10 quick facts about suspended Senator Ningi

Alleged budget padding: Who is Abdul Ningi, the suspended Nigerian Senator?

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Abdul Ningi, the suspended senator, has been a long-serving lawmaker in Nigeria. He has chaired many committees and has been a representative of his people from the transition of Nigeria to democracy 1999. Abdul Ningi is a native of Ningi town, Bauchi state. He was born in Ningi; at age 5, he started working with his father on the farm. 

The senator attended Ningi East Primary School and Government Secondary School Misau. He obtained a B.sc. in Sociology from Ahmadu Bello University in 1983. For his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Ningi served in Kano state. In 1984, he became a social welfare officer with the Bauchi State Government; from there he got promoted to be the secretary of Bauchi Rent Tribunal. In 1986, he ventured into the banking sector and became a banking supervisor at First Bank Nigeria.

Abdul Ningi has served in both the House of Representatives and Senate in his entire political career. He contested for the Bauchi State Assembly in 1996 under the platform of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP); although he won, the Abacha-led government cancelled the election. He emerged as a member of the House of Representatives in 1999 and was in the Green Chamber till 2011. During this period, he served as Chairman, House Subcommittee on Teachers Education (1999 to 2003) and chairman House Committee on Solid Minerals (2002 to 2003). 

Ningi served as the majority leader from 2003 to 2007 whilst being the chair of the House subcommittee on the Nigeria Football Association. He contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to become a member of the Nigerian Senate in the 2011 election and won. He represented Bauchi Central Senatorial District till 2015 and as well, became the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate. Ningi is currently serving his second term as a Senator from 2023 to 2027. 

Recently, problems ensued at the Senate after Ningi granted an interview with BBC Hausa alleging budget padding by the 10th leadership of the Senate. He said the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is operating two different budgets. Ningi asserted that the 2024 budget was padded — according to him, N3 trillion was inserted into the budget without allocation — one was signed by the Presidency and the other by the National Assembly. This triggered reactions in the upper chamber and eventually led to his suspension. 

However, the issue has been reacted to, from different angles. While some are in support of Ningi’s suspension, many people believe there should be a thorough investigation instead of the hastiness in suspending the senator. The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), through a statement released by their National Public Secretary, Prof. Tukur-Baba, condemned the suspension.  They said the process of the suspension was rushed, stating that the focus was on the messenger rather than the message. ACF said this suspension has put many communities at stake. 

The Presidential candidate of the PDP during the last general election, Atiku Abubakar, also rejected the suspension. The former Vice President requested an immediate investigation into the alleged padding of N3.7 trillion into the 2024 budget. Atiku said this allegation is giving a sense of doubt on the integrity of the Appropriation Act of 2024 which is a foundation for Nigeria’s yearly planning and development. He added that this decision by the Senate leaves more questions than answers.


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