Why National Assembly Swiftly Passed N2.17 Trillion Supplementary Budget — Ndume

Senator Ali Ndume, who serves as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, has addressed the National Assembly’s swift passage of the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bill within a span of 48 hours. This clarification arises in response to President Bola Tinubu’s submission of the budget on Tuesday night, prompting the federal parliament to make necessary adjustments to ensure that the bill underwent both its first and second readings.

Subsequently, the committees responsible for Appropriation in both the Senate and the House of Representatives diligently worked on the bill on Wednesday. They then presented their respective reports on Thursday, which were subsequently reviewed and approved by the legislative bodies. The expeditious nature of this process aimed to accommodate certain critical national interests, particularly pertaining to a potential new minimum wage.

During a discussion with journalists on Saturday, Senator Ndume shed light on the reasons behind the accelerated passage of the budget by the National Assembly. This urgency was primarily driven by the imperative of addressing important national concerns, with a particular emphasis on the issue of a potential new minimum wage.

“The increase in prices of fuel, costs of essential services and food items have gone up in the country following the withdrawal of fuel subsidy.

“Workers embarked on strike many times as a result of this and there were negotiations between the organised labour unions and the federal government. At the end of the negotiations, the labour and the federal government agreed that workers would be paid N35,000 in addition to their minimum wage.

“If N35,000 is paid to each of the over 1.5 million workers, the amount is huge. The money was captured in the supplementary budget,” he shared.