Akpabio, Opeyemi, Yayi Accused Of Of Padding Palliative Budget With N500 Billion
A Northern group, under the aegis of Arewa Transparency Summit has accused the leadership of the Nigerian senate of padding the palliative budget with over N500 billion.
The Senate had approved the request made by the President to appropriate money for palliatives to cushion the effects of the removal of the petrol subsidy on Nigerians.
The group in a statement on Monday in Abuja urged the senate president to immediately resign from his position.
The leader of the group, Mallam Ahmed Muhammad named Senate President, Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District), Deputy Senate President Jibrin Barau (Kano North Senatorial District) and Senator Solomon Adeola, popularly called Yayi (Ogun West Senatorial District) as the major architects of the budget padding.
“The senators involved capitalised on the request made by President Bola Tinubu for the appropriation of N500 billion for palliatives through the amendment of the Act to heavily pad the budget.
“Senate President Godswill Akpabio and some of his colleagues have used the amendment of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act as an opportunity to pad the budget by over N200 billion.
“After our investigation, we totally agree with a publication done by an online platform, Sahara Reporters exposing Akpabio and his allies. For instance, N1 billion was suddenly earmarked for the supply of Tricycles (Keke NAPEP) to the underprivileged in the society, N2 billion was allocated to the construction of public buildings in various communities and villages, N4 billion was earmarked for rehabilitation and construction of selected critical roads while N2 billion was earmarked for the construction of block of 3 classrooms with furniture and toilet, construction and furnishing of skills acquisition centres and construction of primary healthcare centres with furniture in some selected communities and towns.
“Other include N500 million for the construction of Edi Road, Sabo Market and Ilaro Township Road, Yewa South, Ogun State; N1 billion for the construction of roads in Imeko, Afon, Iwoye and Obada, Ogun State; N1 billion for the construction of Ilashe-Agbara Road, Agbara Ado Odo-Ota in Ogun; N1 billion for the construction of market square -Fadama Ring Road, Imasayi, Yewa North and Ota Lafenwa Road section 1, Ota, Ogun State.
N800 million for police barracks, Old Baggage Link Road, Ode Ogun Idiroko, Ogun State, N700 million for the construction of some rural roads in Ikot Ekpene LGA, Akwa Ibom to enhance agricultural output.
“N1.25 billion for the construction of some rural roads in Essien Udim LGA to improve farm produce. N1.25 billion for the construction of Afama Ikot Ebak, Ikot Akpan Essiet, Ura Kpan Ikot Ukpang and Ikot Ebie OkonRoads to boost agricultural output N1.25 billion.
“N400 million for the construction of Ibi Akpan-Not Akan/Old Federal Government College Roads to boost farm produce, N1.25 billion for the construction of some rural roads in Abiakpo Ikot Essien-Ikono to ease the movement of farm produce, N1 billion for enhancing agricultural output by constructing all-in-one solar street lights on some roads in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, Abak LGA and Essien Udim, N2 billion for the repair of flood-prone sections along Abuja-Keffi expressway (Abuja bound) from Km 0+000 – Km 9+400 and construction of township road in Bare-Bari Bauya and Lailai in Yobe State,
N1 billion for the supply of brand-new Toyota/Lexus Jeeps, N1 billion for the construction of Section I of Iyin-Ilawe Ekiti State, N1 billion for the construction of Section II of Iyin-Ilawe Ekiti State, N1 billion for the construction of inner roads in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, N1 billion for the construction of inner roads in Ijero Ekiti, Ekiti State, N70 billion for the provision of operational vehicles for members, office equipment, furniture fittings and other capital items for the 10th National Assembly.
“Our investigations also revealed that the senate leadership denied other lawmakers the opportunity of making an input in the budget, with the sole aim of heavily padding the budget. Mr Akpabio has also ordered MDAs to ignore other lawmakers and work directly with him, Barau Jibrin, Opeyemi Bamidele and Senator Olamilekan. This is not good for our democracy and the National Assembly- and we understand that other lawmakers are not happy with Akpabio and how he handled the budget issue- without allowing them make them inputs.
“We are calling on the Senate President and his Deputy to immediately resign. The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to look into allegations of financial misconduct by the senate leadership led by the Senate President Godswill Akpabio,” the statement said.