Budget Padding Scandal Dogara defends addition of N100b project in document

Dogara also said lawmakers are empowered to make laws, the Appropriation Act inclusive, without being questioned.

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House of Reps Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and Abdulmumin Jibrin play

House of Reps Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and Abdulmumin Jibrin

(Vanguard)
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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has defended the inclusion of zonal intervention projects in the budget.

According to Punch, the Speaker said the inclusion of the intervention projects that reportedly cost N100b, was to stop the unbalanced award and implementation of projects by ministers and agency heads.

Dogara also said lawmakers are empowered to make laws, the Appropriation Act inclusive, without being questioned.

Adding that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the police or Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) cannot probe a lawmaker for performing his or her legislative duty of passing the Appropriation Act.

The House Speaker also said “Just take the budget of a particular ministry for instance. Just check where the directors or some of the officials come from and look at their allocations in that ministry.

“If you do that exercise, you will be shocked. And that is why we are calling to question, the integrity of that process. The minister perhaps comes from a particular region and you will see up to 60, 70 per cent of that ministry’s funds go to that place.

“In furtherance of our responsibilities and duties as representatives of the people, you want to attract projects to the other regions…”

The former Chairman of the House of Reps committee on appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has however said the Speaker is hiding a lot of secrets.

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