NORTHERN SENATORS ‘HIRE CONSULTANTS’ TO SCREEN TINUBU’S 2024 BUDGET
Northern Senators Forum (NSF) has hired consultants to scrutinise the 2024 Appropriation Act, according to Senator Ali Ndume, chief whip of the 10th Senate.
Ndume, in an interview, said that they aimed to see whether the budget was skewed against the northern region.
Asked why he and other northern senators did not scrutinise the budget before it was passed, Ndume cited the bulkiness of the document and the time they received it from President Bola Tinubu.
He explained: “We had a challenge of time. The budget was brought to us early December or late November and we had to finish it before the end of December in order to keep the January to December budget cycle that most Nigerians are supporting.
Ndume added, “That budget is a bulky document of about 2,290 pages, it is not something you can flip over, and it is not categorised by zone.
“But the Minister of Budget and Planning that headed the preparation of the budget is from the North, and in the Federal Executive Council we have enough northern ministers that will protect the interest of the North.
“However, if, as I said, the interest of the North is shortchanged, you can be rest assured that we will come up with facts. I don’t want to talk without figures.
“This is the first budget and we want to give the president the necessary support. The president I know – I have a political relationship with Tinubu that spans over 20 years – is a nationalist. I don’t think he would support anything that would generate any controversy, including things that are anti North or against the interest of the country.”President Tinubu had presented a budget proposal of N27.5 trillion to the National Assembly for approval. The National Assembly jacked up the figure to N28.7trillion before passing it to become the Appropriation Act 2024.