By Tope Omogbolagun
The Senate will on Thursday, pass the N2.18 trillion 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bill forwarded to it for consideration by President Bola Tinubu.
As requested by Tinubu in the letter read in the Senate during plenary on Tuesday, the request was given expeditious consideration.
The budgetary proposals made in the bill were debated, passed for a second reading, and the Committee on Appropriations mandated to interface with heads of affected agencies for defence on proposals made.
The committee chaired by Senator Solomon Adeola, representing the All Progressives Congress, Ogun West, met with heads of the seven affected agencies till the late hours of Wednesday and told journalists that the reports on the supplementary budgetary proposals will be submitted to the Senate for final consideration and passage on Thursday.
Adeola said, “As mandated by the Senate on the strength of the request made by President Bola Tinubu, the Appropriations Committee has met with heads of the affected seven agencies supplementary budget proposals were provided for.
“Heads of each of the agencies have defended proposals made for them by the President and convinced the committee on the need for the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly to approve the N2.17tn 2023 supplementary budget.
“The committee has carried out the assignment given in line with the urgency required on the basis which reports for final consideration and passage of the bill, will be submitted to the Senate today (Thursday).”
The PUNCH had on Wednesday reported that at the interface the committee held with heads of the affected agencies, the Minister of Housing, Ahmed Dangiwa, defended the N100 billion budgeted for the Federal Ministry of Housing in the supplementary budget which according to him, would be spent on construction of housing estates across the country.
In his presentation, the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, defended N100 billion provided in the supplementary budget for the Federal Capital Territory out of which N22 billion was earmarked for the completion of metro rail.
For security and safety in FCT, Wike told the committee members that all abandoned structures would be brought down so as not to serve as hideouts for criminals from neighbouring states.
Other ministers who made presentations before the committee were the Minister of Works, David Umahi, who defended his almost N400 billion appropriation; the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari; Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawale, as well as service chiefs.