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2024 Budget Defence: Senate Warns MDAs Against Sabotaging January To December Cycle

The Senate, on Tuesday, cautioned the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) against frustrating the implementation of the January to December budget cycle of the Federal Government.

The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, who gave the caution in Abuja at a one-day retreat on the 2024 Appropriation Bill, said the apex legislative Assembly would not tolerate lackadaisical attitude from government officials in all MDAs in relation to their budget defence.

The retreat, which was organised by the Senate Committee on Appropriations has a theme: “Budget and Budgetary Processes: Delivering Improved Outcome of 2024 Appropriation Bill.”

Akpabio who was represented by Deputy President of the Senate, Barau Jibrin, threatened that the consequences of sabotaging the envisaged passage of the 2024 budget by any top official of any MDAs might not be palatable for the official or agency in the eventual passage of 2024 Appropriation Bill.

He said the 2024 Appropriation Bill was undoubtedly an event of significant national importance, noting that the importance was rooted in the fact that it was another step in the 10th National Assembly’s commitment to ensuring an all-inclusive budget process for the greater national good and achieving the nation’s commitment to January to December budget cycle.

He commended the Chairman and members of the Appropriations Committee, to open up the 2024 budget process for stakeholders’ engagement and feedback through the one-day retreat.

Senator Akpabio said that the stakeholders were in the business of making sacrifices on behalf of the people and committed to brainstorming, researching and proffering various suggestions and solutions on behalf of the Nigerian populace.

He expressed confidence that such continuous partnership and deliberations would add substantial value to the nation’s legislative work of enacting laws for good governance and the interest of our people.

“We understand that the budget is about fiscal targets, resource allocation, public expenditure policy, productivity and efficiency. We also understand that the process is one of passage, mobilisation and execution, as well as, effective monitoring and evaluation,” he said.

A resource person and an economist from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Professor Ayo Teriba, who delivered a short lecture on the identification of processes to guide the desired achievement in the 2024 budget, gave appraisals of the 2023 and 2024 budgets.

He said the attainment and surpassing of the revenue of 2023 as of September was unprecedented and a great achievement for the current administration, saying that it was an indication that the projected N18 trillion expected revenue in the 2024 budget was realistic.

Professor Teriba also advised that tax revenue should not be the main focus of government toward revenue generation but efforts should be tailored to leveraging on non-tax revenue, and asset revenue generation, with specific areas to attract foreign direct investments to increase revenue streams to the nation.

He said every agency needed to develop a workable window for creating opportunities for the inflow of domestic and foreign direct investments for sustainable revenue generation.

“Every MDA should know and understand the processes to reassure investors of risk mitigation. This would result in business deals that would ultimately yield the desired finances for the nation’s budgetary needs” he said.

Professor Teriba also said that there was a need for more improvements in the capital component of the budget improve on its assets, and attract foreign direct investment.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Solomon Adeola, said that the retreat would afford stakeholders the opportunity to contribute meaningfully toward the realisation of the renewed hope budget 2024, saying that the National Assembly was committed to ensuring that there was value for every fund appropriated in 2024 budget.

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