The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation took a stance on Friday, insisting that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor and the Comptroller General of Customs must personally appear for the 2024 budget review on Monday reject representatives.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Abubakar Kabir Bichi, underscored the significance of face-to-face interaction, stating, “We can only interact with the governor of the CBN because of the sensitivity of the issues in the budget. So, he needs to come and shed light on issues like inflation, exchange rate, and all that.”
He emphasized the necessity for personal appearances, highlighting, “The Comptroller General of Customs is also to appear in person because we are talking about the budget and how to increase our revenue.”
Various agencies, including the Federal Inland Revenue Service, NPA, NNPC Limited, Ministers of Finance and Petroleum Resources, NUPRC, and the NCC, are summoned to provide insights into revenue generation strategies and budgetary allocations.
Bichi addressed the looming fiscal challenges, expressing concerns about Nigeria’s inflation surge and the imperative need for Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs) to aid in funding the N27 trillion budget.
He stressed, “Revenue-generating agencies must come with money because, without money, there is no magic the President can perform to ensure the realization of the Renewed Hope Budget.”
Highlighting the broader objectives of the engagement, Bichi stated, “The objective of this engagement is, among others, to provide highlights on some key issues about the preparation, enactment, and implementation of the 2024 budget.”
Concerns were raised about addressing infrastructure gaps, poverty eradication, and realizing the eight-point Renewed Hope Agenda. Bichi iterated the importance of tightening revenue streams, emphasizing their profound impact on the government’s ability to execute the 2024 Appropriation Bill effectively.
“While acknowledging the present administration’s revenue efforts, more needs to be done to optimize revenue potential from government-owned enterprises,” Bichi concluded.
The upcoming Monday session promises critical insights into tackling inflation, reducing Nigeria’s debt burden, sectoral budget allocations, and the dynamics of budget releases, all in crafting and executing the 2024 Appropriations Act.