2016 Budget padding: It’s media hype; lawmakers only subtracted, adjusted few items – Ndume
The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, has described the ongoing controversy between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin, regarding padding of the 2016 budget as “media hype.”
Speaking with State House Correspondents on Friday after Jumat prayer with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ndume said there was no such thing as padding, stressing that what lawmakers did was to “add, subtract and adjust” in line with their constitutional role.
Recall that Jibrin had last week accused Dogara alongside three other principal officers of the House of attempting to pad N40bn into the 2016 budget.
The Senate Leader maintained that the controversy at the Green Chambers was a result of the fallout between the Speaker and Jibrin.
Ndume asserted that the Constitution empowers lawmakers to tamper with budget, which, he said, is why the President submitted the document to the National Assembly in the first place.
According to him, “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.