President Bola Tinubu will today present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
It is the president’s first full-year budget since he assumed office in May.
President Tinubu, in a letter, on Monday notified the lawmakers of his plan to present the document to them today.
He had, on the last day of October, transmitted the 2023 supplementary budget of N2.17 trillion to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the budget a few days later with little adjustments in some sectoral allocations.
The president signed the budget on 8 November.
Today, Mr Tinubu will present the 2024 budget of N27.50 trillion to the lawmakers in the session to be held in the House chamber by 11 a.m.
The figure was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Monday.
The approval came a few days after the legislature passed the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF-FSP).
Key highlights of the 2024 Framework approved by the lawmakers include total spending of N26 trillion, borrowing plan of N7.8 trillion, exchange rate of N700 to a US dollar, benchmark of oil price for $73 per barrel of crude oil and 1.78 million barrels per day. Special intervention (recurrent) was pegged at N200 billion while special intervention (capital) was marked at N7 billion.
However, FEC amended some of the parameters at its meeting presided over by President Tinubu on Monday.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, said the Council amended the exchange rate from N700 to N750 to a dollar and the crude oil price from $73.96 to $77.96 per barrel.
With the presentation, the Tinubu administration appears set to maintain the January-December budget cycle commenced by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.
10:30 a.m. Tight security around the National Assembly Complex in anticipation of the arrival of President Bola Tinubu for the 2024 budget presentation.
Most of the banks and other businesses in the National Assembly are shut down as access into the complex is restricted.
According to the agenda released by the National Assembly, plenary sessions will commence in the two chambers by 10 a.m.
The sessions end by 10:30 a.m.. Afterwards, the senators will move to the House of Representatives chamber to commence the joint session.
The Joint Session is ststutorily chaired by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio with the speaker of the House as co-chairman.
President will arrive at the House chamber by 11 a.m.
10:34 a.m. The House Leader, Julius Ihonvbere, moved the motion to admit the President Tinubu and the senators into the Chamber for the joint session.
The motion was seconded by Ali Isa.
The motion was adopted unanimously.
Mr President has yet to arrive.
The Speaker announced that the Senators expected into the chamber are 50, therefore, 50 seats are reserved for them.
Speaker Abbas Tajudeen announced that the number of senators expected in the chamber is 50, therefore, 50 seats are reserved for them.
10:52 a.m. The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and other senators arrived in the House of Reps chamber.
His procession entered the chamber at 10:52 a.m.
Mr Akpabio is the chair of the joint session, while the speaker is the co-chair.
11:04 a.m. Mr Akpabio and the Speaker, who is the co-chairman of the joint session, are seated while waiting for the arrival of President Tinubu.
According to the agenda, the president will enter the chamber by 11:00 a.m. However, he is about seven minute late already.
This is the first budget presentation by Mr Tinubu, who is expected to depart to the United Arab Emirates later today for the Climate Change Summit.
Mr President entered the chamber at 11:09 a.m.
11:10 a.m. Mr Tinubu arrived into the chamber alongside the Vice President Kashim Shettima and others.
After Mr Tinubu arrived at the podium of the joint National Assembly, the lawmakers took the national anthem.
Some government officials on the president’s entourage includes the Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila, Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume and the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje.
The presiding officer, Mr Akpabio, directed prayers by Muslim and Christian lawmakers.
Mr Akpabio welcomed President Tinubu and his entourage to the joint session.
In his welcome address, Mr Akpabio assured the president that the National Assembly will maintain a good relationship with the executive arm of government
“We will continue to work hand in hand and eye to eye with the executive as enshrined in the constitution,” he said.
The senate president said the federal lawmakers will ensure a proper scrutiny of the 2024 budget before passage.
Mr Akpabio stated further, “Our boys run the executive, therefore, cooperation is needed.
“Your heart will always point to this Assembly.
“Within 25 years, we have achieved what took the US 180 years to accomplish, which is to have former senators as president and vice president,” he said.
Mr Tinubu served as a senator in the short-live Third Republic, while his vice was in the 9th Assembly.
“We collectively extend the same sentiment to the Vice President, SGF and the speaker who are former members of the National Assembly,” the senate president said.
On the proposed budget, he said, “It is our duty to ensure that the budget ensures transparency and accountability.”.
On national security, Mr Akpabio commended the security agencies in the country on their fight against insecurity. He also commended efforts of Mr Tinubu in ensuring that Nigeria is secured.
Mr Akpabio further said the death of any Nigeria is a loss of a constituent. Therefore, members are affected.
He said the president has been about to restore calm into the country.
On the economy, the senate president said, “We have seen significant reforms, starting with the petroleum subsidy and the unification of multiple exchange rates,” he said on the economy.
He also said the president has released some measures to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
Mr Akpabio said he hopes that the budget has some provisions to address the hardship that Nigerians are going through.
Mr Akpabio assured that the 10th National Assembly will continue to support the administration of President Tinubu
Mr Akpabio said the National Assembly will support the unbundling of some of the federal agencies to ensure effectiveness.
He raised the issues of agriculture, education and tackling the brain drain.
He asked for the reduction of the debt burden the government inherited.
On corruption, Mr Akpabio said the lawmakers would support anti-corruption efforts of the government.
The senate president reaffirmed the commitment of the Assembly to support the government, while equally stating that the legislaturewill thoroughly scrutinize the budget.
He asked the president to mandate the heads of MDAs not to embark on foreign trips during the budget hearings.
“Let us at this point welcome the president, a man of track record and alumni of this great assembly,” he said.
Mr Akpabio invites President Tinubu to present the 2024 budget.
Mr Tinubu begins his address.
“I feel at home, feeling welcome,” Mr Tinubu said
President Tinubu commended the Mrl Akpabio and Speaker Tajudeen, National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje and Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Mr Tinubu described the Minster of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, as ‘landlord’.
President Tinubu commended the National Assembly for the support accorded his administration.
President Tinubu reiterated his commitment to deliver his campaign promises. He said the budget was made for the future of the country.
President Tinubu said the Nigerian economy has witnessed growth since he assumed office, despite the global fall in economy.
President Tinubu said the 2024 Appropriation Bill is christened “Budget of the Renewed Hope”.
He assured that his administration will work closely with development partners to address funding in the education sector.
President Tinubu said he has directed relevant government agencies to work effectively and attract investors at the COP 28 in Dubai to create an enabling environment for sustainable energy growth in the country..
The president said, “This moment is profound and significant to me because this is my first presentation of the budget.
“I commend your swift passage of the 2023 supplementary budget and the MTEF.
“I am confident that the National Assembly will continue to work with us and be thorough.
“Our goal is to ensure that the appropriations comes into effect on 1 January 2024.
“Today, I stand before you to present our budget to address micro-economic stability and reduce deficit”.
He said the budget will provide the fiscal foundation for the country.
Mr Tinubu said, Defence and Internal Security are accorded top priority, adding that internal security will be overhauled.
He said the budget priotises Human capital development with particular attention given to children.
He said a more sustainable funding of tertiary institutions will be implemented, including the student loan.
According to him, “We expect the economy to grow by a minimum of 3.76 per cent above the forecasted world average. Infaltion is expected to moderate to 21.4 per cent in 2024.
He said the conditional cash transfer will be expanded, adding that those on the list would be graduated to productive engagement.
He added that the government is committed to blocking leakages.
He also called on the private sector to partner with the government through PPP model.
The president said his administration will remain committed to ensuring the establishment of social investment programmes .
He said the federal government is currently reviewing the tax system of the country with a view to increase revenue of the country.
President Tinubu said only projects and programmes that align with his campaign promises were included in the 2024 appropriation.
Mr Tinubu said he is confident that the 2024 appropriation will develop the country
Mr Tinubu said the country has not been able to consider the opportunities in the mineral sector.
He asked the lawmakers to be sympathetic to the ordinary citizens who put their trust in them.
Mr Tinubu commended the lawmakers for listening. He, therefore, proceeded to present the budget at 11:06 p.m.
The president is exchanging pleasantries with the federal lawmakers.
President Tinubu exchanged pleasantries with the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abass. He thereaffter took his seat.
Mr Akpabio invited Speaker Tajudeen to give the vote of thanks.
Mr Tajudeen said said millions of Nigerians are living in fear and expectation for hope.
The speaker said he has no doubt that the administration of the President Tinubu will improve the living conditions of Nigerians.
The speaker assured that the National Assembly will ensure that the president deliver on his promises and improve country’s revenue profile
Mr Tajudeen said the National Assembly will collaborate with the masses for passage of the 2024 Appropriation Bill.
He also assured that the National Assembly will continue to support the Tinubu administration in other areas.
Mr Tajudeen urged senators and House of Representatives members to be committed to the budget defence.
Senate President called for national anthem to conclude the presentation of the 2024 budget.
The lawmakers stood up for the national anthem.
President Tinubu is stepping out of the chamber of the House of Representatives after the budget presentation session.
12:55 p.m. Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, moved the motion to adjourn the joint session Sine Die
The motion was seconded by the House Leader, Julius Ihonvbere.
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