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FG Set Apart N100bn for Consumer Credit In 2024 Appropriation

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Budget padding: It’s NASS’ Right To Examine Executive Proposals – FG

The Federal government has provided the sum of N100 billion for Consumer Credit in the 2024 appropriation Act to support the manufacturing sector.

It also provided additional N50 billion for the Student Loan for the fiscal year.

This is even as it dismissed the claim in some quarters that the 2024 budget appropriation was padded by the authorities.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Atiku Bagudu disclosed this in Abuja, Thursday during an engagement with the Media where he offered clarifications on the implementation of the 2024 Appropriation Act.

He also informed that the Federal government has made another N100 billion provision for Agricultural Development fund to fund the National Agricultural agency. This he said is expected to help farmers that ordinarily will be difficult to fund to have access to government funding.

He said, “We have put N100bn in the budget to consumer credit. To us, it is important because the manufacturing sector is struggling with two challenges, efficiency of production and finding somebody who can buy from them. So, the introduction and support of Consumer Credit, we believe will revive the manufacturing sector. We also want to use the fund as a catalytic fund to grow the sector.

“Secondly, we have another N100 billion provision for Agricultural Development fund to fund the National Agricultural agency created by law. This will help sectors that ordinarily will be difficult to fund.”

The Minister dismissed the claim about the 2024 budget padding, insisted that the preparation and passage of the budget followed due process and was never in any way padded for any pecuniary interest.

He said, “The presidency issued a statement which we are fully in agreement with, about the size of the budget and where the mistake come from Mr. President presented a budget of 27.503trillion and the national Assembly in its wisdom increased the budget to 28.77trillion, an increase of about 1.2trillion.

“When we presented the budget, we presented at an exchange rate of N750 and fifty naira to a dollar but the National Assembly in its wisdom adjusted the exchange rate to N800 to a dollar, that created more revenue, and equally the National Assembly appropriated that government own enterprises that contribute revenue should also contribute more and that was the source of that additional funding with the budget, then the additional money was use to increase the budget of the judiciary, legislator and executive and this is consistent with democracy.

“The president in signing the 2024 appropriation acknowledged that in a democracy,, institutions have their power. The National Assembly has the last word, when it comes to appropriation.

‘We choose democracy because democracy has its own opportunity and know that power is split amongst the institutions and we think that is the best system that we have and following that is to appreciate.

“We read media reports about projects which are beyond what had been submitted by the Executive in the proposal and that is always the case in a democracy that is evolving with a lot of demands. All elected persons particularly people in legislation are elected by constituencies and those constituencies make several demands on them, this is not an unusual phenomenon, they are under pressure and represent us and ensure that part of public spending in a year gets to the constituencies they represent.

“The evolution of constituency and it’s projects by member of National Assembly members did not begin now or in 1999, is a reflection that elected person’s are under pressure that public fund is utilized in advancing the lives of constituencies they represent.

“Equally, in 2024 budget, we have had a number of innovative to pay attention to areas of national lives which are priority to the President, and which quite often did not get attention they deserve.”‘

As part of efforts by the present administration to provide support to low income Nigerians, Bagudu, said 65bn Mortgage development fund has been provided in the 2024 budget, again to de-risk the sector. According to him, this will enable the industry to grow big with low interest loan, and generate funds, as Nigeria needs more houses.

On the plan to cushion effects of subsidy removal, he said more funds has been allocated to the Ii itiative.

“We have CNG clean energy transition fund. Recall when subsidy was removed, to support measures that have been taken, 100bn was allocated for CNG, we now allocated more funds to support that transition, we believe it will lower cost of transportation.

“That fund is designed to help in the transition, so that more Nigerians can use cheaper form.of energy”.

“We also have a youth development fund to support the youth. In the ministry we have N21bn fund for project preparation fund. We believe we should find transformational projects, we have found players in infrastructure space. We felt need to hire transformation advisers, and experts in those projects,” added.

Recall that the Senate on Tuesday explained the that the Trillion allegedly added to the 2024 budget was statutory transfer to first-line charge agencies of government not domiciled in the ministries.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Yemi Adarsmodu explained this, when speaking with newsmen on the suspension of Abdul Ningi (PDP Bauchi Central), who raised the allegations that the 2024 budget was padded.

Also recall that the suspended Senator also claimed in an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Saturday that the 2024 budget was padded with N3 trillion.

In the 2024 appropriation bill, N27,503,404,073,861 only was proposed for the fiscal year, of which =N=1,376,352,359, 690 only is for Statutory Transfers,N=8,490,960,606,831 only is for Debt Service, N9,9 15,640,1 18,974 only is for Recurrent (Non-Debt)

Expenditure while the sum of N7,720,450, 988,366 only is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2024.

But in the 2024 appropriation Act, the Act authorises the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation. The total sum of N28,777,404,073,861 only, of which N1,742,786,788,1 50 only is for Statutory Transfers, N8,270,960,606,831 only is for Debt Service, N8, 768,51 3,380,852

Expenditure, while the sum of N9,995, 1 43,298,028 only is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending 31 December, 2024.

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