Hammed Shittu in Ilorin.
The Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad, has said that there is legitimate padding of budget.
He explained that when a budget is presented, for instance, by the President to the National Assembly, it is the duty of the legislature to look at the budget proposal, make necessary additions or subtractions of both the items and the amounts
Ahmad, who made the clarification in an interview with journalists in Ilorin on Tuesday, further explained that the changes must be known to the relevant committees and the whole House.
The Speaker said the legitimate padding which involves the House analysing the budget items and the amounts to know their relevance and feasibility, is a normal legislative function.
He noted that insertion of items and amounts into the budget, unknown and not approved by the relevant committees and the House, is illegitimate budget padding, which is corruption and wrong.
Ahmad said, “Budget padding depends on what we mean by budget padding. We have heard of a lot of stories about it and by now, Nigerians should be educated enough about legislative process.
“Nigerians know very little about legislative process. Our belief is that once the President lays the appropriation bill, it should come out the way it is laid.
“So any addition or subtraction is not good. If that is what we mean by padding, then it is wrong.
“There is nothing like padding, because the work of the legislature is to pad the budget and not to report the way it was brought.
“So legitimate padding is part of legislative process and so cannot be an offence. Padding which is known and accepted by the relevant communities and the whole house is not illegal”.
Further details later