Contrary to popular expectations that the 2017 budget will be signed into law soon, Nigerians may have to wait a little more, as the Presidency has revealed that it is not in a hurry.
Instead, it said the 2017 Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly on the 11th of May, is undergoing scrutiny to ensure that figures were not tampered with.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, in a statement issued Saturday, said, the Presidency is working within a time frame.
He also dispelled rumours that the budget may be rejected and sent back to the National Assembly. Rather, he revealed that the Presidency is engaging with the leadership of the National Assembly to resolve possible areas of differences.
“The Presidency is working within the constitutional time-frame required to process details of the 2017 budget passed by the National Assembly. There is no such plan by it to reject the 2017 budget passed by the National Assembly as alleged in some reports,” he said in the statement.
Ripples Nigeria had reported exclusively on Friday, that the Acting President 2017 budget is not in a hurry to sign the Appropriation Bill, because of some discrepancies noted, which the National Assembly had inserted into the document.
Enang added: “The Presidency can only assent to the budget or withhold assent as the case maybe. However, should there be areas needing input, the Presidency would engage the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives. As such, any report suggesting a rejection of the 2017 budget by the presidency is incorrect.
“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 ground, while also engaging in consultations.
“When the budget was presented to both chambers of the National Assembly for consideration last year by President Muhammadu Buhari, both chambers subjected the document to legislative processes using internal systems at their disposal.
“This, exactly, is what the presidency is actually doing at the moment to ensure what would be eventually assented to sufficiently addresses the nation’s present realities, as not doing so could expose government to a backlash from Nigerians”, he said.