President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has taken a step toward the preparation of the 2024 Federal Government Budget by officially submitting the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) for the years 2024-2026 to the National Assembly to ensure a smooth and efficient budgeting process.
During a plenary on Tuesday, President Tinubu delivered an executive communication to the Senate, expressing his confidence that the National Assembly would expeditiously review and approve the MTEF and FSP. He praised the House of Representatives for its unwavering dedication to fostering cooperation between the Legislative and Executive branches of government.
The 2024-2026 MTEF and FSP were meticulously prepared, taking into account various challenges, including the evolving political landscape and global issues such as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. This conflict has had significant impacts on global food and energy prices, making it necessary to adjust the fiscal strategy. Nigeria is also confronting domestic challenges related to revenue generation and a substantial public debt burden. In addition, like many other economies globally, Nigeria has been grappling with rising inflation, which has particularly affected capital flows into emerging markets.
Notably, the National Assembly recently passed a Supplementary Appropriation Act for 2023, amounting to NGN 819.5 billion, which was subsequently signed by the President. This act addressed critical economic policy decisions of the Federal Government.
However, in light of the current economic conditions, there is an urgent need to provide additional palliative measures, including a Wage Award for public servants and an enhanced Cash Transfer Program aimed at supporting the most vulnerable members of society.
Furthermore, essential defense expenditures are required to ensure peace and security, which are prerequisites for achieving the government’s economic growth agenda.
The country also requires significant investments in critical infrastructure, with a particular emphasis on road construction. These projects must commence during the dry season, which extends from the present time until the end of the year.
In response to these needs, a Supplementary Appropriation Bill for 2023, totaling NGN 2.18 trillion, has been forwarded for the consideration of the National Assembly. This bill is designed to address the various expenditures outlined by the President.
President Tinubu expressed his hope that the National Assembly would promptly and effectively consider this request. He extended his highest consideration to the Speaker and acknowledged the importance of the National Assembly’s role in the nation’s fiscal decision-making process.
The submission of the MTEF, FSP, and the Supplementary Appropriation Bill underscores the government’s commitment to addressing both domestic and international challenges while working towards sustainable economic growth and stability.