President Bola Tinubu has asked the National Assembly to pass the 2024 budget before 31 December to keep up with the January-December budget cycle.
This was contained in the speech Mr Tinubu delivered on Wednesday at the joint session of the National Assembly where he presented the 2024 Money Bill.
The president earlier presented a budget of N27.5 trillion to the lawmakers.
While asking the legislature to be thorough, the president urged them to conclude the budget with “reasonable dispatch.”
The year ends in about 32 days.
“I am confident that the National Assembly will continue to work closely with us to ensure that deliberations on the 2024 Budget are thorough but also concluded with reasonable dispatch,” Mr Tinubu said, adding that “Our goal is for the Appropriation Act to come into effect on the 1st of January 2024.”
The January-December budget cycle was introduced during the previous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is not certain how the National Assembly will be able to pass the budget within one month though it passed the N2.1 trillion supplementary budget within three days earlier this month.
The Speaker of the House, Abbas Tajudeen, while reacting to the request by the President, said the relevant MDAs should collaborate with the National Assembly for speedy passage of the budget.
“Mr. President, let me, on behalf of my colleagues in the National Assembly, assure you that we will give this bill the utmost priority it deserves.
“While we would give it accelerated consideration, we will diligently scrutinise it alongside Nigerians to ensure that when it is passed, it will be a budget that best addresses the most critical needs of our people.
“We shall thoroughly examine various aspects of the budget proposals, including economic feasibility, allocation and utilisation of funds and sustainability of proposed fiscal policies.
“This is essential for maintaining checks and balances, and ensuring that government spending aligns with national priorities and is conducted transparently and efficiently. Therefore, I urge all stakeholders to approach the deliberations on this budget with a sense of purpose and commitment to national development,” the speaker said.
Mr Tajudeen also emphasised that the House would go ahead with the town hall hearings on the budget.
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