N70bn approved for National Assembly in Supplementary Budget

National Assembly, on Thursday, passed an amendment to the N819.5 billion 2022 supplementary budget, approving N70 billion as support for the “working condition” of new lawmakers.

But speaking at a briefing to clarify the amount, Yemi Adaramodu, Senate spokesperson, said the N70 billion was not a new allocation as it had been part of the 2022 supplementary budget.

He said the money was not meant for lawmakers but for the National Assembly.

The amendment was passed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives a day after President Bola Tinubu sent N500 billion palliatives’ request to the parliament.

The breakdown of the amended N819.5 billion supplementary budget showed that N500 billion is for palliatives to cushion the effect of recent subsidy removal policy, which will be domiciled in Finance ministry.

The detail also showed that N185 billion is for Ministry of Works and Housing to alleviate the impact of the severe flooding experienced in the country in 2022 on road infrastructure across the six geopolitical zones.

The sum of N19.2 billion is allocated to Ministry of Agriculture to ameliorate the massive destruction to farmlands across the country during the severe flooding experienced last year; N35 billion to National Judicial Council; N10 billion to Federal Capital Territory Administration for critical projects and N70 billion to National Assembly to support the working conditions of new members.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly also approved President Tinubu’s request to borrow $800 million from the World Bank.

Daily Trust reports that former President Muhammadu Buhari had, towards the tail end of his administration, forwarded same request to the 9th Senate in May.

But the 9th Assembly could not consider the request before its tenure ended in June 11.

Tinubu, in a letter read by Senate President Godswill Akpabio during plenary Thursday, asked the 10th Senate to approve the same borrowing request.

The president, in the letter, explained that the loan would be used to scale up the National Social Safety Net Programme.

Tinubu’s letter reads: “Please note that the federal executive council led by President Muhammadu Buhari approved an additional loan facility to the tune of $800 million to be secured from the World Bank for the National Social Safety Net programme. Copy of FEC’s extract attached.

“You may also wish to note that the purpose of the facility is to expand coverage of shock responsive safety net support among the poor and vulnerable Nigerians. This will assist them in coping with basic needs.

“You may further wish to note that under the conditional cash transfer window of the programme, the federal government of Nigeria will transfer the sum of N8,000 per month to 12 million poor and low income households for a period of six months, with a multiplier effect on about 60 million individuals.

“In order to guarantee the credibility of the process, digital transfers will be made directly to beneficiaries’ accounts and mobile wallets.

“It is expected that the programme, will stimulate economic activities in the informal sector, and improve nutrition, health, education, and human capital development of beneficiaries’ households.

“Given the above, I wish to invite the Senate to kindly grant approval for the additional loan facility of $800 million to be secured from World Bank for the National Social Safety Net Programme.

“While hoping that this submission will receive expeditious consideration by the Senate, please accept the assurances of my highest regards.”
(Daily Trust)

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