Fresh Troubles For The 2016 Budget - Leystradamus.Com.Ng

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fresh Troubles For The 2016 Budget

Another cloud of uncertainty is hanging over the 2016 Budget estimates approved by National Assembly last Thursday as the Appropriation Bill may not be signed into law for full implementation any time soon.
Instead, there may ensue a showdown between the Presidency and the National Assembly on the budget. As reported by Vanguard, the lawmakers may have played a fast one on the Presidency by transmitting only the highlights of the budget and kept the details in their custody.

Release of the budget highlights without details makes it difficult for President Muhammadu Buhari to know what adjustments were made by the lawmakers.

To this end, it was learned that the President and his ministers, who investigations revealed, were eager to sign and begin implementation, are now boxed into a corner. It was also revealed the Budget Office, which also needs the details to work with, is handicapped at the moment.

This gives an impression that it was either the budget was not well tidied up or that by approving the estimates three months after it was laid, the National Assembly had left itself off the worry of Nigerians and now passed the buck to the President, who is not likely to sign the bill into law until the details were made available to him.

Face-off looms
The development was said to be prompting a face-off and crisis of confidence between the Presidency and National Assembly which may delay the passage of the budget to the detriment of Nigerians.

However, a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South), said that full details of the passed 2016 Appropriation Bill were with President Buhari for assent.

In a text to Vanguard last night, Senator Ibrahim who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, said the bill was at the moment going through a process.

His words: “There is nothing like the President refusing assent to the Appropriation Bill. We worked closely with the executive in passing the bill. We are aware it is going through the normal process before the President assents.

“If anybody tells you that the President refuses to assent, let the person tell you the reason. The Appropriation Bill is already with the Executive with full details.”

The President is right if it is true — Emmanuel Ekon, PDP, Akwa Ibom
Ekon in his contribution simply said “though I’ve not been fully briefed but if it is true that what we sent does not have details, then to an extent the President is right [not to sign it yet]”.

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