Buhari set to sign 2016 Budget by August


4 Apr 2016

Buhari set to sign 2016 Budget by August

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Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari stirred the hornet’s nest in Washington DC, during a meeting with the United States, US, Secretary of State, John Kerry, by declaring that he would not assent to the 2016 unless it was critically reviewed sector by sector.

“Some bureaucrats removed what we put in the proposals and replaced it with what they wanted. I have to look at the bill that has been passed by the National Assembly, ministry by ministry, to be sure that what has been brought back for me to sign is in line with our original submission,” the president had said.

The bombshell came on the heels of the passage of the 2016 Appropriation bill of N6.08 trillion on March 24 after it had been pruned down to N6.06 trillion by the National Assembly and transmitted to the President without the details of the minuses or additions made to it.

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It is a well known fact that budget estimates can only come into effect only when assented by President.

Post-Nigeria’s investigation revealed that the unfolding events surrounding the 2016 budget may linger till August, dashing the hopes of many Nigerians.

On the full details of the Budget, Honourable Ossai Nicholas Ossai, member representing Ndokwa East/Ndokwa Federal Constituency, stated that the details as requested by the president would take time.

“It is not something of one week because, as you put the details, you will be able to analyze them sectorially, agree with the sectorial amount.

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“It takes up to three weeks or more than that. Even if the committee is working 24 hours every day, it takes more than two weeks. So, I think people should understand that the details take up to three weeks. It is not a week issue.

“And this is something that takes more than one month to couple by the executive and, if there are amendments in many areas, the executive does not expect the National Assembly to sort it out within one week.”

Post-Nigeria confirmed that the cheers that greeted the passage of the 2016 Budget by the National Assembly recently have disappeared overnight with the refusal of the President to assent to it.

“The excitement is gone and the peoples’ faces have gone gloomy again. The long wait for this budget of change is killing us as the 2016 budget estimates tussle might linger to August, ‘’ a political analyst cried out.

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Meanwhile, the controversy arising from the refusal of the president to sign the budget is connected to the monumental national embarrassment that followed the 2016 budget.

There are strong suspicions by the executive that the National Assembly has used the opportunity of the errors in the budget to pad it for their own purposes.

The position of the executive is further supported by the fact that the National Assembly only sent the highlights of the budget to the president without the details for assent.

A good number of analysts have posited that the power play within the APC will prolong the eventual assent to the budget while noting that only strangers to the practice of passing budget in the country will expect that the president will assent to it anytime soon.

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According to the Executive Director, Corporate Finance, BGL Capital Limited, Femi Ademola, “If it is taking the NASS so long to get the details ready, it should be expected a lot of changes might have been included in the budget that would require a careful consideration by the president before giving assent,” he reasoned.

“It appears that the nation is in for a budget crisis,” a Port Harcourt-based economist, Ezeh Wordu, told journalists.

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News Source: Post-Nigeria, 9jaTales

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