Saturday, February 24, 2024

Supplementary Appropriation Bill Passes 2nd Reading

The House of Representatives has passed through second reading for the 2023 fiscal year supplementary appropriation bill of N2.18 trillion.

The passage followed the debate on the general principle of a bill (budget) at plenary on Tuesday, shortly after receiving a communication from the President, Bola Tinubu.

President Tinubu, in a letter read on the floor of the House by Speaker Abbas Tajudeen, requested the speedy passage of the supplementary budget to enable the federal government to finance welfare packages such as wages and conditional cash transfers agreed with the organised labour.

Consequently, the executive bill was slated for second reading in a supplementary order paper, and after the debate and passage, it was referred to the Committee on Appropriations for further legislative action.

Out of the total of N2.18 trillion, N18 billion is for statutory transfers, N992.802 billion is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, and the sum of N1.165 trillion, one hundred and sixty-five billion, is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure.

The proposed legislation read: “Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N2,176,791,286,033 (two trillion, one hundred and seventy-six billion, seven hundred and ninety-one million, two hundred and eighty-six thousand, thirty-three naira) only, of which N18,0000,000,000 (eighteen billion naira) only is for Statutory Transfers, N992,802,015,985 (nine hundred and ninety-two billion, eight hundred and two million, fifteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty-five naira) only is for Recurrent (non-debt) expenditure.

“While the sum of N1,165,989,270,049 (one trillion, one hundred and sixty-five billion, nine hundred and eighty-nine million, two hundred and seventy thousand, forty-nine naira) only is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on December 31, 2023.”

Meanwhile, Tinubu, in another letter read by Speaker Abbas, requested the House to consider the Medium Term Expenditure Framework & Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), 2024–2026.

He said with the submission of the MTEF/FSP, 2024-2026, the preparation of the 2024 budget was in advanced stage.

While contributing to the debate, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, said that President Tinubu’s administration is proactive.

“Your Excellency, how you know a proactive government is when such government has policies that are as dynamic as the changing times and tide in the nation. If you may recall, not too long ago, government took some serious critical economic policy. That policy created gaps but the government didn’t close their ears to the yearning, the tears of the citizens. What they did was to run to the parliament for supplementary budget of about N819 billion to cushion the effects. That was excellent,” Hon. Kalu said.

On his part, the Majority Leader, Julius Ihonbvere said that the proposed supplementary budget will provide funds for additional palliative measures.

“This is worthy of our support especially when you consider that the civil servants have been considered. The President, the executives they are working their talk. Recently, they increased the wages for the civil servants. Now, they are making budgets to be able to put their mouth where it matters most and put their pockets where it matters most. I’m standing to ask that this House considers the passion, desire, the intention of the executive in providing this supplementary budget especially when it comes to housing. The idea and intention of the federal government is to make sure we have 2000 housing unit in all the six geopolitical zones. This is a budget for all of us, for Nigeria. I urge you to support it with everything you hold dear”. Ihonbvere said.

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