The deputy spokesman for the House of Representatives, Philip Agbese, says the 2024 budget will not experience any duplication of projects.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Thursday, he said the 2023 budget estimates will better scrutinised than the usual routine of the past National Assembly.
“We are looking at how things can be done differently from how they were done in the past.
“We are going to use the instrument of lawmaking to address these issues, and while we promise meticulous scrutiny of the budget document, one is to ensure that there will be no duplication of projects as far as the 2024 budget is concerned,” Agbese said.
In 2022, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) revealed that Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) inflated the 2021 budget by N300bn through the duplication of projects. The ICPC also reported that MDAs similarly padded the 2022 budget with duplicated projects, totaling N100 billion.
On November 29, 2023, President Bola Tinubu presented his maiden budget estimates of N27.5trn for the year 2024 to the National Assembly.
However, Agbese said the 2024 budget will no longer follow business-as-usual practices, as every allocated fund will benefit the Nigerian people.
“We have had cases in the past where we saw agencies duplicate some of the projects and money will be budgeted for these things. We are telling Nigerians that with the 10th National Assembly, it is not going to be business as usual.
He said the House is going “to make sure that we don’t just do things differently but the things that will be done differently will have a positive impact on the welfare of the people. Every single kobo will be used in the interest of the Nigerian people.”
Agbese said no funds would be wasted and that the House’ oversight of the 2024 budget appropriation would be rigorous.