Politics

“We were not given a copy of the 2024 budget” – Another PDP senator indicts Akpabio-led Senate

Senator Garba Musa Maidoki of the Kebbi South Senatorial District has accused the leadership of the National Assembly of not being fair to all in its operations.

The Peoples Democratic Party senator indicted the Godswill Akpabio-led Senate, saying everything about the 2024 Budget was done in secrecy.

He warned that the Senate might lose its respect and dignity if something urgent is not done.

He told a national newspaper:

”The Senate and, by extension, the National Assembly, is increasingly losing its independence and voice to speak to the Executives. National Assembly ought to be a strong voice and arm of the government, but its leadership is becoming a tool in the hands of the Executives.

”For example, the issue of the 2024 budget. We, the first-timers, thought that what we passed was what had been signed by the President. We never knew that there was something else beneath.

”You can imagine that throughout the period of the debate for the budget, we were not given a copy of the 2024 budget neither were we given the breakdown of the figure. All that we were given were like five pages of what is relevant in your committee.”

Asked if he and his colleagues raised the issue in the red chamber, he said:

”We did but there was nothing that we could do because of certain things that are, perhaps, stronger than us. In fact, Committee leaders warned us before the exercise not to even temper with the budget document.

”Unfortunately, we couldn’t talk in unison because of several personal and political interests in the Senate. Patriotism is poor in the Senate. Another challenge there is that you are not sure of the loyalty of the lawmakers. You don’t know who is on your side and not.

”I can confirm to you that the way the 2024 budget was presented by the President was the same way it was passed. No scrutiny nor corrections was done to the document. Many of us cannot tell what was allocated to what because we had no access to the complete document.”

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