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I Will Sign 2017 Budget If… Ag President Osinbajo
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said that he would assent to the 2017 budget proposal which was recently passed by the National Assembly, once he is satisfied with the contents as passed by the legislators.
This was made known by spokesman to the acting President, Laolu Akande, via his verified tweeter handle on Thursday.
“Just so we are clear: when the time comes, everything is set, and he is satisfied, Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo will assent to the 2017 Budget,” Akande tweeted.
This follows reports by some media outfits quoting the minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed as saying that it was not clear yet who will sign the budget.
Vanguard Newspaper had published a report titled: “We don’t know who will sign 2017 budget – Lai Mohammed”, but the Minister when contacted on the phone on Thursday described the report as “absolute rubbish.”
In his explanation, the Minister said: “They asked who’s going to sign the budget, the President or the VP. I said that does not arise.
“Do they want me to say President? Then, they ask when he is coming back? So, I say when it is transmitted to the Presidency, that decision will be taken.”
To further clarify the position of the information minister, his media aide released a statement denying the report by Vanguard Newspaper.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a story in a section of the media quoting the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as saying “we don’t know who will sign the 2017 budget”.
“This quote is a malicious misrepresentation of what transpired at the post-Federal Executive Council Meeting press briefing on Wednesday, 17 May 2017.
“When the minister was asked a question relating to the signing of the 2017 budget, his response was: “When it is transmitted to the Presidency, the issue will be addressed.”
“Anything beyond that response amounts to deliberate mischief and should be ignored.”
The National Assembly last week passed the 2017 budget proposal which was presented before the lawmakers by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2016.
A total of N7.44 trillion was approved by the legislature, an increase of N143 billion from the N7.29 trillion budget submitted the President.
The passed budget is, however, yet to get to the presidency as there are reports some members of the Senate are not satisfied with the final version.