Presidential jet, minimum wage: NASS to receive N6.6trn supplementary budget

By Esther Agbo

Next week, the two chambers of the National Assembly are expected to receive the 2024 Supplementary Appropriation Bill from the presidency, which includes funding for the presidential jet and proposed minimum wage.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Affairs, Yemi Adaramodu, confirmed this notion, noting that the supplementary budget is projected at around N6.6 trillion, though he said this figure is not official.

“We will receive the supplementary budget next week; N6.6 trillion is a bandit figure, it is not yet official.”

Upon approval, Nigeria will be managing four budgets in the 2024 fiscal year. Recently, the National Assembly extended the implementation period for the capital component of the N21.83 trillion 2023 budget and the N2.17 trillion 2023 supplementary budget to December 31, 2024.

Adaramodu also stated that the supplementary budget would include the national minimum wage. While the Senate has not yet received the minimum wage bill, he emphasised that any proposal from the executive would undergo public hearings involving key stakeholders before a decision is made.

Regarding the speculated N70,000 minimum wage, Adaramodu refrained from confirming or denying it, emphasising the need for caution to avoid controversies stating, “The minimum wage will be captured in the 2024 supplementary budget. Once we receive the bill, whatever the president submits is not necessarily what we will approve. We will hold public hearings involving all critical stakeholders to agree.”

On the proposed presidential jet, Adaramodu mentioned that the Senate would approve it if justified, despite public criticism.

“The request for the presidential jet has not yet come to us. If we can justify it, and we think it’s doable and will not affect budgetary provisions for Nigerians, we will approve it. We won’t let public criticism prevent us from approving something important,” he emphasised.

Adaramodu clarified that Senate President Godswill Akpabio was misunderstood when he said the Senate would approve the jet regardless of public sentiment. He explained that Akpabio meant that the Senate would approve it if necessary.

The proposed budget also includes funding for four projects: the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road, the Sokoto-Badagry Road, and ongoing railway projects requiring federal funding.

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, informed a joint committee of the National Assembly that the budget would be partly funded by the N50 billion Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), currently held by the National Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority (NSWIA) and also a proposed $2.5 billion loan from the World Bank, he however revealed that the World Bank management is scheduled to convene soon to decide on the loan approval.

Bagudu also highlighted that the budget would support the rehabilitation of dams and irrigation schemes to boost production and allocate funds for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects to enhance energy competitiveness.

Bagudu emphasised that the proposed bill would finance the rehabilitation and expansion of dams and irrigation systems to boost economic production. Moreover, the supplementary budget would allocate more resources to support Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects to improve energy competitiveness. The Trans-Sahara Highway will also receive funding from the supplementary budget.

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