President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has given his approval to the 2023 supplementary appropriation bill, which totals a substantial N2,176,791,286,033. This bill, passed by the National Assembly, has caused some controversy due to its provisions for a presidential yacht and over N6 billion allocated for vehicles for the State House.
The signing ceremony took place in the prestigious Presidential Villa in Abuja during a brief event on a Wednesday. In attendance were prominent figures, including Senate President Godswill Akpabio, House of Representatives Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, Senate Leader Sen Opeyemi Bamidele, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance Sen Olamilekan Adeola, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation Abubakar Kabir Abubakar, Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Atiku Bagudu, and Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services Zachs Adedeji.
Minister Bagudu, who played a significant role in this process, disclosed that the supplementary budget was designed to address critical and urgent matters. An impressive N605 billion has been allocated for national defense and security, ensuring that the progress in security improvements is sustained. Furthermore, N300 billion has been set aside for bridge repairs, including the vital Eko and Third Mainland bridges, as well as road construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance. This will be completed before the onset of the rainy season to ensure safe and efficient travel.
In a bid to support agricultural expansion, the budget allocates a substantial N200 billion. This funding will be directed towards providing seeds, agricultural inputs, supplies, agricultural implements, and infrastructure, all of which are essential for boosting production. Additionally, N210 billion has been earmarked to cover six months’ provisional wage awards for federal government employees. This commitment follows the agreement reached with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), ensuring that approximately 1.5 million employees will receive a monthly payment of N35,000.
Cash transfer payments are also a significant part of the supplementary budget, with N400 billion dedicated to this purpose. The reason for this allocation is a $800 million loan secured from the World Bank, which will be used to provide cash transfers of N25,000 to 15 million households for two months, covering October and November. The federal government has gone a step further by allocating an additional N100 billion to fund a third month of cash transfers, demonstrating a commitment to supporting vulnerable households.
In a move to enhance the infrastructure of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), N100 billion has been designated for urgent capital expenditure projects. These projects will contribute to the overall development of the city and improve the lives of its residents. Furthermore, N18 billion has been allocated to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to facilitate the smooth conduct of elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states. These elections are a vital part of the democratic process and ensuring they are well-supported is crucial.
The takeover of the student loans board will be financed with N5.5 billion, demonstrating a commitment to education and supporting students. Additionally, N8 billion has been allocated for the startup grant of new ministries, emphasizing the government’s focus on expanding its services and areas of responsibility.
To address various urgent requests from different parts of the country, an additional N200 billion has been included in the budget as capital supplementation. This responsive approach aims to support regions across the country and address their unique needs.
In conclusion, this comprehensive supplementary budget reflects the government’s commitment to addressing pressing issues across various sectors, from security to infrastructure, agriculture, and social welfare. It demonstrates a proactive approach to improving the lives of Nigerian citizens and fostering national development.