and have continuously insisted that payment for such projects be paid directly to them.

The statutory provisions actually mandate the National Assembly Commission to handle the funds for the Zonal Intervention Projects and the lawmakers are only expected to submit the list of projects to the Commission.

However, the reverse is the case in reality as the funds are being ceded and channeled directly to the lawmakers, who consider the funds as their own ”security votes” to be disbursed at their discretion.

The National Assembly should therefore go on a soul-searching mission to review some of the so-called ”rights and privileges” of members, which in the present circumstances, are simply selfish and inconsiderate, given the hardship most Nigerians are passing through now.

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