President Muhammadu Buhari will not sign the 2016 Appropriation Bill into law any time soon.
According to PUNCH, a senior official at the Presidency who spoke on condition of anonymity, told journalists on Tuesday that Buhari was handicapped as far as signing the bill was concerned because the President did not know what was contained in the bill.
”The President has just received the transmission of the Appropriation Bill (2016 Budget) from the National Assembly and is very anxious to sign it into law, but the National Assembly only sent in the highlights without the details of the budget.
“Although he is anxious to sign the document so that implementation of the provisions could start immediately and ease the tension in the economy and polity, he is afraid he may later discover, when the details are sent, that what is contained therein is not implementable.
“He wishes that the National Assembly could send the details speedily so that it could be considered for assent.
“Ministers are also eager that the budget be signed so they could start implementing their programmes, but they are unable to push the President to sign what has been transmitted because they also do not know what is contained in the details.
“They are particularly worried that the year is gradually aging and the provision of the law in respect of spending the previous year’s budget is not helping matters because of the low capital provision for 2015.
“Because of the low provision made last year for capital expenditure, spending 50 per cent of that provision for the first half of this year will make no impact on the provision of infrastructure.”
“The Budget Office cannot also work on the budget for implementation because it is the details, and not the highlights, that they convert into implementable templates for the respective MDAs.
“The National Assembly may just have passed the bill to pass the buck to the executive and escape the wrath of the public which was gradually suspecting it of sabotage,” he said.
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