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SERAP urges reduction in national assembly budget allocation

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has issued a fervent call to Senate President Godswill Akpabio and House of Representatives Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, urging them to reconsider the proposed 2024 National Assembly budget of N344.85 billion. 

Deputy Director of SERAP, Kolawole Oluwadare, emphasized the necessity of this appeal, citing prevailing economic challenges and the imperative to curtail governance expenditures.

In a statement, Oluwadare criticized the National Assembly’s arbitrary increase in the 2024 budget, asserting that such an adjustment, if not revised, could have profound fiscal implications and exacerbate the nation’s debt crisis. 

SERAP further urged lawmakers to request President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to present a revised supplementary appropriation bill that reflects a reduction in the National Assembly’s allocation.

“The arbitrary increase by the lawmakers of their own budgetary allocation if not cut would have significant fiscal consequences and exacerbate the country’s debt crisis.

“SERAP urges you to clarify why N225 million is budgeted for the National Assembly E-Library and N3 billion is budgeted to buy books for the National Assembly Library while the ‘take-off grant’ for the National Assembly Library is N12.1 billion.

“The budget of N344.48 billion by members of the National Assembly is a fundamental breach of the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s international human rights obligations.

“According to our information, the National Assembly increased its own allocation in the 2024 budget to N344.48 billion. The new budgetary allocation to the National Assembly is over 70 per cent of the N197 billion proposed by President Bola Tinubu for the lawmakers in the budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly,” SERAP said.

In the statement, SERAP further conveyed its concern about the significant increase in the National Assembly’s budget, stating, “The N344.48 billion National Assembly budget, which is an increase of about N147 billion, is reportedly the highest-ever budgetary allocation to the National Assembly.”

This development unfolded against the backdrop of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signing the N28.7 trillion 2024 budget into law, with lawmakers having increased the initially proposed N27.5 trillion to N28.7 trillion. The disparity between the proposed and approved figures has drawn attention and raised questions about fiscal responsibility.

 

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