Senate Speedily Passes N2.176trn Supplementary Budget, Cites Dry Season As Reason
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2024 Budget Scales Second Reading Amid Call For Reduction In Borrowing

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The Nigerian Senate on Friday gave the green light to the advancement of the 2024 budget, clearing the second reading as Senators call for for reduction in external borrowing.

Prime Business Africa reported that President Bola Tinubu had earlier presented the budget proposal, amounting to N27.5 trillion, to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The progression of the budget through the Senate followed in-depth discussions and debates amongst senators regarding the foundational principles encapsulated within the budget bill.

Notably, a prevalent concern raised by many lawmakers was the plea for a reduction in borrowing, advocating for an enhanced focus on allocating resources towards bolstering national security and sustaining peace in the volatile Niger-Delta region.

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Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe articulated a specific worry about the budget’s allocation, highlighting that a mere 3 per cent designated to the critical power sector seemed insufficient.

He emphasized the role of stable electricity in generating employment opportunities and optimizing productivity across various sectors, stressing its profound impact on the broader economy.

Additionally, Adams Oshiomhole urged the allocation of funds specifically earmarked for the Benin-Auchi road. His call underscored the strategic importance of this infrastructure in connecting and benefiting all six geopolitical zones within the country.

Following extensive deliberations and considerations of the voiced concerns, the budget garnered approval and was subsequently referred to the Appropriations Committee.

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The responsibility for further scrutiny and refinement now lies with the committee, chaired by Solomon Adeola. The committee is expected to conduct an in-depth assessment and submit a report by December 19.

This timeline allows for additional legislative input and amendments concerning the budgetary allocations and priorities outlined in the proposed 2024 fiscal plan.

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