2024 budget passes second reading in House of Reps

The House of Representatives has passed, for a second reading, the 2024 Appropriations bill after a two-day debate on the general principle of the legislation.

The budget scaled the legislative step on Friday during a special plenary session.

President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, presented the 2024 money bill to the joint session of the National Assembly.

On Thursday, the House commenced the debate on the bill. After about two hours of debate, the Speaker of the House, Abbas Tajudeen, announced a special session to be held on Friday to conclude the debate.

The 2024 budget proposal has an aggregate expenditure of N27.5 trillion. A recurrent expenditure will gulp N9.92 trillion, capital expenditure is N8.7trn, deficit projected at N9.18trn and debt servicing will gulp N8.25 trillion.

The budget deficit is projected at N9.18 trillion in 2024 or 3.88 per cent of GDP. This is lower than the N13.78 trillion deficit recorded in 2023 which represents 6.11 per cent of GDP.

The education sector has been allocated N2.18 trillion, out of which the Ministry of Education and its agencies got N1.23 trillion, N251.4 billion to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and N700 billion to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to provide infrastructure project for tertiary education.

Also, the health sector has been allocated N1.33 trillion. The Ministry of Health and its agencies got N1.07 trillion, GAVI immunisation got N137.2 billion and N125.7 billion as statutory transfer to the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.

Meanwhile, the defence sector got 12 per cent of the entire budget which is N3.25 trillion and infrastructure is N1.32 trillion.

Following the conclusion of the debate, Speaker Tajudeen announced that the Appropriations Committee would meet after the plenary session.

The Deputy House Leader, Ali Halims, moved a motion for the adjournment of the House till 12 December to allow committees to interface with relevant MDAs.

The motion for adjournment was carried unanimously by the House.