Assembly polarized over Tinubu’s request to extend 2023 budget, Supplementary Act

The House of Representatives was on Thursday polarized over request of President Bola Tinubu to extend the 2023 capital component of the 2023 Appropriation Act and the Supplementary Appropriation Act until December 31 to allow for a full implementation of the law.

Penpushing reports that the opposition to Tinubu’s request forced the lawmakers into an executive session amid loud booing from members of the opposition parties, after the Speaker Rt Hon Abbas Tajudeen became unable to restore order to the chamber.

The President it is recalled inherited the N21.8 trillion budget from his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, however, the capital component of the budget suffered during the transition period, as many of the projects in the 2023 budget were not funded while the new administration settled in.

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Penpushing further reports that in similar vein, Tinubu inherited the N819 billion 2022 Supplementary Budget from the last administration, while in July 2023, he sent an amendment to the National Assembly to amend the N819 billion budget.

The amendment included a N70 billion package for the National Assembly and N500 billion for palliatives and other capital expenditures to cushion the effect of the recent fuel subsidy removal policy, and in October 2023, the President sent a N2.17 trillion 2023 supplementary budget to the National Assembly for approval.

Penpushing also reports that the President, pointed out that the majority of the items in the budget were for tackling insecurity, but a review of the budget showed some frivolous items, while for instance, there was N28 billion for the purchase of luxury cars for the President and the first lady and the renovation of the president’s residence, among other allocations for the State House.

There was also the controversial N5 billion for the presidential yacht, while a large portion of the N2.17 trillion was allocated to the security sector, and in previous amendments the Acts were first extended on December 31, 2023 for a period of three months.

Penpushing reports that their lifespans were extended to March 30,2024, and the extensions were a sequel to a request by the President through a letter to the two chambers of the National Assembly, however, shortly before the expiry date, Tinubu made another request for the extension of the two budgets until June 30, 2024, and the lawmakers speedily approved the request, as the bills went through the three stages of bill passage on the same day.

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