Buhari withholds assent to 2016 budget as NASS fails to send details

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Economic Council Retreat

PHOTO CREDIT: STATE HOUSE PHOTO
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Economic Council Retreat PHOTO CREDIT: STATE HOUSE PHOTO

President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign the 2016 budget a week after the document was sent to him by the National Assembly, presidency officials said Tuesday, further delaying the implementation of a budget the government hopes will help Nigeria out of its present economic crisis.

A top presidency official said Mr. Buhari could not sign the budget because the passed budget had no details.

The official said almost a week after the National Assembly passed the 2016 Appropriation Bill, details of the approved Appropriation Bill were yet to be transmitted to the president.

The source said Mr. Buhari had been anxious to give assent to the Bill, but that he was concerned that signing the budget without details may give approval to an un-implementable spending plan.

“The president has not been able to sign the Bill into law because he does not know what is contained in the details and what adjustments the National Assembly made to the proposal sent to them last December,” the official told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.

The source, who did not want his name disclosed as he was not authorised to comment on the issue in his official capacity, said the delay in transmitting the details could mean that the National Assembly either did not complete work on the budget, or were “playing politics” with the passage of the document.

He said the president was disappointed that his desire to see the immediate implementation of the provisions to ease the tension in the economy and polity would have to tarry a little longer till when the details were transmitted to him and the adjustments are found to be implementable.

The harmonised N6.06 trillion budget was finally passed by both chambers of the National Assembly last Wednesday after weeks of bickering over controversial allocations in the N6.08 trillion proposal submitted by Mr. Buhari on December 22, 2015.

Details of the approved appropriation showed that N1.59 trillion was allocated for capital expenditure, and N2.65 trillion for recurrent expenditure, while about N1.48 trillion was approved for debt servicing.

The lawmakers also approved about N2.2 trillion as deficit, with N500 billion going for social intervention projects and N351.4billion for Statutory transfers.

The final assent to the budget is sure to suffer another delay for at least one more week as Mr. Buhari leaves Abuja Wednesday to attend a Nuclear Summit in Washington DC, USA.

When contacted, the Senate spokesperson, Abdullahi Sabi, said he would not comment on the issue, but he assured that the National Assembly would not do anything to sabotage the collective interest of all Nigerians.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, did not answer several calls to his telephone on Tuesday. He did not also respond to the text message sent to him on the issue.

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  • Isi Agwo

    Wao! Am I missing something? It was President Mumu-hadu Bokohari’s own ‘419 budget’ (said to be “Nigeria’s best budget ever). Right? He sends it to the National Assembly, blackmails them to pass the budget, with the 1.2 billion naira for feeding The Illiterate One and family with tuwo and all the padded sums. Now the Illiterate One wants the National Assembly to send him another “detailed budget?” Talk about a certificate forging, serial perjurer, godfather of corruption and terrorist claiming a high moral ground, with the full support of illiterate “journalists” at Propaganda Times.

    • Edosa

      You are the biggest idiot.buhari issues will kiĺl your family

      • John

        Why do you waste your energy and precious time replying to a person who has his name as Isi Agwo” which means “snake head” in Ibo dialect, so you see, you either make good use of your time, or you keep wasting it was “snake head” it’s up to you, the choice is yours…

        • aisha ani

          ditto!

      • Holy truth

        Don’t bother responding to his stupidity bcos he can’t understand simple English language.

    • SBA

      Rubbish!

    • Julius

      You will be forever a moron !

    • Truthometer

      Pray to God to give you a new brain this year. Instead of the polluted, hate-filled and corrupt one that is affecting you, negatively. With or without you, Nigeria shall be great again.

    • excel

      Your headache your problem, your problem your frustration, your frustration your cross. bear it Buhari can not help you.

    • Jacky

      You need deliverance….by serious men of God with serious fasting and prayers!

  • Holy truth

    It is now time 4 well meaning Nigerians to March against dis bunch of criminals headed by d biggest & shameless thief in d house of assembly 4 holding Nigeria& Nigerians to ransom by messing around with d budget all dis days.
    Why is it dat everything & anything saraki is involved in is tainted with fraud. D Senate is d problem if did govt let’s do away with dis good 4 nothing bunch of criminals called senators in Nigeria.

  • DON

    What stops the presidency from writing the NASS and demand for the budgets details?
    Or are they waiting to writing after one month?

    • bigbang

      The president shouldn’t have to write the NASS for details of a passed budget. This is like the passage of the Gender equality bill without providing full details of the bill to the President. No president will sign such a bill.

      • DON

        How then do Presidents inform the legislature of their refusal to sign such act?

  • Ahmad

    Thank God. Baba has seen their boo boo trap.

  • emmanuel anizoba

    Don’t sign anything Mr President until you have the details of every chapter of the budget. We can prioritise the usefulness of the various departments whose budgets make up the National Budget and assent to their budgets accordingly. So our budget will be assented to in fragments, instead of giving a blanket assent to an opaque document called “The Budget”. PMB should have the budget and its details, but his assent should be on a section by section basis. The old corruption – laden blanket assent approach must be dropped. Cheers!

  • excel

    The Nass should stop this silly politics, and do the needful. The president will not bow to any negotiation that will undermine the progress of the Nation.

  • FreeNigeria

    God please sweep these worthless politicians away from our country forever. May their likes never be born anywhere in the world again.

  • Rommel

    There are many politicians in Nigeria who cannot survive without fraud and since we have decided to look elsewhere,all that it takes for evil to thrive is for good people to act unconcerned

  • Jacky

    Thank God that President Buhari is about to escape what could be a dangerous trap to sabotage him again. “Once beaten, twice shy”! We can’t forget too soon how they sabotaged the budget….and they are sabotaging everything: from dollar to electricity and from fuel to food. God will fortify President Buhari with more wisdom to save us from the vampires who are determined to suppress us.

  • UOU

    Another long wait, maybe till June, it depends on those who would last till then

  • This is actually a good idea because the senate members can be deceptive at times. They should release the details so the president will have a substantial evidence to whoever that doesn’t do any approved project.

  • The President’s decision to understand the details of our budget before signing it is totally in order.