FG to fund 2024 supplementary budget with $2.5bn World Bank loan – Bagudu 

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu, Tuesday, informed the National Assembly that the proposed 2024 Appropriation Bill will be partly funded  with $2.5 billion World Bank loan and  N50 billion Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), currently domiciled in the National Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority (NSWIA).

The minister, who disclosed this to the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs,  said the N50 billion in the PIDF would not be enough to fund the Renewed Hope Transformational Projects; hence the federal government approached the World Bank for a $2.5billion loan.

He further disclosed that the World Bank management would meet soon to take a decision on its approval.

President Bola Tinubu had, penultimate week, told the joint session of the federal parliament that he would soon send the proposed supplementary bill to the federal lawmakers for approval.

The minister told the committee members that the entire supplementary budget, which is still being prepared, would be spent on four identified transformational projects.

He listed the projects to include the Lagos – Calabar Coastal Road; the  proposed Sokoto – Badagri Road; the completion of all ongoing railway projects, which the federal government had yet to provide counterpart funding for.

Atiku Bagudu also said the proposed money bill would fund the rehabilitation and expansion of dams and irrigation schemes in order to support increased production within the economy. 

Apart from this, he said the supplementary budget would provide more money to support Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects to provide for more energy competitiveness.

He said, “The supplementary budget that was announced or rather was mentioned,

came about when Mr. President presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council.

“In the memo, he said that he inherited the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, which was domiciled in the National Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority.

“He has also identified transformational projects, including Lagos – Calabar, Coastal Road; proposed Sokoto-Badagri Road; completion of all ongoing railway projects, which we have not provided counterpart funding.

“We also plan to fund the rehabilitation and expansion of dams and irrigation schemes in order to support increased production within the economy. Last but not the least, more money to support CNG, LNG.

“The  three roads, dams and irrigation, and railways, is what  Mr. President designated as the infrastructure, renewed health infrastructure priority items. 

“So that’s what he directed that the ministry prepare for appropriation supplementary appropriation Bill.

“We have not finished work on the bill, we have not submitted the supplementary appropriation draft to the Federal Executive Council yet. 

 “So many people have approached the ministry and indeed leadership of the National Assembly as well as many members asking about the renewed hope the supplementary appropriation.”

The minister also said the current agitation by the organised labour minimum wage agitation might also be considered in the proposed legislation.

He said: “We are not clear how much revenue we have, given the challenges of the moment.

“Yes, we have done some scenarios given the exchange rate fluctuation and the impact of the budget and even scenarios given the current minimum wage negotiation that is ongoing.

“This is because even at N60, 000, even at N62,000, that immediately doubles the minimum wage. 

“So it was the forecast that even at the lowest level, it will increase inflation rate and that might affect interest rates which will affect in turn, economic activity, debt surges among others”. 

On the 2024 Budget performance, the minister explained why some MDAs had not started projects.

He also said the federal government has mandated the Ministry of Finance to take over payment of some major contractors.

Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Yahaha Abdullahi (PDP Kebbi North), suggested the amendment to the 2024 budget instead of a fresh appropriation because of the huge cost of processing it.

He, however, said the executive arm of government is at liberty to determine how it wants to get its appropriation bill approved by the parliament.