Buhari Refuses To Sign 2016 Budget, Suspects Sabotage
BEVERLY HILLS, March 29, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign the 2016 Appropriation Bill into law.
According to The Tribune, the budget was transmitted to him on Tuesday by the National Assembly but the president turned down the request to append his signature to the document because it was found out to be mere highlights rather than the entire document.
Recall that the National Assembly had passed the N6.06trillion budget last week but it was not clear whether the conference committee of the two chambers of the legislature had harmonized it.
Top Presidency sources revealed to State House correspondents on Tuesday that the National Assembly may not have completed work on the budget but were merely playing politics with the document further accusing them of sabotage.
“This development confirms speculations that the National Assembly either did not complete work on the budget or are playing politics with the documents which affects the life of both the country and its citizens,” the source said.
“The National Assembly may just have passed the bill to pass the buck to the executive and escape the wrath of the public which was gradually suspecting it of sabotage.”
The source confirmed that the President has just received the transmission of the Appropriation Bill from the National Assembly and was very anxious to sign it into law, “but the National Assembly only sent in the highlights without the details of the budget.”
“As a result, the President has been handicapped in signing the Bill because he does not know what is contained in the details and what adjustments the National Assembly must have made to the proposal sent to them.
“Although he is anxious to sign the document so that implementation of the provisions could start immediately and ease the tension in the economy and polity, he is afraid he may later discover, when the details are sent, that what is contained therein is not implementable.”
While the Presidency source expressed the president’s wish that the National Assembly could send in the details speedily so that it could be considered for assent, the source also revealed that ministers are also eager that the budget be signed so they could start implementing their programmes, “but they are unable to push the President to sign what has been transmitted because they also do not know what is contained in the details.”
“They are particularly worried that the year is gradually aging and the provision of the law in respect of spending the previous year's budget is not helping matters because of the low Capital provision for 2015,” the source said.
The source explained that because of the low provision made last year for capital expenditure, spending 50% of that provision for the first half of this year will make no impact on provision of infrastructure.
“The Budget Office cannot also work on the Budget for implementation because it is the details, and not the highlights, that they convert into implementable templates for the respective MDAs,” the source declared.