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BudgIT: Peter Obi Slams FG For Concurrently Running Four Budgets, Says Action A ‘Recipe For Chaos’

Saturday 29 June 2024

Peter Obi, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has condemned the Federal Government for operating multiple budgets concurrently.

Information Nigeria reports that BudgIT, a civic-tech organisation, had condemned plans by the federal government to implement four national budgets concurrently.

Currently, the Federal Government is operating the 2023 budget, 2023 supplementary budget, and the 2024 budget.

In a statement issued on Friday by Gabriel Okeowo, BudgIT’s country Director, the organisation described the development as worrisome.

He pointed out that globally, budgets are typically prepared to cover 12 calendar months, from January to December.

Okeowo warned that if multiple budgets are implemented simultaneously, projects from the 2023 budget and the 2023 supplementary budget will compete for the limited resources available to the federal government with essential projects in the 2024 budget.

Speaking in relation to this via X on Saturday, Obi said the action is a blatant disregard for fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability.

On May 29, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu disclosed said the 2024 supplementary appropriation bill would soon be presented before the national assembly.

According to Obi, this action by the federal government is also a recipe for chaos, confusion, and catastrophe.

“All available evidence has confirmed that the Nigerian government is implementing four national budgets concurrently.

“This is in blatant disregard for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability. It is also a recipe for chaos, confusion, and catastrophe.

“This intentionally reckless action will lead to frivolous items in the approved budgets competing with essential projects for limited resources, further exacerbating the suffering of the Nigerian people,” he wrote.

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According to him, Nigerian leaders are disconnected from reality and lack the competence to manage the nation’s finances effectively.

“It indicates that the leaders are out of touch with reality and lack the competence to manage our nation’s finances effectively.

“Unfortunately, this deliberate act of fiscal recklessness is being undertaken by elected representatives of the people, thereby betraying one of the cardinal pillars of democracy. Leaders are elected to responsibly manage public resources in an organized way.

“I respectfully appeal and in fact, demand that this situation be reversed immediately in preference for a more responsible and transparent approach to budgeting. We must prioritize the needs of the Nigerian people, not the selfish interests of a few. This is a call to action for all Leaders to desist from actions that will further drive the country into economic chaos,” he said.

The former Anambra State Governor added that neither the national assembly nor the executive has any excuse to promote or condone such unconscionable behaviour.

Reacting to this, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Temitope Ajayi, said the claims by both parties are false.

Discarding the allegations as rumours, via X, he wrote: “Yesterday, @BudgITng raised a false alarm on the basis of rumours that FG is planning a 2024 supplementary budget. It is important to state that the FG is not planning to run 4 budgets within a fiscal year as being alleged.

“The National Assembly only approved that implementation of the capital components of 2023 budget and 2023 supplementary should be extended to December 2024 to achieve its objectives.

“Our country can’t achieve sustainable development when Federal, States and Local governments focus on only consumptive expenditures which is essentially what recurrent expenditures represent.

“It is the capital expenditures that drive economic growth, strengthen private sector output and create employment opportunities for citizens.

“As a reputable civic organisation, Budgit can not afford to be flippant and be unduly sensational. Expectedly, @PeterObi has jumped on the false claims to push his new round of misinformation.”

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via: Information Nigeria

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