Tinubu signs N28.78trn 2024 appropriation bill into law

President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, signed the N28.78 trillion 2024 appropriation bill into law in line with his commitment to maintain a timeous, predictable, and efficient budget cycle.

Top priorities of the 2024 budget of N28.7 trillion are defense and internal security, job creation, macro-economic stability, improved investment environment, human capital development, poverty reduction, and social security.

Some of the key estimates are capital expenditure, N10 trillion; recurrent expenditure, N8.8 trillion; debt service, N8.2 trillion, and statutory transfers, N1.7 trillion.

With him during the signing were Senate President Goodswill Akpabio; Speaker of the House Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas; the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun; and the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu.

President Tinubu, who assented to the bill at the State House shortly after returning to Abuja from Lagos, assured Nigerians that its implementation would be efficiently pursued and vigorously monitored.

 “All the institutional mechanisms shall be held to account in ensuring diligent implementation.

“All MDA’s have been directed to take responsibility and provide monthly Budget Performance Reports to the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, which in turn shall ensure the veracity of such. The Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy shall hold regular reviews with the Economic Management Team, and, in addition, I shall Chair periodic Economic Coordination Council meetings,” he said.

Tinubu stressed his commitment to enhance investment promotion while creating a rules-based society that favours no individual over the law begins with important reforms in the Nigerian judiciary, the funding for which is captured in the 2024 Appropriation Act.

“Funding the judiciary is a major element in our effort to support a just, rules-based society. Statutory transfer to the Judiciary has been increased from N165 billion to N342 billion,” he said.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the signing of the budget, Akpabio said the president commended the hard work of the National Assembly for the expeditious manner in which the budget was treated.

 “He (President Tinubu) also noted the slight increase in the budget, which was to take care of human capital development, and take care of the needs of Nigerians, particularly the school feeding the security situation in the country and all that and he was happy.

“Yes, the budget moved from N27 trillion to over N28 trillion with verifiable justifications. And we are excited that we are all working in one accord and Nigerians will benefit. So, we have returned the country to the January to December budget cycle first to 31st of December. And myself and the Honourable Speaker we are very excited to sacrifice for national development, that even though today’s a public holiday, we commend President for taking time out to return from his break for the yuletide period to come down and do this all-important national assignment, we are sure that with what we have done Nigerians will be the beneficiaries.”

On monitoring the implementation of the budget, Akpabio said: “To be very honest, we’ve always said that this is a currency National Assembly. So, we have already enjoined all our committees to get to work. And that means the President has also pointed out that it’s good to have a monthly report from the ministers or the MPs and any agency, any head of any agency or any minister found wanting will find his way out of his administration, with that instruction and order directly from the President, ours is to ensure that we make sure that we monitor what goes on to ensure that yes, indeed, it is one thing to do a budget is another thing for the budget to be  fully implemented.

“We are very pleased to undertake this and like I said in my address and my brother, the Honorable speaker can confirm that both chambers had to do a joint sitting collaboratively to even achieve the purpose you are seeing today.

“We had to make sure that audit committees of the House of Representatives and that of the Senate met together to interact during the budget defense to be able to make this history that we have made today in this event.

“We will make sure that if there is need that we also undertake joint monitoring of the implementation of the budget to ensure that yes, nobody can tell us one thing in the green chambers or in the red chambers and do another thing. We will make sure that we monitor very well. He has also assured us that he has passed the marching orders so ours is to make sure that we do our job oversight, oversight, oversight.”

On what next after the budget signing, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, said: “Next is implementation. The N28.8 trillion budget has been signed into law by Mr. President so it’s immediate implementation and it’s a very hopeful budget, one that will really inspire Nigerians and encourage them too really.

Those who are investors come out and invest and even those who rely on the government, such as school children and the education sector, have a lot to benefit.

“But overall, the change in this budget is that it is focused on growing the economy. The capital expenditure is larger than the recurrent expenditure; over N10 trillion is going to be the capital expenditure, while recurrent is just about N8.8 trillion. I think that shows the direction of travel, it shows that we can expect an economy rejuvenated, re-galvanized and set for growth.”

On funding the budget, he said: “The first thing to say is that it’s a lower budget deficit, so it’s a lower financing requirement and in fact, as a percentage of GDP, the budget deficit is down from 6.1% to 3.8%. So, we’re relying less on borrowing and more on revenue and I think you have to take the two together. I think we’re very optimistic about the improvements in revenue that will take place.

“We are all ready, even from tomorrow, applying technology and the digitalization to ensure that the revenue that should come to government from all sources, including from government-owned enterprises, comes into the consolidated revenue fund and on the other side, we are bringing order to government borrowing, so Ways and Means is being eliminated by taking the funding that is required from the market, as opposed to from printing of money by Central Bank.

That, in a nutshell, is what is happening on the financing side. We are very optimistic that not only will this budget be funded adequately, but it will be funded on a timely basis as well.”

Other senior government officials present at the brief ceremony include Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu, and National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu.

On Saturday, the Senate passed the N28.7 trillion 2024 Appropriation Bill, increasing it from the N27.5 trillion presented by President Bola Tinubu with about N1.2 trillion.

The passage of the bill followed the approval of a report of the Senate Committee on Appropriation at plenary on Saturday.

Presenting the report, the committee chairman, Solomon Adeola, said that the Committee adopted the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Paper (MTEF/FSP) approved by the National Assembly in preparing the budget.

He said the committee adopted the $77.96 per barrel oil benchmark 1.78mbpd and 800-dollar exchange rate to naira as against 750 dollars proposed by the executive.

He listed the highlights of the bill to include a total aggregate expenditure of N28.7trillon, statutory transfers of N1.7trillion, recurrent expenditure of N8.7 trillion while the capital expenditure component stood at N9.9 trillion.

He said the committee in processing the bill worked closely with the executive harmoniously.

He said through the close and harmonious appropriation process, the executive forwarded a request for additional funding of some items on expenditure that were not included in the bill as submitted by the President.

He, however, said that the committee observed that the 2024 Appropriation Bill was presented to the National Assembly late.

This, he said, was against the Fiscal Responsibility Act that required the Bill to be presented not later than three months before the next financial year.

Adeola also said there were inconsistencies in the revenue of some Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs).

He also said that there was removal of some agencies’ personnel costs from the Federal Government payroll and inadequate funding in some allocation of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Adeola said to ensure thorough scrutiny of budget proposals, the executives should comply with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

He also urged the executive to ensure compliance with the provisions of relevant extant laws, as it concerns government agencies.

He urged agencies removed from the Federal Government budget to step up their revenue generation, fund itself and remit more to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

He also called for provision of additional funds to some MDAs not appropriately funded.

He urged the executive to sustain the increase in capital component over recurrent to ensure developmental programmes across the country.


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