The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio has tasked Nigerians to support the Federal Government to ensure the realization of the long term benefits of the subsidy removal on petrol.
Akpabio said this at the presentation of the 2024 budget by President Bola Tinubu to the joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the country had witnessed significant economic reforms since the removal of the subsidy by the President, describing the subsidy removal as courageous.
“The removal of the petrol subsidy caused some discomfort in the nation; you responded with compassion and doled out palliatives to assuage the effects on the people.
“We the elected representatives of the masses of this country took note of the responsiveness of your government.
“We have also taken note that these bold decisions taken so far by this government have created some measures of economic discomfort for some Nigerians.
“We plead for continued support for the government to actualise the long term benefits of these policies,’’ he said.
Akpabio added: “The pain of today is like the pain of childbirth, when the result (the baby) manifests, we will rejoice and forget the pains.
“Mr President, this is your maiden trip to these hallowed chambers to deliver your maiden budgetary estimates as the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This is a significant milestone in our nation’s journey toward progress and development.
“The presentation of the budgetary estimates sets the course for our nation’s fiscal policies and priorities for the coming year.’’
“It is an opportunity for us to deliberate, scrutinise and collaborate in order to ensure that the budget aligns with the needs, hopes and aspirations of our people.
“Therefore, the National Assembly bears a great responsibility in the task of reviewing and approving the budget.
“We fully understand the weight of this responsibility, and the impact our decisions will have on the lives and welfare of the Nigerian people.
“It is our duty to ensure that the budget reflects the principles of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness’’.
“Consequently, we will certainly conduct a thorough and meticulous review of the budget estimates.
“We assure you that the proposals you have come to present will be diligently considered accordingly. We approach this moment with a sense of duty, unity and purpose.
“As we embark on the journey of reviewing the 2024 budget, let us remember that our actions today will shape the future of our nation.
“Together, let us work towards a budget that reflects the aspirations and dreams of every Nigerian citizen for a greater country.”
The president of the senate also said that the upper chamber placed high premium on national security, recognising it as a cornerstone for progress.
“These challenges demand a united front. We remain steadfast in our determination to work collaboratively with the executive to address and overcome the security challenges confronting our nation.
“In this national assembly, the death of any Nigerian equates a loss of a constituent.
“So whenever we lose anyone to insecurity, it is the sound of the ambulance passing by our window.
“We believe that insecurity can and must be stopped and it must be stopped by all Nigerians rallying around and supporting government’s efforts.
“We also want to seize this opportunity to appreciate our Armed Forces for fighting for us and sometimes paying the supreme sacrifice for us.”
He said that maintaining cordial relationship with the executive had always been a requirement of the law.
“But now, given that our old boys now run the executive, a good relationship with the executive is a must.
“Never have we had so many bridges and connection points between these two arms of government.
“So we will continue to walk hand in hand and see eye to eye with the executive arm, while ensuring that the principles of separation of powers as well as checks and balances as enshrined in our Constitution are observed in the overriding public interest.”