Reps in closed-door session over Tinubu’s request to extend 2023 Appropriation Act

The House of Representatives is currently holding a closed-door session to deliberate on President Bola Tinubu’s request to extend the capital component of the 2023 Appropriation Act.

The lower legislative chamber reconvened on Thursday from its Sallah break to consider the President’s request.

At the resumption of plenary, the executive bill was read for the first time and while it was being read for the second time, House leader, Julius Ihonvbere noted that there was no alteration of the contents of the 2023 supplementary budget but “a request for an adjustment of the date to enable the administration to complete the projects that have been started.”

This did not sit well with the minority leader, Kingsley Chinda who argued that the implication of running four different budgets at the same time might be too burdensome for the Federal Government.

He said, “We are aware of the importance of the implementation of capital projects and we know what we know what capital projects can do in the lives of our people.

“But the application for extension of the 2023 Appropriation Act is also coming with the request to extend the life of the 2023 supplementary budget. We are also expecting the 2024 supplementary budget.

“A situation where we may have four budgets running concurrently is a bit of a problem. I will suggest that the House leader (Ihonvbere) step this bill down.

“Meanwhile, the projects that were not completed in the 2023 budgets can be transferred to the 2024 supplementary budget.”

In his contribution, a member of the All Progressives Congress representing Jibia/Kaita Federal Constituency, Sada Soli noted that the 2023 supplementary budget cannot be extended without simultaneously extending the implementation life span of the 2023 Appropriation Act.

Also speaking Alhassan Ado-Doguwa (APC-Kano) agreed with the submission of Chinda, noting that there’s the need to put party differences aside and align with the truth in the interest of Nigerians being represented by the lawmakers.

He noted that though running two or more budgets at the same time might be legally defensible, he reminded his colleagues of the moral dilemma of doing so.

Despite his beautiful submission, Ado-Doguwa pleaded with his colleagues to pass the bill; a demand that was outrightly rejected by the opposition lawmakers.

Before the House dissolved into a closed-door session, Speaker Tajudeen Abbas who presided over the session reminded his colleagues that the 2023 supplementary budget is about security.

“The supplementary budget of 2023 is 90 per cent security-related. Because we couldn’t do everything we wanted to do, the President is asking that an extension be granted. Please, let’s kindly support this,” he pleaded.

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