The Federal Government has faulted the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, over his observations on the 2023 Supplementary Budget.
Recall that Obi, in a statement via his X handle on Wednesday, said the 2023 supplementary budget did not reflect mostly pressing national needs and emergencies of national welfare.
The LP flagbearer said no budget was made to fight hunger in the country and no fund was earmarked for urgent social welfare in the supplementary budget, saying that the items that dominated public discourse on the budget include a mysterious Presidential yacht, and official vehicles among others.
He stated that the Bola Tinubu government’s overall attitude does not indicate that it is aware that the country is in a huge crisis, nor is the government in tune with the plight of the generality of the people.
But in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the 2023 supplementary budget is a bold and pragmatic response to address the current economic challenges.
Idris, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Rabiu Ibrahim, said highlights of the budget included allocations for essential sectors including security; agriculture and food security, works and housing, wage increase for workers, student loan schemes and social safety nets, among others.
The minister stressed that all the items in the budget are aimed at strengthening the country’s economic foundation and improving the living conditions of Nigerians.
Idris, however, advised Obi to take the time and effort to acquaint himself with the details of the N2.17 trillion 2023 supplementary budget.
The statement reads: “All these aim at strengthening the country’s economic foundation and improving 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.
“These include addressing urgent security needs, and fast-track the country’s recovery process from the economic impact occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy.”
Speaking further, Idris urged the opposition political parties to be informed and balanced in the exercise of their right to differing opinions and refrain from misrepresentation of facts for political gains.
The minister said the supplementary budget was derived from the active engagement and consultations with relevant stakeholders who ensured that the budgetary provisions aligned with the needs and expectations of Nigerians.
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He added: “In line with President Tinubu’s inclination to accountability and transparency in government expenditure, all items in the supplementary budget have been meticulously scrutinised to ensure efficient utilisation of public funds.”
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