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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

House of Representatives calls for review of 2024 budget amid naira’s decline

Lawmakers Express Concern Over Currency Fluctuations, Seek Adjustments to Ensure Fiscal Stability

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Amidst the tumultuous decline of the naira in recent months, the House of Representatives has called for a critical reassessment of the 2024 budget projections, citing concerns over the currency’s diminishing value and its potential ramifications on national finances and the standard of living for Nigerians.

During a plenary session on Thursday, lawmakers converged to deliberate on the urgent matter, adopting a motion titled “Need to evaluate the implications of the current exchange rates on the 2024 national budget implementation to ensure a balanced budget and increase in the standard of living of Nigerians,” as proposed by Kafilat Ogbara, a member of the All Progressives Congress representing Kosofe Federal Constituency, Lagos State.

Ogbara, also the House Committee Chairman on Women Affairs and Social Development, emphasized the alarming fluctuations in the naira-to-dollar exchange rate following the approval of the N28.7 trillion 2024 budget by the National Assembly and subsequent assent by President Bola Tinubu.

Highlighting the intricate relationship between exchange rate volatility and macroeconomic indicators such as inflation, fiscal deficits, and economic growth, Ogbara underscored the need for a comprehensive review to align budgetary allocations with current market realities.

The lawmaker elaborated on the far-reaching impacts of exchange rate fluctuations, elucidating how they influence the prices of imported goods, investment dynamics, interest rates, and inflation, thereby affecting the overall economic landscape.

Expressing apprehension over the widening disparity between projected budgetary allocations and the prevailing foreign exchange rates, the House mandated its committees on National Planning and Economic Development, Appropriation, and Finance to conduct a thorough assessment of the situation. Their responsibilities include evaluating revenue projections, scrutinizing spending plans across sectors, and proposing adjustments to ensure fiscal prudence and budgetary effectiveness.

With a six-week timeline set for the committees to deliver their findings, the House underscores its commitment to fiscal responsibility and economic stability, endeavoring to navigate the challenges posed by currency fluctuations to safeguard the nation’s financial health and the welfare of its citizens.

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