Akin Rotimi, the spokesperson of the House of Representatives, has shed light on the swift approval of the two trillion supplementary budget by the National Assembly. Rotimi clarified the urgency behind the lawmakers’ decision during an appearance on Channels TV’s “Politics Today” on Friday, emphasizing the need to address the hardship caused by the recent removal of fuel subsidy.
The National Assembly’s approval of the supplementary budget came under public scrutiny, with questions raised about some of its provisions. In defense of the speedy passage, Rotimi explained, “You will understand that with the removal of fuel subsidy, Nigerians are going through a whole lot, you know the standard of living has really dropped, and a lot of people are falling through the cracks. There is a need now more than ever for urgency on the part of the government to be able to intervene to improve the lives of Nigerians, and in that light, you can understand why the National Assembly had to respond that quickly to the proposal from the executive arm of government for us to review the supplementary budget.”
He further justified the swift action by highlighting the sections of the supplementary budget related to agriculture and food security, stating, “For us, when we look at the aspect of agriculture and food security, which were a major aspect of the supplementary budget, we see no reason; there is hunger in the land, people are suffering. If the federal government had said these are the provisions that are urgent, we see no reason not to expedite passing it.”
This explanation comes as analysts express concerns about the speed at which the lawmakers approved the budget, considering the National Assembly’s previous practice of thoroughly scrutinizing budget provisions. The decision to swiftly assent to the supplementary budget is seen as a response to the pressing economic challenges faced by Nigerians following the removal of fuel subsidies.