President Muhammadu Buhari has on Thursday maintained that he would not sign the 2016 Appropriation Bill, passed into law by the National Assembly, last week, unless he critically reviewed it.
The President made this known at a meeting with the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington DC.
According to him, following the controversial alteration and padding of the budget proposals, he needed to review the document to be certain that its contents tallied with the authentic budget proposal presented to the National Assembly.
He said: “Some bureaucrats removed what we put in the proposal and replaced it with what they wanted.
“I have to look at the bill that has been passed by the National Assembly, ministry by ministry, to be sure that what has been brought back for me to sign is in line with our original submission.”
The National Assembly had passed the bill last week and sent it to the Presidency without its details.
The president, on the other hand, refused 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.
When the President insisted that he will not sign the bill into law until he receives the details, some National Assembly members said it would not be out of place to sign, while others refer to him as being ungrateful for the excellent job done on the document.
They cited instances under former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua when budget were signed while the details were being worked on.
Meanwhile, in a separate meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffery Onyema, Kerry said the US would invest, at least, $600 million in Nigeria in 2016.
Kerry, who disclosed this during the opening session of the US-Nigeria Bi-national Commission meeting, reiterated the commitment of the US government to Nigeria’s growth.