Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The House of Representatives has commenced debate on the general principle of the 2024 Appropriation Bill.
President Bola Tinubu had on Wednesday presented a N27.5 trillion budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
At plenary on Thursday, lawmakers commended the president for paying special attention to education, healthcare, security, infrastructural development, diversification of the economy and employment generation.
Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, House Leader, Prof. Julius Ihonvbare, said the budget was all about how to make the nation better so that “those coming behind us will not curse us in the grave”.
He commended the president for capturing the current global issues in his budget speech, adding that the problems around the world have a direct impact on Nigerians.
The House Leader added that the 2023 budget draws attention to the Renewed Hope Agenda, pointing the country to where the country was coming from and where it is heading.
He recalled that before the last Assembly passed the Secondary Education Commission bill, which was signed into law, secondary schools in the country were marred by infrastructural decay.
Ihonvbare pointed out that this would now be a thing of the past with the coming into existence of the commission which has been accommodated in the 2024 budget.
In his submission, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi said the budget was the foundation of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Tinubu administration, adding that the work of the parliament would either make or mar the implementation.
He stressed that the president’s presentation was a clear testimony that this was not the time to borrow money to fund personal expenditure and ask the parliament to provide robust oversight, adding that if that is not done, the expectations of Nigerians will not be met.
Contributing, the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Usman Kumo, said the budget points the nation towards stability and a clear indication that the president meant well for the country and was ready to put the country back on track.
He noted that the function of any government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens, which he said has adequately been taken care of in the 2024 budget presentation by the president and asked members to support the budget.
On his part, Hon. Ahmed Jaha said capital allocation and contribution to the development fund of the nation was commendable.
He stressed that as a developing nation, providing a substantial amount of money in the budget shows the seriousness of the government about investing in development projects.
Jaha added that the decision of the president to pay attention to the diversification of the economy was also commendable, saying it was time the country breaks away from its mono-economic nature and invest in other sectors like solid minerals and agriculture.
Also, Hon. Stanley Adedeji said the budget would move the nation forward, adding that members of the parliament have a responsibility to ensure that it is well implemented.