Senate has passed A bill to amend the N819.5 billion 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act to authorise issuance of N500 billion for provision of palliatives to Nigerians to cushion effect of fuel subsidy removal.
The bill, passed at plenary on Thursday was sponsored by the Executive and presented by Senate Majority Leader, Bamidele Opeyemi (APC- Ekiti).
Bamidele in his lead debate said the bill seeks to amend the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act, to authorise issuance of N500 billion for the provision of palliatives to Nigerians, to cushion effect of fuel subsidy removal.
“Mr President, my highly esteemed colleagues, permit me to lead the debate on this very important bill which seeks to authorised the issuance of the sum of N500 billion.
“This sum has been extracted from 2022 Supplementary Appropriations Act of N819.5 billion for the provision of palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
“The bill was read in this hallowed chamber for the first time today, Thursday, 13th July.
“Mr. President, my highly respected colleagues, this request has become necessary in order to, among other things, source the funds necessary to provide palliatives to mitigate the effect of the recent removal of fuel subsidy on Nigerians.
“I believe that the proposal in this Supplementary Appropriation is laudable and will help cushion the suffering of the Citizens of this country owing to the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),” Bamidela said.
Presenting further insight on the bill, Deputy President of Senate, Sen. Barau Jubril(APC- Kano)said the 2022 supplementary budget was passed and assented to by the adminstration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
He, however, said the then administration could not implement the supplementary appropriation act, because of non release of fund.
He said that President Bola Tinubu, in an attempt to mitigate and cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal decided to look in the direction of the 2022 supplementary appropriation act to pull out funds to provide palliatives for Nigerians.
He explained that the president had tried to get the fund from the service wide vote, but was not successful, hence the request for amendment of the act to make for access of fund.
Barau said it was something good that president Tinubu was seeking for the amendment to enable him provide palliatives for the suffering Nigerians.
He urged his colleagues to support the amendment.
Sen. Adeola Solomon (APC – Ogun), collaborating said the essence of the amendment was to make provision of palliatives for Nigerians, given the ongoing reforms by government.
President of Senate, Godswill Akpiabio said the Senate was amending the appropriation act which was already a law to allow the president provide palliatives for Nigerians to mitigate the effects of removal of fuel subsidy.
Senate having suspended its rule 78 (1) read the bill for second and thereafter having engaged in clause by clause consideration passesed the bill.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that summary of the amended 2022 supplementary appropriation act includes among others.
N500 billion for palliatives and other capital expenditure to cushion the effect of recent subsidy removal policy.
N185.2 billion to Ministry of Works and Housing to alleviate the impact of the severe flooding experienced in the country in 2022 on road infrastructure across the six geopolitical zones.
N19.2 billion to Federal Ministry of Agriculture to ameliorate the massive destruction to farmlands across the country during the severe flooding experienced last year.
Others are N35 billion to National Judicial Council, N10 billion to Federal Capital Territory Administration for critical projects and N70 billion to National Assembly to support the working conditions of new members.