Onigbinde Backs Ningi’s Claim Of Unaccounted N3.7trn In The 2024 Budget

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
4 Min Read

Seun Onigbinde, the co-founder of civic group Budgit, agreed with Senator Abdul Ningi’s claims that there was no detailed project allocations for about N3.7 trillion of the N28.78 trillion 2024 Appropriation Act.

Onigbinde made this statement during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today program on Tuesday.

He also clarified that Nigeria was not running two concurrent budgets, contrary to some beliefs.

“There should be a detailed breakdown of the budget. On that point, Senator Ningi is right but to say that we are running two parallel budgets, I don’t think that is factual,” he said.

Ningi has since resigned as Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum after being suspended by his colleagues in the Senate on Tuesday due to allegations of budget padding.

During the chaotic Senate session, Onigbinde mentioned that the Budgit team fact-checked Ningi’s claims.

According to him, “As the Senate rowdy session was going on, we were also fact-checking and one of the things we found out is that we were not able to lay hold to the claim by Senator Ningi. A budget of N28.7trn was passed into law and we were not able to see where N3.7trn (was missing).

“Historically, there are items in the budget that don’t have breakdown like statutory transfers but that does not means there is a certain level of capital projects by the Federal Government that was appropriated and does not have a breakdown.”

He mentioned that the total capital project budget for 2024 was approximately N9 trillion in the Appropriation Act signed into law by President Bola Tinubu. The bill was revised upwards from N27.5 trillion to N28.78 trillion.

“The budget we have now have the ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) and the government-owned enterprise budget.

“Around N2trn of the budget presented by the President is the government-owned enterprises budget. So, if Senator Ningi says there is a N25trn budget, yes, that is the MDA’s budget. It’s different from the government-owned enterprises budget whose budget was now added.

“It is factual that he says that but it doesn’t mean that we are running two concurrent budgets. There is a different conversation that those projects should be detailed. TETFUND should not just get an allocation. What are you spending money on? INEC is collecting huge chunk of funds but there is no public details about what the funds are used for.

“In the current budget, the National Assembly gave a very broad summary of its allocations but they are no detailed allocations on a granular level that everybody can understand.

“These are transparent issues and if you put all these together, that is around N3.5trn to N3.7trn. So, if that is what he (Ningi) wants to interrogate, that there are component of the budget where there are no breakdown, that is very factual,” he added

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
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Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.