Home NEWS 2024 Budget: Senate President Asks Tinubu To Restrict Movement Of Ministers, Others

2024 Budget: Senate President Asks Tinubu To Restrict Movement Of Ministers, Others

President of the Senate, Senator Godwin Akpabio, has called on President Bola Tinubu to restrict the movement of his ministers and other relevant government officials, as the national assembly gets down to look at the 2024 budget estimate which the President presented before the lawmakers today, November 29.
Speaking shortly after the presentation of the budget by President Tinubu before the joint session of the National Assembly, Senator Akpabio stressed the need for any minister invited to promptly appear before the relevant Committees.
“To ensure maximum attention to the review of the Year 2023 Budget performance and the consideration of the Year 2024 Budget Proposal, we request that Mr President would mandate Honorable Ministers and Heads of Agencies to avoid any travelling engagements that would prevent them from honoring our invitation to promptly appear before our committees to defend their budget estimates.”
Akpabio reminded the leadership that their actions today, as they embark on considering the budget, “will shape the future of our nation. “Together, let us work towards a budget that reflects the aspirations and dreams of every Nigerian citizen for a greater country.”
Part of the speech of the Senate President is reproduced hereunder:
The presentation of the budgetary estimates sets the course for our nation’s fiscal policies and priorities for the coming year. It is an opportunity for us to deliberate, scrutinize, and collaborate in order to ensure that the budget aligns with the needs, hopes, and aspirations of our people.
Therefore, the National Assembly bears a great responsibility in the task of reviewing and approving the budget. We fully understand the weight of this responsibility, and the impact our decisions will have on the lives and welfare of the Nigerian people. It is our duty to ensure that the budget reflects the principles of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. Consequently, we will certainly conduct a thorough and meticulous review of the budget estimates.
I would also like to express our gratitude to the President for his tireless efforts in driving economic growth, promoting social welfare, and enhancing the security of our country. His patriotic efforts give us hope, his antecedents comfort us, while his courage to take decisions motivates us.
In our people-focused legislative agenda, we place a strong emphasis on national security, recognizing it as a cornerstone for progress. These challenges demand a united front. We remain steadfast in our determination to work collaboratively with the executive to address and overcome the security challenges confronting our nation. In this National Assembly, the death of any Nigerian equates a loss of a constituent. So when ever we lose anyone to insecurity, it is the sound of the ambulance passing by our window. We believe that insecurity can and must be stopped and it must be stopped by all Nigerians rallying around and supporting Government’s efforts. We also want to seize this opportunity to appreciate our Armed Forces for fighting for us and sometimes paying the supreme sacrifice for us.
We need to acknowledge the specific achievements of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration so far. Those who doubted him, initially, forgot his track record as the Governor of Lagos State, Nigeria’s melting pot. They forgot his various economic reforms that helped attract investments and promoted economic growth; improved the ease of doing business; promoted pro-business policies; and attracted foreign direct investment, not to mention today’s robust internally generated revenue which he grew as the Governor of Lagos from N600 million to N50 billion. Nigerians believe you are the man for the job of fixing our economy.
Already we have seen significant economic reforms. Starting with the courageous removal of the petroleum subsidy which had become an albatross for our nation. He also took steps to unify the multiple foreign exchange markets, signed the 2023 Electricity Bill into an Act, not to mention other good works.
Mr President, Sir, as the removal of the petroleum subsity caused some discomfort in the nation, you responded with compassion and doled out palliatives to assuage the effects on the people. We the elected representatives of the masses of this country took note of the responsiveness your government.
We have also taken note that these bold decisions taken so far by this Government have created some measures of economic discomfort for some Nigerians. We plead for continued support for the Government to actualise the long term benefits of these policies. The pain of today is like the pain of childbirth, when the result (the baby) manifests, we will rejoice and forget the pains. However, we hope these budgetary estimates contain provisions to ameliorate the sufferings that the economic measures has exacted on our fellow citizens whom we represent here.
The Tenth National Assembly is fully aligned with the President’s dreams for our country. Our plans encompass comprehensive legislative actions that will contribute to nation-building, economic growth, and social development. Through strategic reforms, we aim to create an enabling legal environment for sustainable progress and growth.
Mr President, Distinguished Senators and Honorable Members, the two chambers of this Assembly are the two wings upon which not only the executive will soar but our country would rise as well. There is unparrarrel unity between the two chambers. Recently, the House of Representatives set forth its legislative agenda and that of the Senate will be out in due course. Both Chambers believe that we need to encourage the Executive Arm to unbundle some agencies for effectiveness, and merge agencies of Government which job definitions or or roles overlap for greater effectiveness. We deem it necessary for our country to go back to agriculture as a way of stopping the overdependence on crude oil. A monoeconomy is putting all our eggs in one basket. It is a risk we have taken for too long and we cannot continue to tempt providence..
We also believe that education should be prioritized and something done to stop frequent closures. If we do not checkmate the braindrain, the drain will numb our brains. This is why we must open the door of education, because when you open the door of education you close the door of the prison. We also want to plead with the Government to do all within its powers to reduce our high debt profile. We know that Mr President inherited this worrisome burden. But then the mark of a great leader is that he fixes the problems wherever they exist
Mr President, as we embark on this budget presentation, let us reaffirm our commitment to responsible governance, fiscal prudence, and the efficient allocation of resources for the benefit of all Nigerians. Together, with the spirit of unity and collaboration, we can overcome challenges and usher in an era of unprecedented development through reinvigorated revenue generation and fiscal prudence.
We will continue to support the war against corruption and collaborate with anti-graft agencies to ensure that we do not continue to lose money that could be used to develop our people. The Tenth Assembly will always stand with the people, protect their constitutional rights and fight for their welfare. We are glad that you share these sentiments for our people and had codified these in the Renewed Hope Agenda. This Agenda resonates with us as an instrument the people endorsed by voting you into office. Our legislative agenda constellate around it and we believe its faithful implementation would agur well for our nation, and put our country on a new growth trajectory.
Mr. President, we reiterate and assure you of the National Assembly’s readiness to support your administration. Our legislative agenda reflects our dedication to the Nigerian people, and we look forward to achieving remarkable milestones for our great nation under your purposeful leadership. However, from whom much is given, much is expected, and we will try to perform the oversight functions expected of this Assembly and ensure that the tax payers money is used to benefit the taxpayer.
In conclusion, we assure you that the proposals you have come to present will be diligently considered accordingly. We approach this moment with a sense of duty, unity, and purpose.

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