Barely 48 hours after announcement on measures to cushion the pains of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians, Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe has urged President Bola Tinubu to expeditiously present a 2023 Supplementary Budget to the National Assrmbly to kick-start his Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) project.
The committee particularly posited that the law frowns at extra budgetary spending.
The committee chairman who commended Tinubu for the CNG initiative however, warned that it would be illegal to spend tax payers money on the money without approval by the National Assembly.
According to a statement, the Senator also advised against extra budgetary expenditure through ‘Ways and Means,’ saying the legislature was ready to support and bring succour to the people.
He was quoted to have said this after the Interdenominational Service on Independence Day.
Jarigbe commended Tinubu on his CNG revolution to power vehicles. He said the noble initiative would ameliorate the hardship of the citizens.
He also emphasised the need for the President to come up with a supplementary budget to enable the government fund the gas value chain, including the provision for CNG infrastructure and CNG vehicles, adding that the workshops and trainings would need to be funded.
He advised the President not to embark on extra- budgetary expenditure because it would be inconsistent with the provisions of the law.
He stated that the National Assembly, under the leadership of the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was poised to support the lofty programmes of his administration, adding that a 2023 supplementary budget would be most appropriate, instead of the ‘Ways and Means’ approach of the previous administration, which is currently a major issue of contention in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In his Independence speech, the President had explained that,”At my inauguration, I made important promises about how I would govern this great nation. Among those promises, were pledges to reshape and modernise our economy and to secure the lives, liberty and property of the people.
“I said that bold reforms were necessary to place our nation on the path of prosperity and growth. On that occasion, I announced the end of the fuel subsidy.”
In announcing the withdrawal of fuel subsidy, the implementation of the policy came with severe hardship on the people and “I am attuned to the hardships that have come. I have a heart that feels and eyes that see. I wish to explain to you why we must endure this trying moment.
Rationalising the fuel subsidy withdrawal policy, the president explained that, “Those who sought to perpetuate the fuel subsidy and broken foreign exchange policies are people who would build their family mansion in the middle of a swamp.
“I am different. I am not a man to erect our national home on a foundation of mud. To endure, our home must be constructed on safe and pleasant ground,” he said.
He promised that though, “reform may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require. We now carry the costs of reaching a future Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few.
“A Nigeria where hunger, poverty and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever fading past.
“There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago. I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.
“We have opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer CNG buses across the nation. These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.
“New CNG conversions kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast track the usually lengthy procurement process.”
He said his administration was also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs.