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22 Jun 2018

Crisis Brews In N'Assembly Over Sharing Of N578bn 'Padded Budget' Projects

The controversies surrounding the national budget are far from over as the executive arm of government raises loud alarm about padding.
The stunning revelation by the Presidency that the National Assembly inserted personal projects worth N578 billion into the 2018 budget has stirred a serious dissension among members of the National Assembly, Vanguard learned, yesterday.

It was learned that many members of NASS who were unaware of the huge amount of money and phantom projects ‘built’ into the budget by the leadership, became very upset with the expose by the Presidency and have threatened to vent their anger on those who perpetrated the ‘cheating’ as soon as the legislature resumes.

The lawmakers are upset that most of them were allocated meagre projects and services valued at less than N50 million by the leadership of NASS, whereas each of them would have gone home with at least N1 billion allocation of the N578 billion.

There are 109 Senators and 360 House of Representatives members in the NASS and given the amount of N578 billion alleged to have been inserted into the budget, each member is supposed to have received at least N1 billion worth of project amounting to N469 billion, with a surplus of N109 billion for the top leaders of the legislature.

But one of the lawmakers from the South-West, who pleaded anonymity, said he was disappointed that the leadership of the NASS ‘actively short-changed’ some other members by allocating very small amount to them to service their communities but unjustifiably set aside huge amounts to themselves.

“We have to thank Mr. President for this eye-opening revelation on the padding of the 2018 budget by the NASS and we will take it from there when we resume in short while from now.

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