President Bola Tinubu on Thursday told the leadership of the 10th Senate that the integrity of the National Assembly remains intact in the thick of allegations of budget padding over the last few weeks.

He said his administration will always encourage cooperation between the executive and judiciary for the advancement of the nation.

Tinubu said this when he hosted the leadership of the Senate to a dinner on Thursday to break the Ramadan fast at the State House, Abuja.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, disclosed this in a statement released in the early hours of Friday titled ‘President Tinubu: We will not allow anyone to undermine our security; killers of soldiers in Delta State will face certain justice.’

Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central, PDP) had alleged that the Tinubu-led government is implementing a budget other than the one approved on January 1, 2024.

Ningi, who chaired the Northern Senators’ Forum and Senate Committee on Population, had contended in a BBC Hausa Service interview that a N25tn budget was debated and passed, not the N28.7tn that is currently being implemented.

He maintained that N3.7tn could not be accounted for in the 2024 budget.

However, at plenary on March 12, the Senate suspended Senator Ningi for three months over this claim.

Reacting to the allegations for the first time in public, Tinubu said, “I know the arithmetic of the budget and the numbers that I brought to the National Assembly, and I know what numbers came back.

“I appreciate all of you for the expeditious handling of the budget. Thank you very much.

“Those who are talking about malicious embellishment in the budget; they did not understand the arithmetic and did not refer to the baseline of what I brought. But your integrity is intact.”

Tinubu thanked the lawmakers, adding that Nigerians are at the “turning corner” of the economic challenges.

“The natural challenge we are facing will be over. On the current economic difficulty, we are about turning the corner.

“Our revenue has improved. All we have to do is to control expenditures and manage ourselves better.

“Light is at the end of the tunnel, and Nigerians will soon smile again,” the President affirmed.

Tinubu also thanked members of the National Assembly for the speedy attention given to the Student Loan Amendment Bill, urging more tolerance, forgiveness, and charity during Ramadan.

He said the perpetrators of the killing of soldiers in Delta State will face certain justice, warning that his administration will not tolerate attacks on the military and security infrastructure.

The President also affirmed that the military would continue to enjoy the support of his administration in neutralising security threats across the country.

“Our armed forces are working hard, and we will not allow attackers to undermine the integrity and value of our armed forces and its leadership.

“We will continue to encourage and fight for our sovereignty, our individual rights to exist, and we will succeed in banishing poverty from our land,’’ the President stated.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, thanked the President for hosting the lawmakers, noting that regular interactions would enhance understanding and productive governance.

“We bring you greetings from the 10th senate. We bring you assurances of continuous collaboration because we believe strongly that for us to have two brothers from the National Assembly as President and Vice-President, and even the Chief of Staff as our member, we have no option but to work with you, and to do everything possible for this administration to succeed,’’ said Akpabio.