Deputy Senate President Jibrin Barau has said the N2.17 trillion supplementary budget is meant to address new policies of the government not captured in the principal budget.
Speaking during a debate on the supplementary budget request by President Bola Ahmed on Tuesday, Barau explained that it is normal for a ‘new government to request for a new appropriation.”
Barau said, “We are all aware of the fact that whenever a new government gets ushered into office, it is normal for that government to bring forward a supplementary appropriation bill to tailor the affairs of such government in line with the policy and programme of the new government.
“Normally, you have this kind of supplementary appropriation bill being brought to the National Assembly for approval in the first or second month of such new administration but this government decided to take its time to study its challenges and areas that need funding.
“It took time. And so it decided that the challenges that we face in the areas of insecurity, agriculture and infrastructure should be dealt with.
“Then it decided that this bill should be brought for approval. It is a normal practice everywhere in the world. There is no government that will come without re-arranging the budgeting structure, the Appropriation Act so that it gets tailored with its policies and programmes. So, this is not something new.
Barau who represents Kano North Senatorial District argued that the last supplementary considered was forwarded by the last administration, while he commended President Tinubu for taking time to study the challenges facing the nation before forwarding the supplementary budget.
“Some may argue that there was a supplementary appropriations bill brought in but that was an amendment, it wasn’t something that was put together by this administration.
“It was brought in by the last administration but what we needed at that time was an extension of time and the issue of oil subsidy removal came facing us so a certain amount of money was taken to deal with that matter.
“So, this is the real supplementary appropriation bill for this administration and it is normal.
“I, therefore, call on our colleagues to support the current administration by the passage of this bill to get it dealt with as soon as possible because we are facing the problem of insecurity.
“We can see what is happening even within Abuja here, the issues of kidnapping, one chance and robbery are now commonplace.
“We have seen issues of kidnapping and so forth in Northcentral and the Northwest and the challenges we are facing in the Niger Delta in terms of oil theft and so forth.
“The Federal Government needs the appropriation bill to deal with these issues. It is something that we need to support so that the government will be able to secure our country, and enhance our infrastructure and the agricultural sector as well.”