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Implementing 4 national budgets concurrently a recipe for disaster – Obi

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in last year’s elections Mr Peter Obi, has said that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration running four…

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in last year’s elections Mr Peter Obi, has said that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration running four different national budgets concurrently is a recipe for chaos, confusion, and catastrophe.

He said this on Saturday on his X handle.

Obi said that the development is a flagrant disregard for fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability.

Daily Trust on Sunday reports that the two chambers of the National Assembly held emergency plenary sessions on Thursday to consider President Tinubu’s request and eventually extended the capital component of the 2023 main and supplementary budgets; and also approved that the budgets are to run concurrently with the 2024 national budget, while awaiting the 2024 supplementary budget from the presidency.

Obi however, said that the development indicates that Nigerian leaders are out of touch with reality and lack the competence to manage the nation’s finances effectively.

“All available evidence have confirmed that the Nigerian government is implementing four national budgets concurrently. This is in blatant disregard for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability.

“This intentional action will lead to frivolous items in the approved budgets competing with essential projects for limited resources, further exacerbating the suffering of the Nigerian people.

“Unfortunately, this deliberate act of fiscal recklessness is being undertaken by elected representatives of the people, thereby betraying one of the cardinal pillars of democracy. Leaders are elected to responsibly manage public resources in an organised way,” Obi said.

He said called for reversal

But reacting, the Presidency dismissed the claims that the administration of President Bola Tinubu, plans to run four budgets within a fiscal year.

The Presidency was reacting to statements by BudgIT and Mr Obi, who condemned the administration for running multiple budgets.

Reacting to the development, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Temitope Ajayi, in a statement via X, said the federal government is not planning to run four budgets within a fiscal year, as alleged.

Ajayi also slammed Peter Obi for jumping on the unverified report from BudgiT to spread misinformation.

The statement read, “Yesterday, @BudgITng raised a false alarm on the basis of rumours that FG is planning a 2024 supplementary budget. It is important to state that the FG is not planning to run 4 budgets within a fiscal year, as alleged.

“The National Assembly only approved that implementation of the capital components of the 2023 budget and 2023 supplementary should be extended to December 2024 to achieve its objectives.

“Our country can’t achieve sustainable development when federal, states and local governments focus on only consumptive expenditures, which is essentially what recurrent expenditures represent.

“It is the capital expenditures that drive economic growth, strengthen private sector output and create employment opportunities for citizens.

“As a reputable civic organisation, Budgit cannot afford to be flippant and be unduly sensational. Expectedly, @PeterObi has jumped on the false claims to push his new round of misinformation.”

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