Home » Presidency Clears Air on 2024 Budget, Denies Northern Bias

Presidency Clears Air on 2024 Budget, Denies Northern Bias

Tinubu's Administration Refutes Allegations of an Inflated and Biased Budget

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe
2024 Nigeria budget

In a statement that has quickly circulated through Nigeria’s political circles, the Presidency has firmly dismissed allegations that President Bola Tinubu is executing a budget that diverges from the one passed by the National Assembly. This clarification comes in response to claims suggesting the 2024 budget was inflated by N1.2 trillion by lawmakers, not by the President himself. Additionally, the Presidency has countered accusations that the budget is biased against the North, describing such insinuations as unfounded and divisive.

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, released a detailed statement titled “The facts about 2024 budget,” addressing the concerns raised by Senator Abdul Ningi of Bauchi Central. Senator Ningi, in an interview with BBC Hausa Service, alleged a discrepancy between the debated budget of N25 trillion and the N28.7 trillion currently being implemented by the Federal Government.

Clarifying the budgetary process, Onanuga explained that President Tinubu initially proposed a N27.5 trillion budget to the National Assembly on November 29, 2023. This proposal included N9.92 trillion for recurrent expenditure, N8.25 trillion for debt service, and N8.7 trillion for capital expenditure. Following parliamentary deliberations, the National Assembly opted to increase the proposed amount by N1.2 trillion, resulting in a final budget of N28.7 trillion which President Tinubu signed into law on January 1, 2024.

Onanuga stressed the President’s commitment to fairness and equity across all regions of Nigeria, noting that the 2024 Appropriation Act reflects this stance through its allocation and prioritization of projects. He emphasized that the North is adequately represented in the budget across various sectors, including security, agriculture, healthcare, education, and vital infrastructure projects aimed at promoting year-round agriculture.

Addressing the divisive rhetoric attributed to Senator Ningi, Onanuga expressed concern over the use of “primordial antics” that threaten national cohesion and unity. He applauded Senators Yemi Adaramodu, Steve Sunday Karimi, Titus Tartenger Zam, and Kaka Sheu for their integrity and efforts to correct the misrepresentation of facts.

The Presidency’s response underscores President Tinubu’s dedication to constitutional democracy and the rule of law, reaffirming that the only 2024 budget being implemented is the one approved by the National Assembly and signed by the President. This includes statutory transfers to various governmental bodies, ensuring transparency and adherence to legal and fiscal responsibilities.

This development highlights the ongoing dialogue and debate surrounding national budgeting processes in Nigeria, reflecting the complexities of governance and the importance of maintaining trust and accountability within the political framework of Africa’s largest economy.

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