Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Government has urged the candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, to refrain from misrepresentation of facts for political gains and be informed and balanced in the exercise of his right to differing opinions.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said this Thursday in a statement signed by his Special Assistant (Media), Rabiu Ibrahim, as a riposte to Obi’s criticism that the supplementary budget was not sensitive.
Obi had, in a post on his X (formerly Twitter) handle on Wednesday, condemned the supplementary budget as uncaring and insensitive for failing to capture urgent items of national welfare, despite being signed by President Bola Tinubu at a “late” period of the year.
But Idris disagreed, saying the 2023 supplementary budget signed into law by the president on Wednesday, was not insensitive, but rather a bold and pragmatic response to the pressing and economic challenges Nigeria currently faces.
He urged Obi to make effort to acquaint himself with the details of the N2.17 trillion 2023 supplementary budget, which include allocations for essential sectors: security, agriculture and food security, works and housing, wage increase for workers, student loan scheme and social safety nets, among others, all aimed at strengthening the country’s economic foundations and improve the living conditions of Nigerians.
“The broad provisions in the supplementary budget is a reflection of President Tinubu’s strong desire and eagerness to support the vital functions of government, address urgent security needs, and fast-track the country’s recovery process from the economic impact occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy,” Idris said.
He explained that the supplementary budget was derived from the active engagement and consultation with relevant stakeholders, who ensured that the budgetary provisions aligned with the needs and expectations of Nigerians.
The minister emphasized that in line with President Tinubu’s inclination to accountability and transparency in government expenditure, all items in the supplementary budget have been meticulously scrutinised to ensure efficient utilisation of public funds.