EXCLUSIVE: President Buhari now to sign 2018 budget on Wednesday, opens up on budget padding
By Olumidagreaton June 17, 2018
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Fresh revelations on how members of the National Assembly padded the 2018 fiscal policy may be disclosed by President Mohammadu Buhari on Wednesday when he is expected to sign off the spending estimate for the year, top presidency source has hinted GFD.
The president will assent to the budget shortly before the start of Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting this Wednesday and reveal the way forward in the process of implementing the fiscal policy.
Information minister, Lai Mohammed had last week disclosed that the president will sign off the 2018 budget by Tuesday.
However, in an exclusive interview with Global Financial Digest (GFD), presidential spokesman in Lagos on Sunday, Femi Adesina said the budget will be signed off by the president on Wednesday.
“The president will sign the budget either on Tuesday or Wednesday,” Adesina said in response to our reporter’s inquiry on the sacrosanct of Tuesday budget signing ceremony.
Adesina also disclosed that the president discovered some extraneous items in the budget as passed by the National Assembly and will be revealing details of those items in his speech at the signing ceremony on Wednesday.
The president, according to the presidential spokesman may be forced to present a supplementary budget to redress the anomalies noticed in the document presented to him by the lawmakers.
President Buhari presented a budget of 8.65 trillion naira to the joint sitting of the National Assembly in November last year and the fiscal policy was not passed until May this year by the parliament.
The lawmakers also jerked up the spending estimate to 9.12 trillion naira and also increased the benchmark on which revenue from crude oil exports are based to $51/barrel, up from the $45/barrel submitted by the president.
All hope lies on the budget which would probably be the last to be approved by the lawmakers before the next crucial general election in February.
Nigerians anticipate that the government will double its efforts to meet the yearning of the common man by injecting more money to fund developmental projects beneficiary to an average Nigerian.
With the long delay in the passing and signing of the 2018 fiscal policy, government many not be able to realise all the objectives intended for the budget this year.
The president and members of the National Assembly, dominated by members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) have really not enjoy the best of relationship since the start this administration. The parliament has in a number of occasion being accused of injected into the budget projects that are not originally part of the estimate presented by the executive but meant to placate the constituency of the legislators.