Senator Ita Enang, the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Senate Matters has said denied reports that the 2016 budget was padded.
Speaking to journalists at the All Progressives Congress (APC) national Secretariat in Abuja, on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, Senator Enang said the word “padding” was a strange lexicon.
The presidential aide exonerated the executive arm of government from the budget padding scandal saying the appropriation bill was passed by lawmakers.
Enang said: “We are here on the invitation of the party leadership of the APC with my colleague 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 nothing, to our knowledge, no padding of the budget.
“The budget as assented to by Mr President is the budget as passed by the National Assembly and that is the budget been executed.
“But as at now the party is handling it as a domestic issue, and all of us are enjoined not to make public comment on the details of it because the matter is still under consideration.
“So that is what we will want to say for now, 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 preempt everything, any outcome by the party.
“in all our years of legislative engagement , we are yet to find in the legislative lexicon the word ‘padding’. When the budget is presented before the legislature, the legislature is to consider the budget and pass as they deem fit.
“So what the legislature pass becomes the appropriation upon accent. therefore, any word which is yet to crystallize in legislative lexicon, you cannot hear us mention it”, he added.
The sacked chairman of the committee on appropriation, Abdulmumini Jubrin, had accused Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his deputy and two other principal officers of padding the 2016 budget.
But Speaker Dogara had told journalists after his meeting with President Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa that he would not resign adding that padding was not an offense.