Why we jerked 2024 budget by N1.2trn – NASS

Elizabeth AtimeDecember 30, 20233 min

The representatives explained that inflation and the need for a realistic dollar exchange rate necessitated the increase of N1.2trn in the 2024 budget

Rep Bichi explaining the N1.2trn raise
Rep. Bichi, Chairman, House Appropriation Committee

The National Assembly has passed the 2024 budget with an increase of N1.2trn. The lawmakers, who held a special session to pass the budget, increased the estimate from N27.5 trillion presented by President Bola Tinubu to N28.7trillion.

The Senate also passed the 2024 budget with a similar raise of the estimates.

Explaining the addition, chairman of the House of Represemtatives committee on appropriation, Rep. Abubakar Bichi (APC, Kano), said the high inflation and exchange rate was partly the reason for the increment.

Speaking to journalists immediately after the House passed the budget, Rep. Bichi said: As you know we have inflation and exchange rate for the dollar. The executive had proposed N750 to the US dollar but after we study it carefully, we find that it is unrealistic even at the black market. It is N200 or N100 and even official is like N900 to a dollar so we increased from N750 to N800 . And also we had a meeting with the GOEs and we believed that their submission is not enough so we decided to increase their revenues to N700 billion so that is where we arrived at the N1.2 which we applied for in capital.”

The Kano lawmaker also pointed out that for the first time in the history of passing a budget, the capital is far above the recurrent expenditure.

“For the oil benchmark we did not change anything and for the first in the budget, the capital is higher than the recurrent is the first time actually and this is to show you that Mr President and Nigerians will see massive projects in 2024. Construction of roads was allocated N800 billion for the first time, education, health also received alot of money. Agriculture also got N800 billion. The president said he needs development and production. Also the ministry of water resources received alot of money for construction of dams for irrigation farming so I believe that Nigerians will see alot of changes once the president signs this budget.”

He further explained that the House has put all measures in place for the successful implementation of the budget.

On the issue of implementation, we engaged with the ministry of finance and they assured us that they will be releases and I believe that implementation is critical.”

Also speaking, chairman, House committee on media and public affairs, Rep Akin Rotimi, Jr. (APC, Ekiti) said the lawmakers engaged with citizens in town hall meetings in respect of the budget.

“The last thing I just want to point out is the process in which we arrived at the budget scrutiny. You remember that under the leadership of Abbas Tanjudeen and the chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Abubakar Bitchi, we hell the very first town hall on budget that had stakeholders from different Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and different stakeholders that came to make inputs into the budget system and this the very first signal that the 10th assembly is very serious about inclusion.”

Elizabeth Atime

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