Some senators have kicked against the N264bn added to the 2020 budget by the leadership of the National Assembly.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had proposed a budget of N10.33tn for the 2020 fiscal year but the federal parliament increased it to about N10.6tn.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that some senators were not happy with the increment.
Some of the senators, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, alleged that the leadership of the National Assembly decided to favour some of their loyalists with projects from the added N264bn.
One of the aggrieved senators from the North-Central geopolitical zone said the development was already causing disaffection among the federal lawmakers.
He said, “The cause of the anger by aggrieved senators is not the sharing formula adopted for the N100bn for constituency projects; it is actually the arbitrary allocation of projects to senators who are perceived loyalists of the leadership to the detriment of some of us.
“They can do whatever they like with the sharing of the standing and special committees but definitely not with projects; every part of the country deserves equal treatment.”
Another senator from the South-West said, “It is obvious that the leadership has created a division by their action and some of us will rise up to the occasion.
“Is it not when the so-called padded projects are funded that they will enjoy them? We are prepared to make sure the executive refuse to fund them. “
A look at the budget revealed a curious project inserted in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
A whopping N700m was voted for the installation of all-in-one solar-powered street lights across the eight LGAs of Delta Central Senatorial District.
The LGAs are Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Ethiope East, Ethiope West, Udu, Okpe, Sapele and Uvwie at N100m each.
Also, the sum of N500m was voted as grants to youths and women in the IDP camps in the Borno Central Senatorial District.
Also, an additional N400m was voted for the training and support of civilian JTF in Jere/MMC/KAGA Federal Constituencies of Borno State.
Apart from these, N300m was voted for vocational training and provision of empowerment materials for youths and women in the Lagos Central Senatorial District.
Commenting on the development, the acting Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, in an interview with our correspondent on Sunday, said, “What I know is the N100bn constituency development project funds from where the Senate got N40bn while the House of Representatives got N60bn.
“Apart from that, I don’t know whether other insertions were made to the budget because I am not a member of the Appropriation Committee.”