Senate leader, Mohammad Ali Ndume has said the recent budget padding allegations in the National Assembly is more of media hype than reality.
LEADERSHIP Weekend recalls that the media space has been awash with the budget padding scandal with accusations and counter accusations between the Speaker House of Reps, Yakubu Dogara and Hon Abdulmumuni Jibrin.
Speaking to State House correspondents yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Ndume said he is not aware of where the issue of this budget padding is coming from as the National Assembly is constitutionally backed by law to tinker with the budget.
The senate leader pointed out that the National Assembly has the constitutional duty to add, subtract and adjust and that was what was done.
He said,”The issue of budget padding is more of a media hype than reality. We are not doing budget now, we only have Appropriation Act which is a law and you know the process of implementing a law.
“I do not know where the issue of this budget padding we are talking about is coming from. If we are not to tinker with the budget as submitted by the President, then there would not have been the need to submit it to the National Assembly.”
“We have the constitutional duty to add, subtract and adjust. That was what was done. This is the first time we did a budget that was collectively produced in the sense that it was done in such a way that the Senate, House ofRepresentatives and the Executive played different parts.
He contended that this time, the President took his time to ensure that he did not only sign on the budget, but also signed on budget details that he is satisfied with.
“What is happening now is a fallout between individuals, it is more of personal thing between Dogara and Jibrin. That is not the way differences should be settled. We have an in-house process that is followed if we have such issues.I am personally involved in reaching out to the parties involved. “