CNG Buses: Senate cautions Tinubu against extra-budgetary spending

Sharon EboesomiOctober 4, 20233 min

While, commending the CNG initiative, which will ease the sufferings of Nigerians, Senator Jarigbe warned the President against violating the law.

The Senate has urged President Bola Tinubu to immediately present a 2023 Supplementary Budget to the National Assembly in order to kick-start his Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) project.

This comes barely 48 hours after the President announced measures to lessen the impact of the elimination of fuel subsidies on Nigerians.

Chairman of the Committee on Gas, Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, in a statement issued on Tuesday, stressed that the law frowns at extra-budgetary spending.

Jarigbe cautioned against using taxpayers’ funds for additional initiatives in the gas value chain without National Assembly approval.

He also cautioned against more budgetary spending through “Ways and Means,” adding that the legislature was prepared to assist and provide relief for people.

The lawmaker further commended Tinubu for his CNG revolution in vehicle mobility, saying that the endeavor would ameliorate Nigerians’ hardship.

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“The noble initiative would ameliorate the hardship of the citizens. Also, the President needs to come up with a supplementary budget to enable the government to fund the gas value chain, including the provision for CNG infrastructure and CNG vehicles.

“However, the President should refrain from making extra-budgetary expenditures because doing so would violate the law.

“The National Assembly is prepared to back President Tinubu’s ambitious plans under the direction of the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Recall that in his speech commemorating Nigeria’s 63 independence, Tinubu pledged to ensure that the suffering of Nigerians is reduced.

He said, “At my inauguration, I made important promises about how I would govern this great nation. Among those promises, were pledges to reshape and modernise our economy and to secure the lives, liberty, and property of the people.

“I said that bold reforms were necessary to place our nation on the path of prosperity and growth. On that occasion, I announced the end of the fuel subsidy. I am attuned to the hardships that have come. I have a heart that feels and eyes that see. I wish to explain to you why we must endure this trying moment.

“Reforms may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require. We now carry the costs of reaching a future Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few.

“A Nigeria where hunger, poverty, and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever-fading past. There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago. I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.

“We have opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer CNG buses across the nation. These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.

“New CNG conversion kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast-track the usually lengthy procurement process,” he added.

Sharon Eboesomi

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