We are not aware of budget padding—Presidency

The Presidency, on Tuesday, said it knew nothing about the ongoing crisis rocking the National Assembly over budget padding.

Senior Special Assistant to the president on  Senate Matters, Senator Ita Enag, who responded to questions from newsmen after a closed-door meeting with the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership, at the party’s national secretariat, insisted that the presidency was executing the original Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly.

The House was enmeshed in budget padding allegation after the removal of  chairman of the Appropriation, Honourable  Abdulmumini Jibrin, who accused the Speaker, Hon.ourable Yakubu Dogara; his deputy, Lasun Yusuf and two other principal officers of the House of padding the budget.

According to him, “the budget, as assented to by Mr President, is the budget as passed by the National Assembly and that is the budget being executed.”

On why he was at the national secretariat of the party, he said: “we are here on the invitation of the leadership of the APC with my colleagues to bring answers to issues raised by the party from the 2016 Appropriation. And we have been with the party for a little over three hours and we have given explanation on every issue that there was, to our knowledge, no padding of the budget.”

The budget padding allegation, he added, was being handled as party affairs, saying,”but as at now, the party is handling it as a domestic issue.”

To this end, he noted that the party had enjoined them not to speak on the matter, saying, “all of us are enjoined not to make public comment on the details of it because the matter is still under consideration.”

On why they will not go into details of the matter, he said, “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 everything, any outcome by the party.”