Inflation: Reps jerk up 2024 budget to N28.777trn

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By Aaron Ossai

The National Assembly, yesterday passed Appropriation Bill of N28, 777, 404, 073,861for the 2024 fiscal year. The budget, which was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, after the report of the Appropriation Committees in the two chambers was increased by N1. 2 trillion.

It would be recalled that President Bola Tinubu, in the Apppropration Bill, presented to the joint session of the National Assembly on November 29 proposed a total of N27 5 trillion for the 2024 fiscal year.

The Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abubakar Bichi, while giving a synopsis of the Appropriation Bill, explained that the Committee held a one-way town hall meeting to get the inputs of citizens on the Apppropration Bill.

However, Bichi noted the presentation of the budget by the end of November was not in sync with the extant law which requires the Appropriation Bill to be presented to the parliament three months to the end of a fiscal year.

According to him, the late presentation of the Apppropration Bill put pressure on the committee in processing the 2024 budget.

Bichi, while fielding questions from journalists, explained that the N1. 2 trillion increase was because of inflation,as well as promise by Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) to increase their revenue.

“We have inflation and exchange rate for the dollar, the executive proposed N750 to the dollar, but after we studied carefully, we look at it , it is unrealistic.

“So we increased to N800. And also we had a meeting with the GOEs, we believe that there submissions is not enough. They have agreed to increase their revenue . That is how we are able to get that 1.2 trillion, which we applied to capital.

“This is the first time the capital is bigger than recurrent. We appropriate about N850 billion to education, we gave them a lot of money. I believe this budget is brilliant and Nigerians will see a lot of impacts”, he said.

A breakdown of the Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly indicates that N1, 742,786, 788,150 is for statutory transfers; N8, 270, 960,606,831, debt servicing; N8, 768, 513, 380, 852, recurrent (non debt) expenditure and N 9,995, 143,298,028 as contribution to development fund for capital expenditure.

For statutory transfers, the
National Judicial Council got the sum of N341,625,739,236 Niger-Delta Development Commission N338,924,732,832, 28
Universal Basic Education Commission
N263,043,551,250, 29 ;Senate
N 49,144,916,519 ; House of Representatives, N78,624,487,169. For the Presidency N97,913,321,898, 40 and N82,922,332,768 , 163 recurrent and capital respectively.

Also, the Ministry of Defence got
N1,308,493,771,066, 41 as recurrent and N339,286,557,299 for capital; Ministry of Works got N39,374,777,404, 68 and N892,461,262,656 191 for recurrent and capital expenditure respectively.

Similarly, Ministry of Education got N857,134,132,339, 80 for recurrent and
N417,579,107,875, 203 for capital.