In the wake of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signing the N2.17 trillion 2023 supplementary budget into law, economists are sounding a cautionary note, emphasizing the need for responsible spending and fiscal prudence.
Professor Jonathan Aremu, a prominent economic analyst, stressed the importance of focusing government expenditure on essential components that drive economic growth.
He warned against unnecessary spending that could burden the country’s future through excessive borrowing.
He explained, “We should allocate funds to initiatives that promote economic growth, as frivolous spending can exacerbate economic challenges.
Injecting too many funds into the economy during these challenging times could have adverse effects, increasing pressure on foreign exchange rates.”
Mr. Eze Onyekpere, the Lead Director of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), expressed concerns about the National Assembly’s handling of the supplementary budget.
He criticized what he saw as a lack of thorough scrutiny of the bill, suggesting that the legislature merely rubber-stamped it.
He pointed out that supplementary appropriations are meant to address specific needs within the original appropriation, but in this case, new and even illegal items were introduced.
He cited an instance where funds were allocated for the office of the first lady, an office not recognized by the constitution or any law.
Additionally, he questioned the significant increase in the budget allocation for certain items, such as cars for the villa, which had risen substantially from the original appropriation.