Alleged 2016 Budget Padding: Appropriation C’ttee Chair, Jubril, Must Go, Reps Tells Dogara

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Abdulmumin-JibrinA quiet storm is gathering in the House of Representatives over the alleged padding of the 2016 budget by the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdumumuni Jubril.
Jubril was alleged to have grossly padded the fiscal document by allocating over 20 projects to his constituency without the consent of the members.
The development angered not many members of the House, who said but for the insistence of President Muhammadu Buhari that the submitted budget by the National Assembly be returned, they wouldn’t have known the level of mutilation done to the document by their colleague.
According to Vanguard, Jubril, who represents Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State, allocated to himself 22 projects worth N4.169 billion and scattered across five Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of the Federal Government, including Ministries of Works, Agriculture, Water Resources, Women Affairs and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF.
The newspaper reports that this is exclusive of the N40 billion worth of projects which the leaderships of the Appropriations Committees of both chambers of the National Assembly shared among themselves without the knowledge of other members.
Although the executive had provided N60 billion in the 2016 Appropriation Bill for senators and members of the House of Representatives as their zonal intervention constituency projects, it was learnt that the leadership of both chambers, for unknown reasons, unilaterally increased the amount to N100 billion, allocating N20 billion each to themselves.
The discovery has created an atmosphere of unease in the lower legislative chamber as over 200 members have called for the removal of Mr. Jubril, a staunch loyalist of Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
According to a source, “over 200 members, including some committee chairmen, have resolved that the budget would not be touched again. We would allow whatever additions or minuses the president may make on the budget at it is now.
“We are not going to allow any debate again. The first experience was frightening. They may repeat the same thing, if given the opportunity.
“We have decided that the chairman must be changed. We have pressed for this earlier at the peak of the issue but had to put it on hold in order not to send a wrong signal that what the executive said was true and that we were all compromised.
“We are likely to suspend the relevant House rules to pass the budget expressly, maybe within three days”.

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