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Presidency: 2024 budget not anti-north | Allegation of N3trn padding untrue

Presidency: 2024 budget not anti-north | Allegation of N3trn padding untrue
March 10
19:26 2024

The presidency has responded to the allegation that the 2024 budget was padded by the national assembly with N3 trillion. 

The presidency said it is untrue that the federal government is operating two versions of the 2024 budget.

Speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa on Saturday, Abdul Ningi, senator representing Bauchi central, alleged that the 2024 budget was padded with N3 trillion in the national assembly.

Ningi said the northern senators have engaged with some experts to review the budget.


Ningi, who is the chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, said “huge damage” has been done to the north and the entire country in the budget.

“For example, we had a budget of N28 trillion but after our checks, we found out that it was a budget of N25 trillion. How and where did we get the additional N3 trillion from, what are we spending it for?” he asked.

But in a statement on Sunday, Bayo Onanuga, presidential aide, said President Bola Tinubu did not present a N25 trillion budget to the national assembly but N27.5 trillion.


Onanuga said the national assembly passed N28.7 trillion, noting that the budget could not have been padded with N3 trillion as claimed by Ningi.

“Contrary to the strange view expressed by Senator Ningi, there was no way the senate could have debated and passed a N25 Trillion budget that was not presented to the national assembly,” Onanuga said.

“We don’t expect a ranking senator not to pay due attention to details before making wild claims. It is also important to let Nigerians know that the budget that President Tinubu signed into law on January 1, 2024, as passed by the national assembly was N28.7 trillion.

“The national assembly, in its wisdom, increased the amount proposed by the executive by N1.2 trillion.


“In the spirit of democracy which allows give and take, President Tinubu didn’t withhold his assent to the appropriation bill as passed by the national assembly.

“We want to stress that if the budget figure was increased and made to be different from what the executive proposed, it was the national assembly that jacked it up in exercise of its power of appropriation.”

Onanuga added that the claim that the budget was “anti-north” is “uncharitable” stressing that Tinubu is leading a “government that is fair and equitable to every part and segment of Nigeria”.

The presidential aide said the northern part of the country is “covered in all areas, from security to agriculture, healthcare to education, and other important infrastructure”.


Contrary to the senator’s claims, though, publicly available documents show that in December 2023, the two arms of the national assembly passed the 2024 appropriation bill, increasing its size from N27.5 trillion proposed by Tinubu to N28.7 trillion.

The budget has N1.7 trillion as statutory transfers, N8.7 trillion as recurrent expenditure, and N9.9 trillion as capital expenditure and other line items.


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