By Sabiu Abdullahi
The Nigerian National Assembly is gearing up for a pivotal period as President Bola Tinubu prepares to present the 2024 budget within the next two weeks.
Additionally, the President is set to submit the supplementary budget for 2023 to the National Assembly for consideration, according to Senator Solomon Adeola, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation.
During the inaugural meeting of the committee, Senator Adeola assured that the National Assembly would work diligently to ensure that the 2024 budget is passed before December 31, 2024.
Addressing concerns about the delayed budget presentation, Senator Adeola acknowledged the challenges posed by the change in government, emphasizing that the new administration’s vision and policies needed careful consideration.
“We must acknowledge the change of government on May 29. The new administration has a new vision, and there are bound to be challenges,” Senator Adeola stated.
Despite these challenges, he promised a thorough examination of the budget, emphasizing the committee’s commitment to meeting the expectations of the Nigerian people.
“The Finance Minister and the Minister of Budget and Planning are working tirelessly,” Senator Adeola affirmed.
Senator Adeola also addressed concerns about budget padding, dismissing the notion and emphasizing that projects nominated for the budget document were essential to meeting the needs of the people.
He stressed the importance of efficient implementation, highlighting the committee’s dedication to ensuring that government spending aligns with the priorities of infrastructure development.
In a move signaling a shift in fiscal focus, the National Assembly aims to collaborate closely with key economic stakeholders.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Wale Edun, and the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu, are scheduled to brief the committee on the action plan for the economy and the collaborative efforts between the National Assembly and the executive branch.
Senator Adeola emphasized the assembly’s commitment to directing a significant portion of the budget towards driving essential infrastructure projects.
“We won’t support a government where the majority of the budget is spent on the cost of running the government,” he stated firmly.