The Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on National Planning and Economic Matters, Bashir Baballe has admitted that there were insertions in the 2016 Budget after it has been debated on the floor of the House.
The Kano State lawmaker representing Minjibir/Ungogo federal constituency made this known while appearing as a guest during a television interview.
He said, “As the deputy Chairman of my committee who spearheaded the budget defence of the committee of National planning and economic matters, I always wondered and asked myself where the issue of padding came in.
Baballe said he had worked with the information presented to him by the ministry, making observations and corrections and making sure the corrections were effected in the budget proposal he submitted to the House appropriation committee.
“When the appropriation act came out, I took my time, I studied it from the first page to the last one. That was when I saw a lot of insertions, which I think were not there earlier,” he said.
When asked by one of the anchors of the interview when he noticed the insertions, he replied: “That was when the President presented the budget and returned the signed budget to us.”
He said each member of the House usually got a copy of the appropriation act, “So I said, ah ah, how come all these insertions? Which I think at the floor of the House, they were not traced and we didn’t appropriate.”
The has been an ongoing controversy over Budget padding especially in the house of representatives, where Abdulmumin Jibrin, former chairman of the appropriation committee, wants the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara to resign his position for allegedly illegally inflating the budget with over N250 billion worth of unnecessary constituency projects.
The speaker on Friday reportedly told newsmen that padding was not an offence and promised that the Ethics committee of the House would determine the best way to sanction Jibrin for making such ‘spurious’ allegations.