Senate suspends Ningi for three months over N3trn budget padding claims

The Nigerian Senate has suspended Senator Abdul Ningi for three months over allegations of padding the 2024 Budget.

Ningi was suspended on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, after a long stormy session in the red chamber.

A member of the Appropriation Committee in the Senate, Jimoh Ibrahim, first moved the motion for Ningi’s suspension for 12 months over allegations of criminal misinformation and breach of peace in the National Assembly and the country by extension.

However, other lawmakers like Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong moved for the amendment of the motion by Ibrahim. Ekpenyong, who is from Cross River South Senatorial District, prayed for the reduction of the suspension.

Ningi in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (Hausa Service) on Saturday, Senator Ningi said that the budget being implemented by the Presidency is N28.7tn, whereas the one approved by the National Assembly for the 2024 fiscal year is N25tn.

In the interview, Senator Ningi was cited as saying, “For the first time in Nigerian history, today we are operating two different budgets. One budget was approved by the National Assembly and signed by President Bola Tinubu and the presidency implemented the one.”

He stated, “The one approved by us is ₦25trn while the one operating by the Government is ₦28tn.

“Apparently, we discovered ₦3trn was inserted into the budgets for projects without locations. This is the highest budget padding that happened in Nigerian history under Senator Akpabio’s watch.”

He added, “We resolved as people Representatives to see President Tinubu on this issue, with facts and figures, to ask him if he is aware of this embarrassment or not, then from there we will take action.

“Let Nigerians be patient with us. This is a national issue; it affects all Nigerians in respective of party, tribe or religion.”


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