Sunday, 30 June 2024 04:32

Presidency denies claims of running 4 Budgets, rebukes Obi, BudgIT

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The Presidency has dismissed allegations of a planned 2024 supplementary budget, calling the claims “false” and “misinformation.”

In a statement released on Saturday by Temitope Ajayi, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, the Presidency clarified that there is no intention to operate four budgets within a single fiscal year, as alleged. The statement emphasized that the National Assembly only approved the extension of the capital components of the 2023 budget and the 2023 supplementary budget to December 2024.

"Our country cannot achieve sustainable development if Federal, State, and Local governments focus solely on consumptive expenditures, which primarily represent recurrent expenditures," the statement read. "It is the capital expenditures that drive economic growth, strengthen private sector output, and create employment opportunities for citizens."

The Presidency criticized BudgIT, a civic organization, for raising what it described as a “false alarm” based on rumors. It also accused Peter Obi, a former presidential candidate, of leveraging these unfounded claims to spread further misinformation.

The statement urged BudgIT to adopt a more responsible and accurate approach to its reporting, stating, “BudgIT cannot afford to be flippant and unduly sensational.”

Earlier, BudgIT had issued a statement on Friday, warning against the extension of the implementation period for the 2023 approved budget and the 2023 supplementary budget from the original end date of December 31, 2023, to December 31, 2024. The 2023 approved budget of N21.83 trillion, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in January 2023, was intended to run for 12 months, following global practice. Additionally, the 2023 supplementary budget of N2.17 trillion was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu shortly before the end of the 2023 fiscal year.

Reacting to these developments, Peter Obi accused the federal government of running four national budgets simultaneously, describing it as a “betrayal of democracy.”

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