BreakingNews 20/5/17 - Osinbajo receives 2017 budget

[ Masterweb Reports: Isiaka Wakili reports ] - Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday received a copy of the 2017 Appropriation Bill from the National Assembly. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, delivered the copy to Osinbajo behind closed doors at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.


The legislature had last Thursday, passed the Appropriation Bill, increasing it from the N7.28 trillion proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari last December to N7.44 trillion.


Addressing State House correspondents after submitting the budget to Osinbajo, Enang clarified that the acting president had the power to sign the budget and would do so within 30 days upon completion of the "standard operation processes".


He said: "The budget as passed by the National Assembly has just been transmitted to the acting president. I just delivered it. Let me use this opportunity to clarify an issue. The acting president has the power to assent to the budget and he will assent to it when the processes are completed.


"The acting president has the power to assent to the budget. In February, he assented to 7 or 8 bills. Those that he didn’t agree with, he wrote the Senate and the House of Representatives that he had withheld his assent from them. He has the power of the president to assent to it.


"But the assent to the Appropriation Bill will be after the completion of the standard operation process. The bill has 30 days within which it will be assented to, but the process can be completed within two or three days.


"So, it is not possible to say it will be assented to in so, so and so day or in two or three days. It’s upon the completion of the process that it will be assented to by the president and the president here now is the acting president."


Enang had Wednesday night while featuring on a Channels Television’s programme, "Politics Today", said the budget would be signed by President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently undergoing a follow-up medical treatment in London.


"The 2017 budget will be transmitted to Mr President. The president will assent to the budget. The acting president is in office, and when the budget is transmitted, it will go through the processes and all those other questions will answer itself (sic)", he had said.


Information Minister Lai Mohammed also on Wednesday hinted that the decision on who would sign the budget would be taken upon its transmission to the presidency.


"When it is transmitted to the presidency, that decision will be taken," he told State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by Osinbajo.


The acting president’s spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, had, via Twitter late Wednesday stated: "Just so we are clear: when the time comes, everything is set and he is satisfied, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will assent to the 2017 budget."


*Photo Caption - Acting President Yemi Osinbajo

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