Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Minister Saadia Farouk accused Finance Minister Zainab Ahmad of adding N206 billion to the Humanitarian Ministry’s budget.
Farooq, who appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Monday to defend the 2023 budget, claimed that some items requested by the ministry in the 2022 budget for the Northeast Development Commission and the National Social Safety Net Program were not announced, but was surprised to see the The amount in the ministry’s 2023 budget is inflated.
Things turned sour for the budget defense when one of the committee members, Senator Elisha Abbo (APC Adamawa North), questioned the minister about the inflated N206 billion in the budget.
“Yes, we mentioned the 2022 project that was not released, part of it was for NEDC,” the minister said.
“The money was not released and now we see it repeated almost 10 times and we also intend to seek clarification from the Treasury Department as to why the increase was not released for the project when the money requested in the previous year was increased. Therefore, We’ll get the details and send them to you.”
Shocked by the minister’s revelations, Abbo said: “This is serious. We can’t keep borrowing money and put this country in debt and have our children come and pay it back without investing in what they’re going to see.”
Senator Yusuf Yusuf, chairman of the committee, moved to call the Finance Minister to explain the N206 billion insertion in the budget.
This is not the first ministry to accuse the finance minister of pumping money into the budget.
On Thursday, the defense minister also told the Senate that Ahmad spent a total of $11 billion in his 2023 budget; the health secretary also accused her of inflating the budget.