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Paper review: Shocking details emerge in budget 2016 as PMB plots Ekweremadu’s removal

Poster: STANCOBRIDGE | Date: 7:06am, 27th Jul 2016. | Views: 227 | 1 Replies
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STANCOBRIDGE. Jalingo, Taraba
7:06am, 27th Jul 2016.


Budget 2016 scam deepens as
PMB plots Ekweremadu's exit
The Newspaper headlines for today, July 27,
have focused on budget 2016 padding
scandal rocking the House of
Representatives.
According to a report on The Nation, the
scandal deepened yesterday, July 26, with
the leadership asking the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to
probe the sacked Appropriation Committee
chairman Abdulmumin Jibrin.
The lawmakers said the probe should start
from when he was chairman of the Finance
Committee in the Seventh Assembly.
But, Jibrin dismissed his colleagues’ plan,
urging Speaker Yakubu Dogara to clear
himself of the allegations of budget padding.
Last week, Jibrin accused Dogara, Deputy
Speaker Yusuff Lasun, Chief Whip Ado
Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor of
asking him to allocate to them N40 billion of
the N100 billion allocation for members’
constituency projects.
Still on the budget padding scandal,
Vanguard has obtained documents to show
that the legislators padded the 2016 budget
to the tune of N481 billion.
The documents also showed that apart from
padding the budget with the huge sum,
forcing the presidency to raise alarm over it,
NASS also individually jerked the votes meant
for constituency projects from N60 billion to
N100 billion.
Representatives Committee on Appropriation,
Abdul Jibrin, who was fired last week, had
said the Speaker allowed 10 committee
chairmen to insert projects worth N284
billion and washed his hands off the illegal
action. The House leadership, however, said
Jubrin was fired for fixing the budget, a
development he vehemently denied.
The major headline on The Sun newspaper
has also focused on the budget padding. The
media outfit is reporting that fresh
controversy over the 2016 budget assumed a
worrisome dimension, yesterday, July 26.
This comes on the heels of a text message,
purportedly circulated to chairmen and
deputies of the 96 standing committees’ of
the House of Representatives, which was
leaked.
In the said text message, Abdulmunin begged
his colleagues to defend the adjustment and
additional inputs added to the budget.
Moving away from the 2016 budget scandal,
The Punch reports that state governors
elected on the platform of the All
Progressives Congress have resolved to do
all within their powers to ensure that Senator
Ike Ekweremadu is removed as the deputy
president of the Senate.
This was the agreement of the two-hour
meeting the governors had with President
Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa,
Abuja, on Tuesday.


The Chairman of the Progressives Governors
Forum and Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo
state had initially told state House
correspondents at the end of the meeting
that the governors had decided to intervene
in the crisis in the National Assembly, without
giving details of their intervention.
It was also gathered that Buhari at the
meeting approved the release of N2bn each
to all APC states.
Another source, who attended the meeting,
said the decision was based on what
happened during the administration of former
President Goodluck Jonathan.
The source claimed that Jonathan had,
before leaving office, released N2bn each to
the PDP states at the time from the
Ecological Fund.
He was alleged to have exempted APC states
and PDP states, whose governors were at
loggerheads with him, from the gesture.
Moving away from the plot to remove
Ekweremadu, the commissioning of the first
phase of the Abuja-Kaduna Standard Rail
Gauge for services is one of the lead stories
on The Guardian.
President Muhammadu Buhari promised to
boost the rail transportation in the country.
Towards this end, his administration would
pursue a 25-Year Strategic Railway Master
Plan which is aimed at rehabilitating the
existing 3,505km narrow gauge rail lines, and
developing as well as constructing new
standard gauge rail lines across the country.
READ ALSO: How NASS padded 2016 budget
Though conceptualised by the administration
of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006, the
actual execution of the project started in
2009 under the administration of Dr.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2009.
In other news, Complete Sports reports that
Chelsea FC midfielder Mikel Obi has been
named captain of Team Nigeria to 2016 Rio
Olympic Games.
The 29-year-old Super Eagles captain who is
set for his first appearance at the games will
be assisted by table tennis icon Funke
Oshonaike.
It remains to be seen U-23s skipper,
Azubuike Okechukwu, will keep his armband
as captain of the football team.
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