Why Osinbajo Postponed Budget Signing

Facts have emerged on why the budget signing ceremony billed for today became a no-show.

A Presidency official attributed the postponement to the extensive consultations between the presidency and ministers, on one hand and National Assembly members on the other.

The National Assembly on 11 May passed the record 7.44 trillion naira ($24.45 billion) budget for 2017.

Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo was expected to sign the document today and reports had said he had invited both the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara to the ceremony.

NAN sources said some of the ministers were clamouring for some changes in the budget, as the final figures approved by the National Assembly were much lower than what the President submitted.

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Last December, President Muhammadu Buhari had tabled a N7.298trillion budget to the Assembly, but the lawmakers jacked the final figure to NN7.44 trillion

The budget aims to drag the country out of a recession that was caused by low global oil prices that have slashed government revenues, weakened the Naira and caused chronic dollar shortages.

“There are ongoing consultations between the executive and the legislature over the budget. Consultations have not been concluded,” Senator Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on Senate matters told Reuters.

Last year’s budget, which was passed in May 2016, similarly faced delays, such that capital expenditure was extended till 4 May2017, well into another budget cycle.

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