Following the presentation of the 2024 budget proposal by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Wednesday, the Nigerian Senate on Thursday commenced the debate on the general principles of the proposed N27.5 trillion for the 2024 budget.
In his lead debate on the budget proposal, the Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi (APC, Ekiti Central) said the budget would prioritise electricity, procurement of vaccines, major roads and railway projects.
“We need to pursue non-debt options to finance these projects,” Bamidele said.
Supporting the second reading of the budget, Senator Joel Onowakpa (APC, Delta South) stressed its great importance as it seeks to give a “renewed hope” to the people.
He said, “If you look at the budget, the capital expenditure is N8.7 trillion and I think that with this budget most of the things that have been lacking will be attended to.
The budget is one of the things that we will find useful in working with the President of Nigeria and we will give him the opportunity to give Nigerians a renewed hope.
Out of the oil revenue we intend to get ,we also intend to increase the tax to 18%.This bill should be passed as a matter of urgency.”
In his contribution, Senator Osita Ngwu (PDP, Enugu West) said that the Senate needs to make sure that the oil agency does not decline again.
He added that the there is need to review the PIA because since the implementation of the PIA there have been bigger problems.
Also, Senator Garba Maidoki (PDP, Kebbi South) said, “I’m particularly happy with the capital expenditure but I want to plead that it should be distributed across all the sectors. Also a lot needs to be done on the issue of insecurity, if we could put it in place”.
Senator Eteng Williams (APC, Cross River Central) said, “According to the budget, the daily oil production will be 1.7 million barrels per day which are very encouraging and we know that when we came into government, it was 1.3 million barrels. This budget is a good one and it has given us a renewed hope.”
In his contribution, Senator Binos Yaroe ( PDP, Adamawa South) said that in most cases the supplementary budget was rushed and they were not given enough time to look into the budget, In the 2022 supplementary appropriation act from the time of Muhammadu Buhari
“I call on everyone of us that when we are scrutinizing this budget, let us ensure that fairness and equity prevails”.
Senator Ekong Samson (PDP, Akwa-Ibom South) stated that, “I have seen attention in respect of security and it is very key because we cannot get anywhere if our space is not secure.
A budget should also create access to opportunity. There is a critical issue of implementation. I want to ask that we ensure the budget is implemented. The people of Akwa-Ibom South have very high hope in the budget.”
Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan (PDP, Kogi Central) said that the educational system in Kogi Central is poor, some students are usually seated on the floor,
80% of the public schools there are in dilapidated situations and needs improvement.
Senator Oyewunmi Olalere (PDP, Osun West) “A lot needs to be done by the National Assembly to ensure that various committees should take responsibility for the end of the year monitoring.
“A lot of projects from last year have been abandoned we appeal that the 2024 budget should capture it and all other necessary aspects should be captured.
“In my senatorial district, a major road there is bad, I want to call on the Senate to add it, My people have been calling from my senatorial district to confirm if it is part of the budget.”
Following these robust debates on the floor of the Red Chamber, the President of the Senate adjourned the sitting till tomorrow, Friday, 1st December, 2023 for more debates and contributions.