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Senate, reps begin debate on 2024 budget proposal

Senate, reps begin debate on 2024 budget proposal
November 30
13:26 2023

The senate has begun debating the general principles of the 2024 budget proposal of N27 trillion.

The proposal passed first reading in both chambers of parliament when President Bola Tinubu presented the estimates to a joint session of the national assembly on Wednesday.

While presenting the budget, Tinubu said the proposal, when approved, would achieve “macroeconomic stability”.

Leading the debate on the budget proposal, Opeyemi Bamidele, majority leader of the senate, said the budget would prioritise electricity, procurement of vaccines, major roads and railway projects.

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“We need to pursue non-debt options to finance these projects,” Bamidele said.

“I believe that all the proposals in this budget are laudable and would enhance the lives of citizens.”

On his part, Joel Thomas, senator representing Delta south, said the important aspects of the country’s economy would be addressed by the budget.

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“It is a budget that is going to give renewed hope to our people. On the capital expenditure, we have never had it this close in the past,” he said.

“With this budget, most of the things lacking in our economy will be attended to.”

Last week, the senate and the house of representatives approved the 2024-2026 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) and fiscal strategy paper (FSP) — parameters on which the 2024 budget will be framed.

The lawmakers approved $73.96, $73.76 and $69.90 per barrel as benchmark oil prices for daily crude oil production of 1.78 million barrels, 1.80 million barrels, and 1.81 million barrels, for 2024, 2025, and 2026 respectively.

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Also, parliament approved an exchange rate of N700/$, N665.61/$ and N669.79/$, proposed by the federal government for the period of 2024–2026.

The debate on the budget proposal will likely end on Friday or Tuesday given the number of senators who may want to contribute.

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