The presidency has denied any report that claimed the 2017 budget has not been assented to because it was subtly waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari to return from his trip to the United Kingdom.
According to the presidency, the rumours were spurious since Buhari transmitted full presidential powers to the acting President Yemi Osinbajo on May 7 before leaving the country.
The social media community was awash with speculations that the delay in signing the budget since its transmission by the National Assembly on May 19 was a deliberate ploy to ensure that Osinbajo does not assent to the Appropriation Bill.
The delay also raised more fears owing to the 30-day constitutional requirement for the assent of a bill after its transmission by the National Assembly to the executive and the duration expires on June 18.
However, in reaction to the speculations, a source in the presidency confided in Thisday on Sunday that “holding the nation down by delaying assent to the budget would be at variance with the president’s intention”.
The source further stated that Buhari does not want the nation to be held to ransom in anyway and hence his decision to transfer powers without reservation to Osinbajo.
The top source who pleaded anonymity also expressed confidence that the budget “would be signed soon”.
In the same vein, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said that the 2017 budget will be signed into law this week.
Speaking on Friday, on the floor of the House, Dogara also expressed delight that the House has kept to its promise to carry out a Budget reform that will ensure that the 2017 Appropriations Bill is processed in a transparent manner.
The speaker said: “On issue of Budget, we kept our promise to Nigerians at the beginning of the legislative session to ensure transparent deliberation and passage of the 2017 Appropriations Bill which will be signed into law early next week”.