The Special Adviser on Politics to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has withdrawn from the Ekiti State governorship race.
Ojudu, who was among the 33 aspirants that vied for the ticket in the aborted primaries of the All Progressives Congress in last Saturday’s primaries, announced his decision via a post on his Facebook page.
He, however, said he was not going to quit the party. Just after his resignation was made public, there were indications that 21 of the other aspirants too have withdrawn from the race.
2024 Budget: Federal Government Targets 3.76% Economic Growth, N9.18tn Deficit
Nigeria’s President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Wednesday said his administration is targeting a 3.76 percent economic growth in the 2024 fiscal year.
This was as he spotlighted national security, local job creation and poverty reduction as the top priorities of the 2024 Appropriation Bill which he called the ‘Budget of Renewed Hope.’
“A critical focus of this budget and the medium-term expenditure framework is Nigeria’s commitment to a greener future…We expect the economy to grow by a minimum of 3.76 per cent, above the forecasted world average. Inflation is expected to moderate to 21.4 per cent in 2024,” Tinubu said when he presented the 2024 budget proposal to a joint session of the 10th National Assembly in Abuja, his first since assuming office exactly six months ago.
Addressing the NASS, Tinubu promised to overhaul the nation’s internal security architecture to enhance law enforcement capabilities to safeguard lives, property and investments nationwide.
He said the proposed budget prioritises human capital development, with particular attention given to children because human capital remains the most critical resource for national development.
Therefore, “To improve the effectiveness of our budget performance, the government will focus on ensuring value for money, greater transparency, and accountability.
“In this regard, we will work more closely with development partners and the private sector,” he explained.
“To address long-standing issues in the education sector, a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education will be implemented, including the Student Loan Scheme scheduled to become operational by January 2024,” Tinubu added.
On the economy, Tinubu argued that a stable macroeconomic environment is crucial in his administration’s quest to catalyse private investment and accelerate economic growth.
Consequently, he affirmed that his administration shall continue to implement business and investment-friendly measures for sustainable growth.
Giving a breakdown of the 2024 Appropriation Bill, the President said: “Accordingly, an aggregate expenditure of N27.5tn is proposed for the Federal Government in 2024, of which the non-debt recurrent expenditure is N9.92tn while debt service is projected to be N8.25tn and capital expenditure is N8.7tn. Nigeria remains committed to meeting its debt obligations. Projected debt service is 45 per cent of the expected total revenue.
“The budget deficit is projected at N9.18tn in 2024 or 3.88 per cent of GDP. This is lower than the N13.78tn deficit recorded in 2023, which represented 6.11 per cent of GDP. The deficit will be financed by new borrowings totalling N7.83tn, N298.49bn from Privatisation Proceeds, and N1.05tn draw down on multilateral and bilateral loans secured for specific development projects.”
Heavy Security At National Assembly As President Tinubu Presents 2024 Budget Today
Security has been tightened up at the National Assembly ahead of President Bola Tinubu’s presentation of the 2024 Appropriation Bill.
Access to the compound is being restricted by men from the Department of State Services stationed at the entrance gates.
Security personnel are stationed around the National Assembly Complex to ensure that only individuals with legal business are permitted inside.
As early as 6:30 a.m., journalists flocked to the complex, wanting to conduct business for the day, but were met by a swarm of security guards who demanded that only those wearing “2024 Budget Presentation” tags may enter.
At the time of filing this report, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas had arrived at his office for the business of the day.
Auxiliary workers, media aides and visitors who had no tags were told by security operatives to go home, even as many of them were seen conversing in low tones.
Ondo Lawmakers Meet Today, May Declare Aiyedatiwa Acting Governor
After the peace meeting with President Bola Tinubu in Abuja on Friday, members of the Ondo State House of Assembly will meet today (Tuesday), to discuss the polity in the state.
A source in the Assembly said one of the major issues on the Assembly agenda for today’s plenary was the consideration of whether or not to declare the state deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, as the acting governor following the long absence of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
The source said, “The House plans to sit tomorrow (Tuesday) and Aiyedatiwa may be declared acting governor during the sitting. This is part of the outcome of the meeting with President Tinubu.”
When contacted on the matter, the Speaker of the House, Olamide Oladiji, said he was at a meeting.
“I will let you know whether the meeting will be held tomorrow because we are at a meeting now; after the meeting, I will let you know,” the Speaker stated.
As of the time of filing this report, there was no information from the Speaker.
Earlier report had it that President Tinubu last Friday met with the leadership of the Assembly and the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Ondo state in Abuja in a bid to resolve the long-drawn political crisis in the state.
The Assembly had, rising from the meeting with Tinubu, said it had dropped the move to impeach the deputy over alleged gross misconduct.
Also, Aiyedatiwa said he would push behind him the events of the past and carry all the stakeholders along.
The crisis between Akeredolu and his deputy began after the governor returned to the country from his long medical vacation in Germany.
The move by the Assembly to impeach the deputy governor had divided the lawmakers.
All parties in the Friday meeting were said to have resolved that the status quo should remain which means Akeredolu should remain the governor, Aiyedatiwa remains the deputy governor and that there should be no. impeachment.
Credit: The Punch
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