Deputy Spokesperson, House of Representatives, Hon. Philip Agbese, has congratulated Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, Chairman of Appropriation Committee, Hon. Abubakar Bichi and the entire Members of the 10th House, for delivering on the promise on the 2024 budget.
The legislators had, during the special plenary on Saturday, passed a record N28.7 trillion as the budget for 2024, with the appropriation increasing by N1.27 trillion — from the N27.5 trillion proposed by President Bola Tinubu.
Out of the N28.7 trillion, the sum of N1, 742, 786, 788,150 was allocated for statutory transfers; recurrent expenditure amounts to N8, 768, 513, 380, 852; capital expenditure stands at N9, 995,143, 298, 028 and debt service was set at N8, 270, 960, 606, 831.
Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Bichi, had, while presenting the report at Saturday’s plenary, explained the rationale behind increasing the estimates of the appropriation Bill, saying revenue-generating agencies and Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) had a meeting with the Committee and have pledged a substantial revenue increase in 2024 to support the budget.
While reacting Saturday night, Hon. Agbese lauded the painstaking efforts of his colleagues, especially the leadership of the House and the Appropriation Committee, at ensuring the 2024 Appropriation Bill was passed as promised.
This sacrifice, Agbese said, “Nigerians will not take this for granted”, adding that, “the 10th House is known for creating discomfort for its Members, in other to make Nigerians comfortable. This is the People’s House and I’m glad the People are better off with the kind of leadership being provided here”.
The deputy Spokesperson recalled how the House adjourned its plenary for three weeks to enable various Committees interfaced with relevant agencies and scrutinized the 2024 budget estimates.
He said, “at a point, we were almost going to spend our Christmas celebrations in the office. We had to suspend the House rules and were coming to the National Assembly on non-working days (weekends) and many times staying back at non-office hours.
“Today that is Saturday and at a time when everyone is out of his station preparing for new year celebration with his family, we came all out for the budget to be passed. I thank God we fulfilled our promise. The 10th House under His Excellency, RT. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas must be commended for this.
“I’m sure too, that the executive would be glad that the legislative arm lived up to its mandate and expectations. We are in alignment with the manifestos contained in the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and with the resolve of all of us to sustain Nigeria on the pedestral of January-December budget circle”.
Hon. Agbese, who represents Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, also hailed the decision of Hon. Bichi-led Appropriation Committee for allocating the differential N1.27 trillion to the capital component rather than recurrent expenditure.
“This is a good decision. This is the first time the capital component of the nation’s budget is bigger than recurrent”, he added.
It would be recalled that, President Tinubu presented a budget of N27.5 trillion to a joint section of the National Assembly on November 29 in Abuja.
The Speaker, RT. Hon. Abbas, had during the budget presentation, said President Tinubu’s government could not afford to fail Nigerians by changing the rots and charting a new course for the masses.
According to the Speaker, it is well-known that millions of citizens are living through difficult times.
“For this reason, they also look to the Tinubu-led government to provide quick and sustainable solutions. The antecedents of the President and your track record in governance inspire a lot of hope in Nigerians, and it is for this reason that we cannot afford to fail Nigerians”, Abbas stated.
Also, during a resumed plenary session of Tuesday, 19th December, 2023; following the resumption of the green chamber after a brief recess to allow committees to scrutinise the budget estimates submitted by the President; Speaker Abbas had assured Nigerians that the 2024 budget would be passed on Saturday, 30th December, 2023.
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