NASS passes N2.17trn 2023 supplementary budget

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  • To probe revenue shortfall in solid minerals, review BPE privatization

BY FESTUS OKOROMADU,  ABUJA

The Senate and the House of Representatives, on Thursday, passed the N2.17 trillion 2023 supplementary appropriation bill after a third reading.

Before the passage of the bill, the Senate adopted the report of the harmonized sittings of both the Red and Green chambers on the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bill as submitted by the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Ogun West).

The bill expeditiously scaled readings in both upper and lower chambers as lawmakers said it was for the benefit of the country.

President Bola Tinubu had written to the National Assembly seeking the approval of the sum of N2, 176,791,286,033 as the 2023 supplementary budget to address labour wage adjustments, security, and more.

The President also sent the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEF) & Fiscal Strategy Paper to both chambers of the National Assembly.

Recently, the Senate passed N819bn making provision for a N500bn palliative package.

President Tinubu had said the supplementary bill was necessary for additional palliative measures including wage awards.

The Federal Executive Council chaired by the President on Monday approved the 2023 supplementary budget of N2.1 trillion.

Lawmakers on Tuesday began debate on the urgency of expediting the passage of the supplementary budget.

The lawmakers identified the need to particularly enhance the critical needs of the people and emergency areas including infrastructure, insecurity, labour demands (N210bn wage award payment and N5.5bn student loan).

In another development, the upper legislative house resolved to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the dwindling revenue derivable from solid minerals development in the country.

It also sought to ascertain the extent and impact of illegal mining activities and the extent of the complicity of both local and expatriate industry players and also resolved to review all the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) privatization or commercialisation programmes of all mining and mineral resources-related programmes from 1999 to date.

This followed a motion moved by Senator Osita Ngwu from Enugu West.

By the same token, the upper chamber urged all relevant security agencies to boost monitoring to forestall further illegal exploitation of the nation’s solid minerals.

It has mandated its committee on solid minerals development to report back its investigation within three weeks.