Reps Extend Implementation of 2023 Supplementary Budget

The House of Representatives in Nigeria has approved a two-month extension for the implementation of the 2023 supplementary budget, aimed at providing additional time for project completion. In an accelerated hearing, the parliament amended the act to extend the implementation of the capital components from March 30 to June 30.

Presenting the bill, Majority Leader Usman Kumu (APC-Gombe) highlighted that the amendment was necessary following a request by President Bola Tinubu, emphasizing that it was in the country’s best interest. The bill required the approval of all lawmakers for good governance, and after scaling the first and second readings, the Committee of Supply passed it for a third reading.

President Tinubu had requested the National Assembly to amend the 2023 Appropriation Act to allow for an extension in implementing capital projects. In his letter to the Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, Tinubu proposed extending the implementation from March 31 to June 30.

The supplementary budget, initially set to expire on December 31, 2023, will now run concurrently with the capital expenditure component of the 2024 appropriation bill until March 31, 2024. This extension specifically applies to capital projects, which typically involve infrastructure development and require longer lead times for completion.

The decision reflects potential delays in project execution experienced during the previous year and aims to ensure the efficient utilization of allocated funds for these critical projects.

However, some analysts have expressed concerns about the potential implications of this extension. Critics argue that delays in project execution could indicate underlying inefficiencies within government agencies. Additionally, extending budget implementation periods might raise questions about transparency and accountability in public spending.

The Senate had previously passed a similar amendment extending the supplementary budget. With the House of Representatives’ approval, the extension now awaits presidential assent to become law.

It remains to be seen whether the additional two months will be sufficient to complete all critical projects outlined in the supplementary budget. The coming months will be crucial for government agencies to demonstrate progress and ensure transparency in the utilization of these allocated funds.