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2017 budget: Fresh rift looms between Presidency, NASS

A fresh row may be in the offing between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government over the 2017 budget.

This is because the Presidency appears not to be in a hurry to assent to the 2017 Appropriation Bill, which the National Assembly passed late last week, Vanguard learned from a top federal official last night.

However, Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the Presidential Economic Management Team, EMT, have commenced a review of the 2017 budget, even without the details of the Appropriation Bill at their disposal yet.

But one of the top officials of the Federal Government expressed fears that the budget had been ‘altered’ in many ways by the lawmakers after spending more than five months deliberating on the document.

The official questioned where the lawmakers got N143 billion which they added to the original figure submitted to them by the President and the additional N10 billion added to the budget of the National Assembly at a time the government was reeling under hardship.

The official, who did not want his name in print, also questioned why the NASS unilaterally made substantial reductions from capital provisions for some strategic projects spread across the country and moved the money to some unspecified projects that are under the control of states and local governments.

According to the source, “that is why we fear that the distortions in this year’s budget may be more than those noticed in 2016 budget and the government may have to spend some time to study the budget so as not to make any mistake that may put it into crisis with the Nigerian people.
Vanguard, May17, 2017

 

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