By Mathew Dadiya
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a supplementary budget of N2.17 trillion for 2023.
Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, made the disclosure to State House Correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting, presided over by President Bola Tinubu on Monday at the Councils Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja
The Minister explained that the N2,176,791,286,033 supplementary budget will be used to fund urgent national issues, including a N605 billion for security and national defence to sustain gains of security.
Bagudu stated that others include N200 billion for supply of agricultural production, N300 billion for repairs of bridges including Eko and Third Mainland bridges as well as construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of many roads nationwide before the return of the rainy season.
The supplementary budget also includes the sum of N210 billion for the payment of wage Awards. He said: “In negotiation with the Nigeria Labour Congress, the federal government agreed to pay N35,000 each to about 1.5 million employees of the federal government and that amounts from September, October, November and December 2023.”
He said N400 billion of the fund is set aside for cash transfer to vulnerable and poor Nigerians for the period October and November.
“You may recall that the federal government secured $800 million loan from the World Bank to pay cash transfers of N25,000 to 15 million households. The $800 million is for two months, October and November. The President graciously approved that an additional month should be funded by the federal government and that is what this N100 billion is for”, he said.
Bagudu also disclosed that the sum of N100 billion will go to the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), while N18 billion is set aside for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the November, 2023 governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa states.
The sum of N5.5 billion, he said is set aside for students loans, while another N200 billion is for capital supplementation.
Bagudu revealed that the council granted approval to increase the domestic borrowing ceiling.
He stressed that the executive arm has submitted the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to the National Assembly, and the government is maintaining the January to December budget cycle.
He also stressed that the budgeting process is benefiting from the experience and collaboration between the National Assembly and the executive branch.
The Minister of Work, Dave Umahi, also announced that the Council granted approvals for the first phase of the proposed coastal road from Lagos to Calabar, Cross Rivers State.
He said: “The Ministry of Works presented a memo for approval on the Coaster roads running from Lagos to Port Harcourt to Cross River and then one of the harvest roads to Trans-Sahara route, which is running from Enugu-Abakaliki-Ogoja down to Cameroon is Africa Trans-Sahara, another road under phase 2 also from Badagry to Sokoto.
“So, it was approved to be finance in a model of EPC + F that’s engineering, procurement, construction and then + F – Financing. And so counsel deliberated and approved and then directed the Minister of Finance to expidite action on its own part.”