As controversy about budget padding rages on, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang has said that the budget signed by the President which is being implemented was not padded.Enang who spoke to newsmen after a meeting with the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja said the All Progressives Congress (APC) was handling the issue as a family affair.
The senator noted that the budget as assented to by Mr. President is the budget as passed by the National Assembly and that is the budget being executed.
“The budget as assented to by Mr. President is the budget as passed by the National Assembly and that is the budget being executed.
“But as of now, the party is handling it as a domestic issue, and all of us are enjoined not to make public comment on the details because the matter is still under consideration.
“So, that is what we will want to say for now, we will not want to go into the details of it so that we will not breach the ethics of the party, the directives of the party or pre-empt anything or any outcome of the party investigation.”
On if the Presidency was giving the Leadership of the House of Representatives a clean bill over the issue, he said;
“We have made those clarifications and would not want to draw any conclusion. Please let us not go too far by mentioning any office. Let it be that the two of us appeared before the party.
“In all our years of legislative engagement, we are yet to find in the legislative lexicon the word ‘padding’. When the budget is presented before the legislature, the legislature is to consider the budget and pass as they deem fit. So what the legislature pass becomes the appropriation upon accent. Therefore, any word which is yet to crystallize in legislative lexicon, you cannot hear us mention it.”
The former Chairman of the House committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumini Jubrin, had accused Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his deputy and two other principal officers of being the brains behind the budget padding.