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By G9ija

Senate Monday gave the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning , Zainab Ahmed clean bill of health on alleged insertions in the 2023 budget proposal by some Ministries , Departments and Agencies (MDAs) .
The Senate Committee on Appropriations chaired by Senator Jubril Barau while the Minister appeared before the Panel.
She explained to the committee that the various sums some heads of agencies feigned ignorance of during their interface with relevant committees for budget defence , were approved by the Federal Executive Council ( FEC), before budget presentation itself by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, October 7, 2022.
“All the proposed budgetary sums like the N206billion in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs , Disaster Management and Social Development , the N8.6billion in the Ministry of Defence , N195.468billion in the estimates for the Ministry of Power etc , were all captured before presentation by Mr President .
“Most of these sums are bilateral or multilateral loans captured in the budget of agencies selected for projects execution for sole purpose of transparency .
“The totality of such loans captured in the proposed budget of the relevant agencies is N1.771trillion .
“Had heads of the affected MDAs carried out thorough scrutinization of their approved budgetary proposals , the issue of insertion or budget padding wouldn’t have arisen at all, realization of which made the Minister of Defence , Bashir Magsshi to apologise after feigning ignorance of N8.6billion in his Ministry’s budget during interface with Senate Committee on Defence “she said .
Satisfied by her submission , the Chairman of the Committee , said the clarifications made by the Minister were well understood by all the committee members and commended her for ensuring transparency with capturing of such loans or grants in the budget .

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