👤 By Moshood Olawale
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday signed a N9.12 trillion bill into Law.
The Presidential assent was given weeks after the 2018 budget was passed by the National Assembly.
At first it was assumed that it was the lawmakers holding up the budget, but DENISAURUS News on June 14 discovered that the budget could not be implemented yet, as President Buhari was yet to sign it.
READ ALSO : NASS Approves 2018 Budget
President Buhari finally “decided to sign the 2018 Budget in order not to further slowdown the pace of recovery of our economy, which has doubtlessly been affected by the delay in passingly the budget.”
At the budget signing ceremony, Nigeria’s Commander-in-Chief, who plans to run for office again in 2019, claimed the spending plan was increased without discussion with the Executive.
The spokesperson for the House of Representatives, AbdulRazak Namadas has responded to the President’s statements.
”That the budget is usually a proposal by the executive to the National Assembly, which the latter is given the constitutional power of appropriation to alter, make additions, costs or reduce as it may deem necessary. The Legislature is not expected to be a rubber-stamp by simply approving the Executive proposals and returning the budget to Mr. President. Therefore, the additions Mr. President complained of in his speech are justifiable.”
President Buhari, 75, had also insinuated that the budget was not signed in time because of the legislative arm.
“Notwithstanding the delay this year, I am determined to continue to work with the national assembly towards improving the budgeting process and restoring our country to the January-December fiscal cycle,” President Buhari said at the State House.
Hon Namadas responded saying, “there were delays that should be blamed on the heads of (Ministries, Departments, and Agencies) MDAs. Mr President will recall that he had to direct ministers Andy heads of agencies to go to the National Assembly to defend their proposals. This came after the National Assembly had persistently raised the alarm over the non-cooperative attitudes of these government officials. On this grounds, the delay in passing the budget cannot been blamed on the legislature.”