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NASS okays FG’s request to extend 2023 budget implementation

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NASS okays FG’s request to extend 2023 budget implementation

The National Assembly recently gave their approval to President Bola Tinubu’s proposal to extend the capital component of the 2023 budget and the Supplementary Appropriation Act.

This extension was requested by the President and has been granted from June to December.

Both the senate and house of representatives passed the bills after thorough consideration of their clauses at the committee on supply.

However, the process was not without its challenges, as a rowdy session ensued at the house of representatives before the passage.

During the session, a letter from the President was read by the house speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, urging the green chamber to prolong the implementation of the capital components of the 2023 budget and Supplementary Appropriation Act from June 30 to December 31.

Following the reading of the letter, some lawmakers opposed initiating a debate on the President’s request. However, the majority leader of the house, Julius Ihonvbere, argued for the debate, emphasising that the proposed amendment does not change the essence of the bill but simply adjusts the timeline.

On the other hand, the minority leader of the house, Kingsley Chinda, raised concerns about the concurrent running of the two budgets.

READ ALSO: FG awaits $2.5bn from World Bank to fund 2024 supplementary budget

He highlighted the criticism faced by the previous administration for lacking a coherent budgetary cycle and expressed worries that the current administration might be at risk of repeating the same mistake.

The ranking legislator demanded that the bill be stepped down to enable the government to “go back to the drawing board”.

An All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker from Katsina, Sada Soli, opposed Chinda, saying the PDP lawmaker was “playing to the gallery”.

He said, “I admire the PDP for playing to the gallery. You cannot extend the supplementary budget without the main budget.”

His comment prompted vocal protests from the lawmakers.

Reacting, a ranking APC member, Ado Doguwa, said: “I agree with the submission made by the minority of the house.

“Even though it is legal, it is unprecedented. That moral question will always be raised.”

He, however, appealed to his colleagues to support the bill, saying the president would understand the body language of the lawmakers.

Following the bickering, the lawmakers moved into an executive session.

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