A National Assembly Support Group has lauded Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, and Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Abubakar Kabir Bichi, for the passage of what it called the people-oriented 2023 supplementary budget proposals by President Bola Tinubu.
The group, in a statement, said the commitment of Speaker Abbas and Chairman Bichi led to accelerated hearing, defence and passage of the N2.176 trillion budget signed into law by President Tinubu on Wednesday.
According to the statement signed by the group’s conveners, Umeh Faith and Fidelis Sunday, the swift action of the House under Abbas and the Bichi-led Appropriations Committee showed they were sensitive to the plights of Nigerians and interest of the Nigeria at heart.
“Having recognised the urgency of the budget to address hardship being faced by Nigerians and addressing security as well as infrastructure needs of the people, the Green Chamber wasted no time to approve the request to make funds available to tackle those challenges.
“Recall that President Tinubu had sent a letter on Tuesday last week
requesting for the speedy passage of the supplementary appropriation bill (budget) to enable the federal government finance additional palliative measures and other projects.
“The House of Nigerian people concerned with the current socioeconomic situation on the same day slated the executive bill (budget) for second reading and it was passed and referred to the Committee on Appropriations for further legislative action.
“The Appropriations Committee too took immediate action and on Wednesday held budget defence with the Minister of Works, Engr David Umahi; Minister of Defence, Hon. Abubakar Badaru; Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari; the Director General Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi; FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike and all the Service Chiefs, among others.
“Bichi and his team had sleepless night to make the tedious report ready for laying, consideration and approval on Thursday when it was given the nod of the parliament. Thereafter, the Committee worked round the clock to harmonise with Senate and transmit the bill to the President who eventually signed it on Thursday,” they said.
The group further said that in demonstration of genuine concern about real issues disturbing Nigerians, the Appropriations Committee tinkered with the budget by moving funds to the areas in dire need of attention.
“For instance, they increased students loan from the N5 billion proposed by the executive to N10 billion; Ministry of Defence had about N456 billion but they gave it the largest share because of how important security is. They increased thee budget from N456 billion to N546, 209,099,671 billion.
“The office of National Security, the initial budget was N29 billion but it was increased to N50 billion. Service wide votes initially was N615 billion but was reduced it to N515 billion,” they added.