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Saraki challenges Tinubu over budget padding allegations

Senate President Bukola Saraki has challenged the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, to substantiate his allegation that he and other lawmakers have the habit of padding budgets.

Mr Saraki, in a statement by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said Mr Tinubu’s attack was unfounded and not predicated on facts.

The Senate President was reacting to a statement credited to Mr Tinubu, where he alleged that Mr Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have been padding Nigeria’s budget since 2015.

“Just look at the way Saraki, Dogara and their ilk hijacked the budget process these past four years,” Mr Tinubu had said in a statement released by Tunde Rahman, his spokesman.

Mr Saraki said the APC leader is ignorant of the legislative process that leads to budget passage. He also released a statement, part of which is reproduced below.

“First, he (Tinubu) alleged that national budgets were delayed, distorted, padded, new projects introduced, funds for projects reduced, “to halt the progress of government”. It is unfortunate that a man like Tinubu who had been in the Senate (though for 22 months and under a military regime) should have a better understanding of how the legislature works.

“The passage of budgets is definitely not the exclusive responsibility of the leadership of the Senate. Most of the work is done in the various committees. These committees are headed by senators representing different parties. It is the level of co-operation between the committees and the MDAs in the timely defence of the budget proposals and the ability of the two chambers of the National Assembly to reconcile their figures that usually determine how soon the budget is passed. To put the blame of budget delay on the Senate President or Speaker can only be mischief, or at best, playing to the gallery.”

Mr Saraki noted that ‘it is within the power of the legislature to make changes’ and such cannot be equated as padding.

 

 

– Premium Times

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About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298, 08056381068.

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