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2024 Budget: NASS Leadership, Appropriation Chairmen Recommended for National Honours

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For putting in utmost patriotism in the build up to the passage of the 2024 Appropriation Bill; a foremost Civil Society Group in Africa has recommended the leadership of the National Assembly to be honored by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio- Economic Rights (CALSER), in a press statement signed on Sunday by Dr. Michael Adama, the Executive Director, also acknowledged the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Adeola Solomon Olamilekan and his House of Representatives counterpart, Hon. Abubakar Bichi, as those worthy of national honours.

According to CALSER, “this is the first time Nigerians would witness a Legislature that is not only patriotic, but has also decided to place national interest far above their personal interests”.

It said that, “if civil servants do get commendations and promotions when given targets and they deliver, the Lawmakers should also be applauded for delivering on their promises”; adding that, “they could have adjourned during the festive period and gone home to their families, like any other person and nothing would have happened to them”.

The Centre specifically lauded the Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, whom it described as the “Star Boy” of the 2024 Budget..

“The Honourable Speaker, His Excellency, RT. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas (Ph.D) is actually the Star Boy of the 2024 Appropriation Act.

“When the Bill was presented by President Bola Tinubu, we had entertained fears and worries that the House of Representatives, with over 130 standing committees would be the albatross of the process. We had expressed worry over how the House would critically interface with all the agencies they oversight and scrutinize their budget estimates in less than one month and come out clean.

“We remember then that we had to assign our Country Director to personally monitor the progression at the House. But we were shocked at the quality of leadership the Speaker provided. He put the Appropriation Committee on its toes and caused the Chairmen of various committees to burn their candles in the office into late nights, including weekends”, the Centre added.

It stressed the need to cultivate the tradition of a strong reward system which could help strengthen the performance of public office holders and civil servants, saying, giving them national recognition by the President would only make the 2025 Appropriation Bill and other sensitive executive Bills a thing of urgent national interest, “unlike what we were used to in the past”.

It would be recalled that President Tinubu signed the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N28.7tr on Monday, 1st January, 2024.

This was coming barely 48 hours, after the lawmakers, during a special plenary session on Saturday, 30th December, 2023, passed the budget, which was N1.27 trn more than the N27.5 trn proposed by President Tinubu.

Tinubu had presented a budget of N27.5 trillion to a joint section of the National Assembly on November 29 in Abuja. The both Chambers had summarily done justice to the Bill within one month and passed it.

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