A member of the House of Representatives, Lawal Gumau, has given insight into how lawmakers make additions into the budget, which has come to be known as padding.
According to Gumau, who was speaking on Channels’ Sunrise Daily on Thursday, the insertions happen at the last minute just before the document is returned to the President for his signature.
“After the budget is prepared from the committees, it goes to the Appropriation Committee and they will work on the budget and return it to the members in the chamber for everybody to see, read and agree on it. Padding does not come in up till that point.
“Immediately after the House has passed the budget, before they submit it to the President is when the padding takes place. The members will not know that after they passed the budget, something was inserted,” he said.
Gumau, a member of Transparency Group, a collection of lawmakers in the green chamber calling for the probe of allegations of padding against the leadership of the House by former chairman of the House appropriation committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, said the sharp practice had been on since 2011 and members were warned before the 7th National Assembly came into existence.
Maintaining that he is not in support of either Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who is accused of spearheading the padding, or the self-styled whistle-blower Jibrin, Gumau wondered why investigation has not commenced by the relevant government agencies.
“What is the Attorney General of the Federation doing? Is he not the law officer? If there is a petition, can’t he investigate or give an order for an investigation to be carried out?
“We have EFCC, we have ICPC; we have the Nigeria Police. What are they doing that they cannot investigate? What we are saying is that the House open this issue for an investigation,” he queried.