Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo is to sign the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law on the direction of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has indicated that it is in the interest of the nation’s economy for the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to sign the Appropriation Bill into law,” Buhari’s media aide Garba Shehu said in a terse statement on Monday.
Shehu said Buhari in a letter dated June 10, 2017 personally signed by him and addressed to the minister of budget and national planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, had said that he was ‘pleased by the joint resolution that the Executive would submit next year’s budget proposals by October 2017 and the National Assembly will conclude the Appropriation process by December 2017, so that the country can return to a normal fiscal period from next year onwards.’”
The National Assembly passed the budget on May 11, more than four months after it was submitted to it by the President. It is expected that Osinbajo, who is currently in Anambra, would append the budget when he returns to Abuja later on Monday.
The Presidency last week said the budget signing was delayed because it wanted to ensure the content of the budget as passed by the National Assembly was consistent with what was presented to the National Assembly.
“Right now, the Presidency is subjecting every detail of the budget, using the available systems at its disposal to ensure the figures appropriated to MDAs are consistent with the realities on the ground,” said Senator Solomon Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate).
However, there were rumours that Osinbajo was delaying signing the budget into law until Buhari, who left Nigeria for London to seek medical attention on May 7, returns.
But Enang insisted last month that was not the case. He said the Acting President would assent to it after the laid down procedure may have been concluded.
“He [Osinbajo] has the power of the President to assent to it. But the assent to the Appropriation Bill will be after the completion of the standard operation process,” he said.