2024 Budget: Reactions as Nigerian Senate approve 193 million per Borehole and I84 Million per unit for Solar Streetlight

by Area Talk

The Nigerian Senate has approved N82.5bn to construct 427 boreholes (N193 for one) amid budget padding allegations.

The upper chamber came into fresh controversy after being alleged of padding the 2024 National Appropriation Act to the tune of N3.7 trillion.

Although the allegation has been dismissed as being untrue both by the presidency and the legislative arm of the government, the development has unearthed non transparent and unjustified financial allocations to the National Assembly, thus further casting doubts over its integrity.

As the controversy raged, a revelation equally emerged that some Senators reportedly got N500m each from the 2024 budget.

This was made known by Senator Jarigbe, representing Cross River North senatorial district, on Tuesday on the Senate floor while making a contribution on the allegation of 2024 budget padding.

Recall that Senator Ningi representing Bauchi Central on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had earlier alleged that N3.7 trillion was padded into the 2024 budget.

Ningi was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Population and represents Bauchi Central.

Jarigbe on his part said no Senator has a right to accuse Senator Ningi.

“We are going back and forth with this issue of the budget and individual issues with what came to our various constituencies. If we want to go into those issues, all of us are culpable.

“Some Senators here, so-called senior Senators, got N500 million each. I am a ranking Senator and I did not get. Did I go to the press? Most of you got. If we want to go into those issues…I think that Senator Ningi….,” he said before his microphone was cut off.

Senator Ningi on his part while putting up defense for his allegation on the 2024 budget padding challenged the Senate President Godswill Akpabio over his take-home pay, saying it’s not known.

He said: “We discovered, some senatorial districts in these documents have up to N120 billion and my senatorial district has just N1.2 billion. Mr President in this budget presented to you, I have facts, constituency by constituency. Some N120 billion, some N50 billion; some N30 billion. Some have less than N1 billion.

Mr President, as I speak to you, I don’t know your take-home pay, you know my own. I don’t know the take-home pay of any of the other principal officers.

“My President, I know within budgetary provisions, you made available funds for purchase of cars. Mr President, I don’t know how much you made for your cars and principal officers. I know how much was made for individual senator’s cars.

“As I speak to you, people are calling me names, I didn’t receive a single car. All within the budget provisions, Mr President, I have as a matter of fact, five aides just like other senators but I don’t know how many aides you have or how many the Deputy Senate President has.”

In the heat of the forgoing, a breakdown of the approved budget for the Senate by Budgit, by BugIT, a service delivery promotion platform under the NGO which allows citizens to collaborate, track, and give feedback on public projects in their communities, showed that N82.5bn will be used for the construction of 427 boreholes. This means one borehole will cost N193m.

Also, in that categories of projects, N212bn will be used to construct 1,150 streetlights; N30.95bn for 170 ICT projects; and N7.61bn for the empowerment of traditional rulers.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have attacked the government and the lawmakers claiming the amount budgeted for the boreholes is too exorbitant, adding that there’s no consideration for the plight of the citizens in the actions being taken.

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