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National Assembly vows swift action on 2024 budget despite presentation delay

Lawmakers pledge commitment to January-December budget cycle as President Tinubu faces time constraints

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Despite President Bola Tinubu’s delay in presenting the 2024 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly, federal lawmakers have assured the public of their commitment to expedite the legislative process, ensuring the budget meets the December 31 deadline. The National Assembly reiterated its dedication to maintaining the January to December budget implementation cycle.

The ninth Assembly, in 2019, adjusted the budget cycle from May-June to January-December with the aim of streamlining the budgetary process. Nigerians, however, expressed concerns about potential delays due to Tinubu’s postponement of presenting the 2024 budget.

Sources within the Presidency had indicated that the President was scheduled to present the 2024 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly on November 20, 2023. The presentation aimed to uphold the January–December budget cycle.

Minister of Budget and National Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, had earlier disclosed that the Federal Government had proposed a budget of N26tn for the fiscal year 2024. Bagudu emphasized the president’s commitment to submitting the budget to the National Assembly before the December 31 deadline.

Senate spokesperson Yemi Adaramodu assured the public that the National Assembly would promptly handle the budget upon its submission. He stated, “The National Assembly will treat the budget as soon as it comes. I know the President will present the budget in November, and the job of the lawmakers starts the following day after the presentation.”

Adaramodu outlined the swift legislative process, stating, “The budget will be passed in December. In two weeks, we would have to interact with and have the ministries, departments, and agencies defend their budget.”

Addressing concerns about the delay caused by the 2024–2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, Adaramodu clarified that its presentation was not impeding the budget submission. He explained, “The MTEF will be presented at the plenary next week Tuesday; it is a document in preparation for the budget, but it doesn’t in any way delay the budget.”

Senator Solomon Adeola, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, echoed the commitment to the January-December budget cycle, ensuring a thorough job despite the submission’s timing.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives expressed readiness to promptly address the 2024–2025 Appropriation Bill once it was received from President Tinubu. Akin Rotimi, the House’s spokesman, affirmed their preparedness to work on the budget in the best interest of Nigeria and its citizens.

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