No Backing Down: Sen Ningi Insists N3.7trn Not Project-Specific


BY SEGUN ADEBAYO – Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum (NSF) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker representing Bauchi Central district, Senator Abdul Ningi is not backing down on his claim that N3. 7 trillion was not linked to any specific project in the 2024 budget.

Ningi, a former Deputy Senate leader, took on his fellow Senators on Monday in a heated argument to defend his position, even as he said the risk of suspension by the Senate will not deter him from being truthful to his conscience and those he represents at the Red chamber.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on his claims, Senator Ningi, who clarified not speaking on behalf of the Northern Senator Forum (NSF) where he serves as Chairman, said there was nothing to retract from the BBC interview and the allegation that N3.7 trillion cannot be traced to any specific project in the 2024 budget.

Insisting he was not afraid to carry his cross, the ranking Senator noted that ‘power is transient’, adding that if suspension from the Senate is the price to pay at the end of the day, so be it as such would be an honour against the backdrop of his belief in God.

According to Ningi, there was no time during the interview that he alleged the Federal Government was operating two budgets, saying his position remains that N25 trillion was traced to projects, but that N3.7 trillion was not traced to any project within the budget framework.

The lawmaker further stated thus; “I said we have established beyond reasonable doubt that N25 trillion so far has nexus in the budget. That means that there is money, there is a project, and then there is location. But we are yet to ascertain N3 trillion of that budget. We have established the N3 trillion of that budget, we have not established its location and the place.

“However, I said going forward, the budget evaluation is ongoing. And I said lastly, the intention of the northern senators, as regards budgetary allocation, was to meet the Senate President with our findings and subsequently meet President Bola Tinubu.

“I have never acted as a regional person. And I have never spoken as a regional person but I’m proud to say I’m a very proud northerner. It wasn’t a budget matter, but a budget issue came. I believe in one God, and I believe power is transient.”

“I believe what we are doing is temporary. I’m not scared of whatever you hear, I am not scared of any issue like suspension. If because of what I said, I would be suspended, so be it. It will be an honour”, the Bauchi Central Senator said.

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