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Reps scrap N5bn presidential yacht from budget, increase student’s loan to 10bn

The removal of the N5 billion presidential yacht from the 2023 supplementary budget by the House of Representatives indicates the legislature’s response to potential public opinion and the prioritization of more pressing needs.

Here are some key takeaways from this decision:

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1. Public Accountability and Responsiveness: The decision to remove the allocation for the presidential yacht might have been influenced by the public’s perception of such an expenditure. Given Nigeria’s economic situation, such a luxury item could be seen as insensitive to more pressing needs of the country, and its removal suggests the legislature’s alignment with public sentiment.InformationGuideNigeria

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2. **Prioritizing Education**: Redirecting the N5 billion to student loans reinforces the importance of education and its role in driving economic development and improving the quality of life for Nigerians. Increasing the allocation for student loans can potentially make higher education more accessible to many young Nigerians.JAMB Portal

3. Security Concerns: The increase in the budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Defence by 70 billion naira highlights the urgency of addressing the various security challenges facing the country. It’s a reflection of the government’s commitment to fortify its security apparatus.

4. Welfare of Workers: The consideration and approval of the minimum wage indicates an effort to ensure that workers’ earnings reflect the current economic realities. A satisfactory minimum wage can enhance the living standards of workers and boost morale.JAMB Result

5. Legislative Oversight: Bichi’s commitment to proper legislative oversight underscores the importance of ensuring that budgetary allocations are judiciously utilized. Effective oversight can prevent misappropriation of funds and ensure that allocated funds achieve the desired impact.

6. Presidential Expenditure: The initial inclusion of expenditures such as N1.5 billion for vehicles for the First Lady’s office, the yacht, and the allocation for the presidential air fleet might have been perceived as excessive. Their removal or adjustment demonstrates the checks and balances inherent in Nigeria’s democratic system.NYSC Portal

In sum, the adjustments made to the supplementary budget by the House of Representatives point towards a more equitable distribution of national resources and show the legislature’s role in ensuring the budget aligns with the country’s immediate needs and long-term objectives.

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“Actually We have submitted our reports to the House and after careful consideration, the House has approved our submissions and the breakdown is as follows.

“As you know, the budget is about N2.1tn and the ministry of defence has about N456bn but currently the ministry of defence has the largest share because we know how important our security is. As you are aware, we had an interaction with them yesterday. Currently, we have increased their budget from N456bn to N546, 209,099,671 billion.

“For Police formation and command, we gave them N50bn while the FCT has about N100bn. You know FCT is very important to us, so we want to make sure that FCT can compete with any state in the world. That is why we gave them N100bn.

“On the Office National Security, their initial budget was N27bn but currently we have increased their budget to N50bn. For the state house, their initial budget was N28bn and we maintained that.

“On the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, you know how important that ministry is, we maintained their initial figure of N200bn as well. For the Ministry of Housing, you know we have a serious housing deficit in the country and in Mr. President’s agenda, he wants to build as much as he can, so we have approved N100bn for housing.

“Service-wide votes initially was N615 but currently we reduced it to N515bn.

“For INEC, initially their budget was N18bn, and yesterday we had an interaction with the INEC Chairman and he convinced us with his submissions and we maintained their N18bn.

“So far, we have approved N2,176, 791, 286, 33 trillion. We will continue to support the government so we can deliver democracy.

On the presidential yacht, Bichi said: “Actually, as far as we are concerned, we don’t have that anymore. We have increased the student loan. Initially, the student loan was N5bn in the budget but we have increased it to N5bn so that our students can access that facility in order for them to go to school. We don’t have the Yacht anymore in the budget.

He assured that lawmakers would ensure adequate oversight over the way the funds are spent, saying that “our members, especially those standing committees, oversee those projects and ensure the money is used judiciously. From now to three months we are going to call them and ask them what they have done with the money. ”

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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