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2024 Appropriation Bill scales second reading at House of Reps

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The House of Representatives on Thursday began debate on the general principles of the 2024 budget proposal of N27.5 trillion at its second reading.

Titled, “Renewed Hope Agenda” budget, presented by President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday scaled second reading at plenary session.

Leading the debate, Mr Julius Ihonvbere, the Leader of the House, said with Security allocated 12.2 percent (N3.25trn) and Education getting a significant chunk of the budget, he is hopeful that security will be enhanced if the budget is implemented.

He said the budget focused on the need to encourage private investment, tackle insecurity and promote agriculture which will in turn will expand the economic space and create jobs for youths.

“Special attention is given to Education, which particularly made me very happy. As a teacher, I am impressed by the emphasis on basic education. I am sure that education will be better off this time,” he said.

On insecurity, Ihonvbere, noted that security taking 12 percent of the budget is not an accident, saying “we need to overhaul the security architecture, once security is properly tackled in this country among other things there will be an increase in the production of goods and services.”

Mr Francis Ejiro, while contributing to the debate on the appropriation bill during plenary session, said the benchmarks put in place for the budget by the President are realistic and attainable.

“Looking at the price of crude oil that is fixed at $77.96 per barrel, judging by what has happened during the year this value is attainable, we can even get to point where we can overshoot this value.

“With the production of crude oil estimated at 1.78 million barrels per day it is very realistic, looking at the measures taken to curb oil theft, Nigeria can achieve 1.7mb/d.”

Persecond News report that Defence and Security sector was allocated (N3.25 trillion or 12 percent of the budget expenditure while Education sector received N2.18 trillion or 7.9 percent of the budget, Health sector got N1.33 trillion or 5 percent of the budget. Infrastructure was allocated N1.32 trillion or 5 percent while Social Development and Poverty got N534 billion or 2 percent of the budget.

Speaking at the public presentation of the breakdown of the budget in Abuja, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Bagudu disclosed that the 2024 Federal Government revenue is projected at N18.32 trillion, a 66 percent rise when compared to the 2023 budget.

According to him, “The FGN’s 2024 aggregate expenditure is estimated at N27.50 trillion. This is 10.8% (or about N2.68 trillion) higher than the 2023 FGN aggregate expenditure estimate of N24.82 trillion (including the N2.996 billion supplementary provision)

“The 2024 expenditure estimate includes statutory transfers of N1.30 trillion and non-debt recurrent expenditure of N10.26 trillion. The provisions of N8.25 trillion and N243 billion have been made for Debt Service and Sinking Fund to retire maturing bonds issued to local contractors/creditors, respectively.

“A total of N6.48 trillion (inclusive of N1.02 trillion for Government Owned Enterprises) is provided for personnel and pension costs, an increase of N576.16 billion or 9.8% over the 2023 provision. This is 35.4% of the projected aggregate revenues for 2024.

“The aggregate amount available for capital expenditures in the 2024 budget is N8.70 trillion, higher than the 2023 provision of N8.43 trillion”, he stated.

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