FG slams Obi’s comment on 2023 supplementary budget

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The Federal Government has slammed the comment of the Labour Party presidential candidate in the February 25 election, Peter Obi, on the recently signed supplementary budget.

The Federal Government decried the comment of Obi that the supplementary budget was insensitive to the citizens, noting that it is a “bold and pragmatic response” to national pressing issues.

Obi had, on Wednesday, via a post on his X handle, lamented that the supplementary budget failed to capture “urgent items of national welfare,” despite being signed by President Bola Tinubu at a “late” period of the year.

The erstwhile Anambra State governor branded the Federal Government’s act as “uncaring” and “insensitive.”

However, in response to the claim, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has said that the budget signed into law on Wednesday by Tinubu, was a reflection of the administration’s “bold and pragmatic response to the pressing and economic challenges Nigeria currently faces.”

This was made known in a statement issued on Thursday by the minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Rabiu Ibrahim.

Idris urged “the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party to take the time and effort to acquaint himself with the details of the N2.17 trillion 2023 Supplementary Budget, which includes 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 are 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.”

The statement added that the minister urged the “political opposition to be informed and balanced in the exercise of their right to differing opinions and refrain from misrepresentation of facts for political gains.”

He further 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 noted that all items contained in the budget had been “meticulously scrutinised” before its passage into law; a show of Tinubu’s “inclination to accountability and transparency in government expenditure,” to “ensure efficient utilisation of public funds.”