A National Assembly Support Group has lauded the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, and the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Abubakar Kabir Bichi, for the passage of the people-oriented 2023 supplementary budget proposed by President Bola Tinubu.
In a statement, the group said that Speaker Abbas and Chairman Bichi’s commitment led to the accelerated hearing, defense, and passage of the N2.176 trillion budget, which was signed into law by President Tinubu on Wednesday.
The group also noted that the House, under Abbas and the Bichi-led Appropriations Committee, showed that it was sensitive to the plights of Nigerians and had the interests of Nigeria at heart.
“Recognizing the urgency of the budget to address the hardships faced by Nigerians and address security and infrastructure needs, the House of Representatives wasted no time in approving the request to make funds available to tackle those challenges,” the group said.
The group also recalled that President Tinubu had sent a letter on Tuesday last week requesting the speedy passage of the supplementary appropriation bill (budget) to enable the federal government to finance additional palliative measures and other projects.
The House of Representatives slated the executive bill (budget) for second reading on the same day, passed it, and referred it to the Committee on Appropriations for further legislative action.
The Appropriations Committee also took immediate action and on Wednesday held budget defense with the Minister of Works, David Umahi; Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari; the Director General Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi; FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike; and all the Service Chiefs, among others.
Bichi and his team worked tirelessly to prepare the report for laying, consideration, and approval on Thursday, when it was given the nod of the parliament. Thereafter, the Committee worked round the clock to harmonize with the Senate and transmit the bill to the President, who eventually signed it on Thursday.
The group also said that in demonstration of genuine concern about real issues disturbing Nigerians, the Appropriations Committee tinkered with the budget by moving funds to the areas in dire need of attention.
“For instance, they increased students loan from the N5 billion proposed by the executive to N10 billion; the Ministry of Defence had about N456 billion but they gave it the largest share because of how important security is. They increased the budget from N456 billion to N546,209,099,671 billion.
“The office of National Security, the initial budget was N29 billion but it was increased to N50 billion. Service wide votes initially was N615 billion but was reduced it to N515 billion,” the group added.
The group commended Speaker Abbas and Chairman Bichi for their leadership and commitment to serving the Nigerian people.