Osinbajo’s budget signing depends on outcome of ministers’ meeting with legislators
- The executive arm of government on Monday held a closed-door meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly over details of the 2017 budget.
Recall that there has been an uproar over inclusion of some items by the National Assembly and removsl of some others in the 2027 budget .
But the law makers said that was done for the interest of the economy.
Particular item affected are some funds earmarked for road infrastructure in the budget submitted to the National Assembly, but which were they yanked off .
Sources privy to the meeting disclosed that if all issues were resolved, the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, may sign the 2017 budget on Thursday.
The source quoting officials said: “When the Deputy Senate President closed the meeting, he hinted that once all the issues are resolved, the budget will be signed maybe by Thursday.
The funds were spread across several items in the proposed budget, but the National Assembly removed tsome of them for want of requisite explanation.
To this end, the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, minister of Labour, Chris Ngige and the minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, as well as the Director General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze made frantic efforts to explain the executive position on the matter.
Also, the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National ssembly Matter s(Senate), Sen. Ita Enang and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Hon. Sulaimon Kawu were also present at the meeting.
Although, the meeting was not concluded yesterday and it is expected to continue today, it was gathered that harmonised team of the National Assembly may have agreed to accommodate the funds by way of virement.
The National Assembly team led by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations, Danjuma Goje, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun and the chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Mustapha Bala Dawaki agreed that the fund be presented as virement.
“They seem to have agreed that the funds should be accommodated by a way of virement. The executive may bring the virement before the National Assembly by next week,” the source added.