Budget'll be ready for President's assent next week, says Saraki

By The Citizen

President Muhammadu Buhari last night met with the leadership of the National Assembly led by the Senate President Bukola Saraki at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Budget will be ready for the President's assent next week, it weas learnt.

The closed door meeting, which was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, started about 9.20 pm and ended at 9.30 pm  at the First Lady's Conference Room.

House Speaker Yakubu Dogara,  Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker of the House, Yusuf Lasun also attended the meeting.

Others include the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio; House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila and other leaders of the National Assembly.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma,  Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang and  Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Samaila Kawu, were at the meeting.

Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Saraki said the executive and legislature  agreed on the way forward to tackle the 2016 Budget crisis.

According to him, the grey areas will be ironed out in a matter of days and the budget will be ready for President's assent next week.

He said: 'We just finished a meeting with the president and vice president, we came to let them know some of the solutions that we found in moving the budget process forward and we are happy to say that we have agreed on the way forward and we believe that this process will be completed in a matter of days rather than weeks.

'So it is good for Nigerians and all of us, we have found a way forward and in a matter of days the budget will be ready for president's assent.

Asked to throw light on the way forward, he said: 'We have committees that have been set up on our side and also on the executive side, we will engage over the next few days, to just tidy up a few loose ends and here and there and the outcome will be satisfactory to everybody.'

On whether the budget will be signed this week, Saraki said: ' I said it is a matter of days and not weeks, so you can start counting the days which means that between now and Monday or Tuesday, I'm hopeful that the budget will be signed.'

Udo Udoma said: 'We have agreed to work together to resolve all issues in the next few days and we have also agreed on the modalities of doing so. So, it was a very good meeting, very positive and within the next few days all issues will be resolved. The Nation