While the controversy surrounding the alleged padding of the 2016 budget continues, a member of the House of Representatives and Chairman House Committee on Legislative Compliance, Abiodun Olasupo, says they were elected to pad the budget as it is their constitutional responsibility to pad the budget. According to the Nation, Olasupo said this while inspecting some projects within his constituency in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State yesterday August 10th.
“If you look at the Nigeria Constitution, what Honourable AbdulMuminin Jibrin refer to as padding is tantamount to what the constitution defines as the function of a member of House of Representative because the constitution guarantees the three major function of making law, appropriation, and over sight. In appropriation it is either for us to add, subtract or change and what Hon Jibrin has been trying to say is that we are changing, inserting and adding, so if that is what he calls padding then that is what the constitution expects the house of representative to do. In my own opinion been an active member during the budget defence, I was involved in the budgeting system of up to six ministries, I participated in FERMA, NAVY, health institutions, governmental agencies and a whole lot of them. The entire budgeting system make it possible that if you are elected as a member of national assembly and you are not ready to do what Muminin Jibrin calls padding then you are a failure, because basically the budget that is been brought to the national assembly does not reflect the principle of federal character as guaranteed by the constitution” he said
Speaking further, Olasupo said
“When the executive are bringing the budget they are not considering my constituency, so they will bring a budget to me and I am expected to approve it, and if it doesn’t have the interest of my constituency you want me to keep quite, no I won’t, what I will also do is to insert what will favour the people of my constituency which is what Jibrin calls padding. I am not saying somebody is wrong or right but I do not see what is bad in attracting projects to my constituency. For the first time in the history of this country a budget presented by the executive was reduced when a president personally presented the budget to the national assembly personally. It means that we are shifting away from impunity, and corruption that has characterized the government of the past.”