The Nigerian government has refuted claims by Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, regarding the insensitivity of the 2023 supplementary budget signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on November 8, 2023.
In an official statement on Thursday, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, defended the budget as a proactive response to Nigeria’s economic challenges.
The minister encouraged Peter Obi to familiarize himself with the details, emphasizing that the budget prioritizes areas such as security, agriculture, housing, worker wage increases, student loans, and social safety nets to enhance the well-being 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, address urgent security needs, and fast-track the country’s recovery process from the economic impact occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy,” the minister said.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu’s first supplementary budget, which seeks additional funding beyond the annual budget approved by his predecessor, is expected to boost the recovery of the economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a recession in 2022.
Minister Idris asked the political opposition to be fair and honest when they disagree, adding they should avoid twisting the truth for their selfish benefit.
He also said the supplementary budget came from consultations with relevant stakeholders, who ensured that the budgetary provisions aligned with the needs and expectations of Nigerians.
Emeraldloaded recently posted that Obi claimed that the federal government has continued to overlook investing in critical sectors in the country,
The presidential candidate also recalled how he cancelled an order for bulletproof cars during his time as Governor of Anambra state.
Obi said in a statement;
“The recent expenditure of N60 billion for the purchase of SUV vehicles for about 400 legislators is a continuation of the troubling trend in our nation today. We have continued to abandon the critical areas of development measurement while expending scarce resources on needless luxury and creating comforts for those elected to serve the people.
“Our primary healthcare, which is the foundation of health, a critical development index measure, has collapsed, leading to our surpassing India, a country 7 times our population, in infant mortality, a very saddening situation. To allocate such a huge amount, which is more than what we allocated to our primary health care, is nothing but troubling. One third of that amount, with proper negotiation, would have given them locally manufactured SUV vehicles from Innoson Motors, PAN or any local auto assembly plant, to help boost our economy and create and retain jobs.