Budget Padding: Senator Karimi urges Senator Ningi to embrace truth and accountability

Senator Sunday Steve Karimi

Senator Sunday Steve Karimi, a prominent member of the Northern Senators Forum (NSF) and chairman of the Senate Services Committee, has advised Senator Abdul Ningi to uphold honesty and integrity, emphasizing the importance of fearing God while speaking the truth. 

Karimi, gave the advice while responding to Senator Abdul Ningi's press conference on Monday, March 11, 2024, where he denied saying there were two budgets in operation but insisted that N3.7trillion in the 2024 budget was not tied to any item.

Challenging Senator Ningi to own up to his misinformation, Senator Karimi said the Bauchi senator spoke on behalf of the Northern Senators Forum and not in his individual capacity.

"I advise Senator Ningi to at least fear God if he is not afraid of suspension. He spoke for the NSF and not for himself even though nobody authorized him in the NSF to lie against the Senate"

Karimi maintained that Senator Ningi was "up to mischief because when they met the Senate President, Akpabio requested that they should bring the report so that he would set up a committee to find out if there was anything like that.

"We went to the Senate President as members of the NSF, but since he is on a mission of self-destruct, Senator Ningi decided to go to the media, instead of bringing the report to the Senate President to set up a committee to authenticate the veracity of the claims"

Speaking further, Senator Karimi chided Ningi, saying "As a former principal officer both in the Senate and the House of Representatives, is Senator Ningi saying he is ignorant of the fact that arrangement of items on the first line charges are not usually lumped together with general items in the budget?"

"I must say that Senator Ningi is just trying to engage in red-herring and sow the seed of institutional anarchy. As a ranking lawmaker, he should know that organization of first-line charge items is not lined up on the budget.

"A new legislator could have been forgiven for this invidious tar-brushing but a ranking senator cannot claim ignorance of the organization of budget items,” Karimi insisted.

Senator Karimi also challenged Senator Ningi to disclose the source of the N30 million paid to the consultant who did the shoddy job for him. 

According to Karimi, "No Northern Senator contributed any money to pay any consultant, so where did Senator Ningi get the N30 million he paid the consultant? Senator Ningi should tell Nigerians the source of the N30m he paid to the consultants who have not even delivered on his consultancy since he is talking about transparency."
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