The outgoing senators of the 9th Nigerian Senate have introduced and swiftly passed the 2022 Supplementary Budget and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, 2004.
The amendment bill which now increases the total CBN advances (Ways and Means provision) to the Federal Government from 5% to a maximum of 15% was passed at an emergency session held on Saturday, May 27, 2023.
This will now allow Buhari’s government whose tenure ends in two days to borrow an additional N1.2trn from the CBN which is an equivalent of 15% of last year’s budget of N8.2 trillion.
The Senate Leader, Abdullahi Gobir, who read the lead debate on the bill, said the proposed amendment is to enable the Federal Government to meet its immediate and future obligation in the approval of the ways and means by the National Assembly and advances to the Federal Government by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The upper legislative chamber during the sitting of the committee of the whole also amended the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act to extend the implementation year from June 30 to December 31, 2023.
This was to allow full implementation of the budget, especially in light of the 2022 supplementary budget approved in December 2022. The extension had allowed the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government to utilise a large proportion of funds released to them.
However, according to Senate Leader, Abdullahi Gobir, significant amount of funds remain with MDAs and will require a further extension to be fully expended.
He said that considering the critical importance of some key projects nearing completion, requesting a further extension of the expiration clause in the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill is expedient to avoid compounding the problem of abandoned projects as some of them were not provided for in the 2023 Budget.
The Senate is therefore amending the 2022 appropriation act to allow full utilization of the capital releases to help reflate the economy.
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