The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has said the statement credited to Senator Abdul Ningi in the media has damaged the integrity of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The representative of Bauchi Central Senatorial District said the National Assembly passed two budgets for 2024.

In an interview with BBC Hausa, Ningi said the National Assembly passed a budget of N25 trillion for 2024, which is in contrast to the N28.7 trillion being implemented by the Federal Government.

Speaking at the plenary on Tuesday, Akpabio said the upper chamber has been subjected to ridicule as Nigerians are bashing the parliament.

He further faulted Senator Ningi’s earlier interview with BBC Hausa and for also granting a follow-up interview where he purportedly justified his initial claim of budget padding.

He said: “Nigerians are bashing the Senate,Many Nigerians will never in future come back to respect this chamber. The integrity of this chamber has been totally damaged and we wanted you to repair it with your speech.

Instead of that, you said you have more documents to prove what you are saying, this thing is in the public glare.

I have not received full details up to this moment, if you had given me full details, I would have been able to know what you know.

So far, what you know is only known to you. It is not known to any other person. I don’t know how you rushed to the press carrying different versions.

The social media is very fast. From Canada, the United States, everywhere, the story was budget padding by the Senate. “I can quote a section of the Premium Times that said: ‘This is the highest level of budget padding in Nigeria’s history where the budget passed was a budget of N25 trillion, but what we collected was N28 trillion.”