At about 4:40pm, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo signed the 2017 Budget into law.
Osinbajo signed the N7.44trillion budget inside his conference room at the Presidential Villa in the presence of top government officials including, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari; Senate President Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; and others.
According to the acting president, the signing of the budget was a milestone in the implementation of the economic and growth plan programme of President Buhari.
He noted that the budget processes this year is smoother than that of 2016.
“There were far few cases of acrimony unlike in the past. There is no doubt at all that our democracy is maturing very well,” he said.
He also stated why he delayed in the signing of the 2017 Budget.
The budget was passed by the National Assembly on May 11, 2017, but Osinbajo who has been acting in the capacity of the president since Buhari is in London on medical treatment did not assent to it until after a month.
The acting president however noted that the delay was due to disagreements between the executive and the National Assembly on the changes made.
He added that the changes affected some of the plans federal government have and could make implementation extremely difficult or possibly not feasible.
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Osinbajo said that the leadership of the National Assembly, Senate President Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, “adopted a commendably patriotic and statesmanlike approach on engagement in resolving these critical issues.’’
The Executive finally agreed to sign the budget into law after the National Assembly leadership made commitments to re-instate budgetary allocations for certain key projects such as the railway standard gauge project, the Mambilla power project, the second Niger Bridge, amongst other projects.
“It is as a result of that understanding and the outcome of our detailed engagements that we are able to sign the 2017 appropriation bill into law,” Osinbajo said.