Nigerian Senate: A big Messy Affair, Senator Abdul Ningi suspended for 3 months


The Nigerian Senate is presently embroiled in a messy affair surrounding the 2024 National Budget.

On Wednesday, the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial Zone, Abdul Ningi, was suspended for 3 months from the Senate for holding a controversial interview with the BBC Hausa Service.

In the interview, Ningi alleged that the 2024 National Budget was over padded by a whopping N3trillion, which was not tied to any projects or locations.

This singular act put Ningi directly at crossroads with the leadership of the Senate led by Godswill Akpabio.

Ningi was subsequently put on public “trial” in the Senate Chambers in an apparent bid to set the record straight.

However, while Ningi was targeted, more damaging revelations came up during the heated session.

Senator Agom Jarigbe, representing Cross River North, alleged that Senior Senators were given N500million each to pass the 2024 Budget. He lamented that, while he was also a ranking /senator, he was not given any money like his peers.

This damning revelation has thrown up serious credibility and corruption issues around the Nigerian Senate, which is currently seen as a rubber stamp Senate.

This shameful scenario played out on National TV.

The rush to shut down Senator Abdul Ningi seems to be an attempt to cover up the rumors of budget padding which has now become an annual ritual in the National Assembly.

There was even an attempt to regionalize the corruption allegations.

Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, representing Ekiti Central made statements about the Northern Senators trying to harass and remove Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, who is a Senator from Akwa Ibom State in the South South region.

This is all too messy and clearly there are issues of transparency surrounding the affairs of the Nigerian Senate.

All of these issues are centered on the role of the National Assembly in the budget making process. One thing that is clear is that as long as the National Assembly members are allowed to add items in the budget process, there will always be corruption and transparency issues.

There is a clear need to reform the budget process to totally remove the influence of National Assembly members in corrupting the budget process.

It is a clear that the opportunity to influence the budget is now a motivating factor for politicians seeking elective offices in the National Assembly.


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