• Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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2023 supplementary budget prioritises security as defence takes N476bn

President Tinubu’s 2023 supplementary budget proposal emphasises protecting Nigerians and their assets with a significant allocation of N476.543 billion for defence, reflecting a commitment to the country’s security in the face of recent criminal activities.

The proposal also allocates N300 billion to Works, N200 billion to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and N100 billion each to Housing and the Federal Capital Territory Administration. Police commands and allocations are allotted N50 billion.

The supplementary appropriation bill also designates substantial sums for capital supplementation (N210 billion), State House (N28 billion), Department of State Services (N49 billion), Office of the National Security Adviser (N29.7 billion), and Independent National Electoral Commission (N18 billion) for conducting off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo States on November 11. Approval by the National Assembly is required for this proposal to take effect.

In a letter addressed to the House and read by the Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen, Tinubu said, “You will recall that the National Assembly recently passed, and I signed, a Supplementary Appropriation Act 2023 for a total of NGN819,500,000,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Nineteen Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira), which, among other things, made provision for a recent critical economic policy decision of the Federal Government.

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“It has, however, become necessary to make further provision for additional palliative measures, including the wage award for public servants and the enhanced cash transfer programme, which is intended to benefit the most vulnerable members of our society.

“In addition, critical defence expenditures are also urgently required to provide for peace and the security of lives and property, without which the government’s economic growth agenda cannot be achieved.

“Similarly, critical investments are also required to construct much-needed infrastructure, particularly roads, which projects must commence within the dry season period between now and the end of the year.

“Accordingly, another Supplementary Appropriation Bill for 2023 to cater for the expenditures identified above, totaling NGN2,176,791,256,033.00 (two trillion, one hundred and seventy-six billion, seven hundred and ninety-one million, two hundred and fifty-six thousand and thirty-three naira), is hereby forwarded for the consideration of the National Assembly.”

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The supplementary appropriation bill advanced to the second reading during a plenary session on Tuesday, and the House, with the assistance of its Appropriation Committees, is set to provide input in preparation for approval either later this week or early next week.