Senate denies N70bn palliatives ‘gift’ in supplementary budget

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Abuja, July 16, 2023 – The Senate on Sunday denied media reports that N70 billion of the N819 billion Supplementary Appropriation is allocated to the National Assembly as palliatives to lawmakers.

The Senate also denied that the N819 billion supplementary appropriation was padded by lawmakers.

Yemi Adaramodu (APC– Ekiti South), the Chairman of Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, made the denial in a statement in Abuja.

He said the N819 billion in the supplementary appropriation was meant to give a facelift to the National Assembly, rather than for palliatives for individual lawmakers.

Adaramodu said that currently some lawmakers had to bring in some of their personal effects like “chairs and tables” to use for in their offices.

Adaramodu said the Senate was not ready to join issues with mischief makers who claimmed the N70 billion  was a ‘gift’ from the Executive arm of government to the lawmakers.

He said the passage of the Supplementary Appropriation Act Bill was part of the constitutional duties of the Senate to accommodate funding for the Federal Government’s Palliatives for the Nigerian public among other national demands.

“After the passage of the Supplementary Budget to accommodate funding for Federal Government’ Palliatives for the Nigerian public, among other urgent national demands, the socio-political space has been inundated with spurious, inaccurate and irreverent misinterpretations.

“Suffice to say that the passage is part of the absolute constitutional duty of the Senate.

“We would, therefore, not wish to join issues with the mischief and misrepresentation that a portion of the just passed Amendment Act that appropriated N70billion was a ‘gift’ to the Legislators.”

“A visit to the suites, offices and the general structures of the National Assembly Complex would reveal a yawning gap and the need for exigent attention.

“Many Senators had to bring their chairs, tables and electronics and in many cases, do sundry repairs.

“The so much debated allocation will not be paid to any Legislators. This will be managed by the National Assembly’s bureaucracy.

“It’s pertinent to also note that the National Assembly complex does not house only the Legislators.

“There are thousands of workers and service providers, whose working environment needs a face-lift, and/with necessary tools.

“Since the Assembly Complex is not owned by legislators who are merely political birds of passage, such allocation cannot be termed by anyone as a palliative to the legislators.

“The alleged padding of the palliative budget by the National Assembly only exists in the minds of those who are all out to discredit the 10th Assembly.

“There is nothing like padding as is being alleged by some misinformed media outfits.

“We wish to urge fellow compatriots to see the National Assembly as partners in the progress of Nigeria.

“The National Assembly is the soul of democracy and the 10th Senate shall join hands with other arms of government and our forward-looking Nigerians to sing new songs of progress, development, safety and all-round economic recovery and growth.” (GBN)

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