Buhari To Present Budget in October

Buhari To Present Budget in October

Paul Effiong Abuja

The Speaker House of Representatives Hon Femi Gbajabiamila has disclosed that the National Assembly will receive the 2023 Appropriation Bill from President Buhari in the first week of October.

The Speaker made the disclosure during his welcome remarks at the commencement of plenary, yesterday in Abuja

He stated that in anticipation, the Senate and House Committees on Finance have commenced interactive sessions with the ministries, departments and agencies of the government on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF, FSP). 

He further revealed that some concerns have emerged from the interactions, most prominently of which are the issues of the scope of deficit financing to be proposed in the new budget and the decline in crude oil production due to theft and sabotage.

“While the House appreciates that our current fiscal conditions necessitate borrowing to finance budgetary expenditures, we are, nonetheless, concerned about the long-term impact of this burden on the country and our ability to pay what we owe in a responsible and sustainable way. 

“These questions will be central to our consideration of the 2023 Appropriation Bill when presented.  We will also be mindful of the provisions of our laws, especially the Fiscal Responsibility Act, as it relates to the scope of deficit financing of the budget.

“Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government should take note that appropriations for new projects will be influenced by the extent to which existing projects have been funded and their performance in executing these projects as intended.

The Speaker blamed the present revenue shortfall to theft and various acts of economic sabotage.

“We are experiencing a massive decline in the volume of crude oil exports.  Our crude oil export of 972,394 bpd for August is the lowest we have recorded in the last two decades.  At a time when we are already experiencing severe financial constraints, the perpetrators of this brazen heist threaten our ability to serve the Nigerian people and meet the demands of governance and nation-building.  Their actions constitute treason against our country, for which they must be held accountable.

He further stated that there are mechanisms in place to prevent these sorts of bad actors, and the government spends significant amounts of money each year to protect oil and gas resources in the country. 

“Evidently, these existing arrangements do not suffice.  As such, there is an urgent need to review them and make the necessary improvements.  It is also of particular importance that the perpetrators of these crimes against the state are identified, prosecuted and subjected to the stiffest penalties the law allows.

“Those who seek to impoverish our country in this manner have declared war against the Nigerian people.  They are no different from the insurgents and terrorists against whom we are battling in various theatres. 

“The government’s response must be sufficient to convince them of the error of their ways and deter others who might be tempted to join in their treason. I met with the Finance Minister and the DG Budget and made it clear to them that enough of crude oil theft. Nigerians don’t want to hear that again. What do you intend to do about it? He asked 

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