Honorable Abiodun Olasupo represents Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/ Iwajowa federal constituency in Oke-Ogun, Oyo State.
He is the Chairman House of Representative Committee on Legislative Compliance.
Honorable Abiodun belongs to the ruling All Progressive Congress.
These details are necessary since it will throw light to our analysis.
Olasupo has insisted that ‘budget padding’ remains a constitutional responsibility of the legislative arm of government.
According to Olasupo, Sections 80 and 81 the Nigeria constitution, guarantees lawmakers the Powers to alter Budget Proposals.
Olasupo maintained that the budget President Buhari presented did not reflect true federal character, hence the need for ‘padding’.
“According to the Nigerian Constitution, what Honorable Jibrin refer to as padding is tantamount to what the constitution defines as the function of a member of House of Representative.
“This is 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.
“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.
“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.
“If you are elected as a member of National Assembly and you are not ready to do what Jibrin calls padding, then you are a failure.
“The reason is because, the budget that is been brought to the national assembly does not reflect the principle of federal character as guaranteed by the constitution.”
Olasupo added that budgets are supposed to affect all parts of the country and that when Buhari failed to this, they had to pad so as to balance the shortage!
“When the executive are bringing the budget they are not considering my constituency.
“If the budget 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 favor 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.”
So our question is this: if budget padding is a constitutional reponsibility, why is the EFCC probing the “Inserting?”