The National Assembly has began debate on the N13.08 Trillion 2021 Budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senate and the House of Representatives held separate debates on the Appropriation Bill titled: “Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience.”
While some lawmakers commended the President over some proposals in the budget, some others expressed displeasure with the N3.85 trillion capital vote; the N5.19 trillion deficit and the plan by the government to service the shortfall partly with external borrowings.
Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi, kicked off the debate by noting that most nations, including Nigeria, were experiencing “interesting, difficult and tumultuous times.”
He alleged that some persons were trying to capitalise on “dire social and economic conditions” to dismember Nigeria, urging his colleagues to stay true to their oaths to preserve and protect the country.
Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe said the budget “is nothing but the same” with previous budgets.
He argued that the 2021 budget might become unrealisable because it has failed to take into cognisance, the challenges of the times.
Abaribe said: “We have a budget based on unrealistic expectations. We are not also so sure what the oil situation is going to be.
Deputy Chief Whip Aliyu Abdullahi said Abaribe was merely playing to the gallery.
He said: “This administration‘s budget is that of recovery and resilience, I know what recovery means as a veterinary doctor.