The Federal Government has disputed the claim of the Labour Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, that the 2023 supplementary budget recently signed into law by President Bola Tinubu, was insensitive.
In response to Obi’s claim, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said that the 2023 supplementary budget was not insensitive, but rather a bold and pragmatic response to the pressing and economic challenges Nigeria currently faces.
The minister’s response to Obi’s statement is contained in an official press release issued by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Rabiu Ibrahim, on Thursday.
Obi, in a series of tweets on his X handle, had described some of the items featured in the supplementary budget as “lavish indulgence”, stressing that a budget should not fund the luxurious lifestyle of the political elites.
Minister Idris said Obi should take the time and get acquainted with the details of the N2.17 trillion supplementary budget as it includes allocations for essential sectors aimed at strengthening the country’s economic foundations and improving the living conditions of Nigerians.
He said, “The broad provisions in the supplementary budget is a reflection of President Tinubu’s strong desire and eagerness to support the vital functions of government, address urgent security needs, and fast-track the country’s recovery process from the economic impact occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy.”
Idris emphasised that all items featured in the 2023 supplementary budget have been meticulously scrutinised to ensure efficient utilisation of public funds.
Following the passage of the 2023 supplementary budget into law on Wednesday, the former governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the general election faulted some items featured in the supplementary budget.
He took to his X account to call out the current administration, describing the inclusion of a presidential yacht, presidential jets, furnishing of already lavishly furnished presidential quarters and offices, and fleets of luxury SUVs as being insensitive to the suffering of the majority of the population.
Obi stated that the 2023 supplementary budget ought to address the food crisis in the country, but failed in that regard.