The federal government, on Thursday, reacted to criticism of the N2.7 trillion supplementary budget signed on Wednesday by President Bola Tinubu, insisting that the budget was not insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.
There had been widespread criticism of the budget, with many raising eyebrows over huge sums earmarked for vehicles for the first lady’s office and a “presidential yacht”.
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 election, Peter Obi, in a series of posts on X on Wednesday, while joining the debate, said it appeared that the federal government was not aware that there was a “huge crisis” across different sectors in the country.
“The 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 our people,” Obi posted.
Reacting to the gale of criticism trailing the budget in a statement on Thursday, the media aide to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Ibrahim Idris, Rabiu Ibrahim, quoted the Minister as saying that the budget was in response to the country’s “pressing needs”.
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“The 2023 supplementary budget signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Wednesday November 8, 2023 is not insensitive, but rather a bold and pragmatic response to the pressing and economic challenges Nigeria currently faces.
“The broad provisions in the supplementary budget is a reflection of President Tinubu’s strong desire and eagerness to support the vital functions of government, address urgent security needs, and fast-track the country’s recovery process from the economic impact occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy”, the statement quoted the minister as saying.
The minister further stated that the opposition should “be informed and balanced in the exercise of their right to differing opinions and refrain from misrepresentation of facts for political gains”.
The minister added that all items in the supplementary budget have been scrutinised to ensure efficient utilisation of public funds.
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