President Bola Tinubu has signed the 2023 N2.17 trillion supplementary budget into law to address the urgent security and economic needs of the nation.
Tinubu assented to the supplementary appropriation bill on Wednesday in his office at the State House.
Top government officials such as George Akume, the secretary to the government of the federation; Godswill Akpabio, Senate president; Tajudeen Abbas, house of representatives speaker; Atiku Bagudu, minister of budget and economic planning, and Zacch Adedeji, chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), witnessed the signing.
Others at the signing were Opeyemi Bamidele, senate leader; and Olamilakan Adeola, the chairman of the senate committee on finance.
On November 2, the national assembly had speedily passed the supplementary budget for the third reading.
The upper legislative chamber passed the supplementary appropriation bill after Solomon Olamilekan, chair of the senate committee on appropriation, presented a report.
During his presentation, Olamilekan said there was a need for the country to take advantage of the coming dry season to implement some projects like road construction, hence the need for the budget to pass speedily.
Prior to this, some line items in the supplementary budget had generated controversy and sparked outrage.
Some of the items include: the request for N4 billion for the renovation of the residential quarters for the president in Abuja; renovation of the residential quarters of the vice-president (Abuja) at N2.5 billion.
Others are the purchase of a presidential yacht at N5 billion; vehicles for the office of first lady at N1.5 billion; SUVs for the Presidential Villa at N2.9 billion; and replacement of operational vehicles for the presidency at N2.9 billion.
However, commenting on the budget after a federal executive council (FEC) meeting on October 30, 2023, Bagudu said the largest chunk of
N2,176,791,286,033 (N605 billion) would go into security, to enhance the capacity of the nation’s defence and the security agencies.
“In negotiation with the Nigeria Labour Congress, the federal government agreed to pay N35,000 each to about 1.5 million employees of the federal government and that amount from September, October, November and December 2023,” Bagudu had said.
He had also said N400 billion of the fund would be used for cash transfers to vulnerable and poor Nigerians for the period October and November.
According to the supplementary budget, the federal government would support agricultural production with N200 billion, while another N300 billion was earmarked for the repairs of bridges including Eko and Third Mainland bridges as well as construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of many roads nationwide before the return of the rainy season.
The supplementary budget also includes the sum of N210 billion for the payment of wages.