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CMPA Berates Senate Over Budget Padding Claim, Demands Probe

The Centre for Media, Policy and Accountability (CMPA) has criticised the 10th Senate over the allegations of the 2024 budget padding emanating since the interview of the suspended Bauchi Senator, Abdul Ningi.

It then called on the Senator Godswill Akpabio-led Senate to commence a thorough probe investigations to all the allegations of budget padding.

Recall that trouble started with the Senate after Ningi disclosed in an interview that the budget was padded with N3 trillion after the 2024 Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly increased from N27.5 trillion to N28.7 trillion.

The Senate debated the allegation raised by Ningi on Tuesday which led to his three-month suspension.

Reacting to the saga in a statement by its Communications Officer, Princess Ahante, CMPA said, “As an organization committed to promoting transparency, accountability, and democratic governance in Nigeria, we cannot stand idly by while such egregious breaches of public trust occur.”

“The practice of budget padding undermines the very foundation of democratic governance by subverting the will of the people and diverting public resources for personal gain. It erodes public confidence in our institutions’ integrity and perpetuates a corrupt culture that stifles economic development and social progress.

“We firmly believe that transparency is the cornerstone of good governance. Therefore, we call upon the Nigerian Senate to immediately launch a comprehensive investigation into these allegations and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

“Furthermore, we urge the Senate to implement robust measures to prevent future occurrences of budget padding and ensure that the budgeting process is conducted with the utmost transparency and integrity.

“The recent suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi has brought this matter to the forefront and is quite worrisome as it looks as though the truth is being systematically silenced. The Senate, as a pillar of democracy, must address all allegations promptly and transparently.

“The integrity of the National Assembly of our dear nation is at stake, and the CMPA and other well-meaning Nigerians call for thorough investigations into allocations made to the National Assembly in the 2024 budget. We call for accountability and strict adherence to due process.”

The statement quoted the Executive Director of CMPA, Dr. Suleiman A Suleiman, emphasizing, “As we strive for a better Nigeria, we must vehemently reject any compromise on transparency in our institutions. Budget padding is a betrayal of the trust bestowed upon our elected representatives.”

CMPA reaffirmed its commitment to working with all stakeholders to promote transparency, accountability, and democratic governance in Nigeria.

It stated, “We believe that we can only build a prosperous and equitable society for all Nigerians through collective action and unwavering dedication to the principles of transparency and accountability.

“We call on all citizens to join us in demanding accountability from our elected representatives and holding them to the highest standards of integrity and transparency. Together, we can build a Nigeria where the interests of the people are paramount and where corruption and impunity have no place in our democracy.”

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