The Senate has denied allegations by President Muhammadu Buhari that it inflated debt figures to be repaid to some selected states by the Federal Government.
Backstory: In a letter to senators, Buhari claimed that the National Assembly approved N90 billion, as opposed to the N78 billion that had been previously approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), for repayment to Delta and Taraba states.
Reacting to the letter which was read out during Wednesday’s plenary session by Senator Bukola Saraki, the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that at no point in time did the Senate tamper with the figures in the promissory notes sent to it from the executive.
- He said the president must have been “misinformed and misadvised by his aides while writing the letter” to the National Assembly.
- “The Senate would like to clarify that the breakdown which the Executive, through the Ministry of Finance, submitted to the National Assembly showed that the outstanding liability due to Taraba State is N22,254,062,330.08, while that of Delta is N67,982,398,701.28 with the total for the two states at N90,236,461,031.36.
- “Therefore, the National Assembly approved the figures submitted to it by the Ministry of Finance as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government. At no time did the Executive forward the figure of N78,601,631,430.16 to us and we do not know where the President got that figure from.”