The 2016 budget was released recently which was a relief for many Nigerians, but according to the Presidency on Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari had yet to get the details of the 2016 Appropriation Bill as passed by the National Assembly and has therefore not signed the bill into law yet.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in an interview.
Shehu said although Buhari had received the Appropriation Bill itself, the President would wait for the details to be sent to him before signing the document.
He said the President and indeed his administration were also in a hurry to see the bill signed into law in order to begin implementation, but the due process must be adhered to.
The Presidential spokesman said, “The 2016 Appropriation Bill has been sent to the President but he will not sign it without the details.
“The details will show the allocations made for the different ministries.
“Once they submit the details, the President will study it and see which ones were reduced and which ones were moved.
“He will also decide whether the changes are acceptable. We are also in a hurry to get the document signed, but that is the procedure and it must be followed.”
When asked if there is any possibility that the bill can be signed into law this week, Shehu simply said, “I wouldn’t know.”
The Senate and the House of Representatives had on Wednesday passed a harmonised budget of N6.06tn, cutting about N17bn off the initial N6.077tn proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 23, 2015.
According to the report, there was little left to do on the bill at the legislature, as the two chambers also approved the votes and proceedings of Wednesday’s sitting before embarking on the Easter break.
“The work on the budget is over at the National Assembly. In the past, it would have been delayed had the chambers passed the bill with differences. Such differences would have required a conference committee to reconcile them, but that has been taken care of with the passage of the harmonised bill,” a principal officer of the National Assembly said.