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Former spokesman for the House of Representatives,  Eseme Eyibo, on Thursday, August 4, said 'budget padding' as far the National Assembly is concerned is non existent.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Eyibo, who served in the sixth assembly, said adjustments must be made in a budget before it could be passed into law.

He said that Section 80 (4) of the 1999 Constitution empowers the national assembly to make necessary adjustments to budget proposals presented by the executive.

"I have read from traditional and new media one language which is strange in the context of our understanding of the legislature, which is the word padding," he said.

"I know padding is associated with tailoring, fashion, but I am not conversant with it as associated to appropriation process.

"It becomes difficult for an average man in the street to understand that in the course of budget preparation and the input of the legislature, there will definitely be the issue of adjustment.

"The adjustment could be deleted or added and something could be allowed to serve as it were.

"There are bound to be indiscretion and how can this indiscreet be taken care of.

"The essence of the public procurement act was to enforce the principle of accountability and thin out possibility of corruption.

"But the challenge is, has there been the enforcement or compliance of the full principles of the public procurement act?"

He added that the budget proposal as presented by the executive was intended to come through the legislature so that the issue of checks and balances, separation of powers would be strengthened.

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According to him, when that is done, that does not take away the input and contributions of the legislature into that proposal.

"If that was so, they wouldn't have been a pre-budget meeting or oversight,’’ Eyibo said.

He said that the integrity of the legislature as an institution must be protected and strengthened.

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