We're not sure yet who’ll sign 2017 budget, Minister Lai says
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We’re not sure yet who’ll sign 2017 budget, Minister Lai says

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We're not sure yet who’ll sign 2017 budget, Minister Lai says

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that the Federal Government is unsure between the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently abroad for medical consultation, who will sign the 2017 budget into law.

This is in spite of the fact that Professor Osinbajo is now the Acting President following the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mohammed stated this while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

According to the minister, the decision on who will approve the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law would be decided when the document is eventually transmitted to the Presidency.

He said, “When it is transmitted to the Presidency, that decision will be taken‎.”

Read also: Senate gives ailing Buhari 2 weeks to submit budgets of 38 agencies

Meanwhile, Mohammed said that an advanced copy of the budget has been received by the Minister of Budget and National Planning.

President Buhari left the country on March 7 to attend to his health in London.

In his letter to the Senate, the President had informed that Osinbajo would coordinator affairs of the federal government in his absence.

Apart from an advanced copy of the 2017 Appropriation Bill, passed on Thursday by the National Assembly being with Udoma, the Presidency said it is yet to get the final copy from the law makers.
He stated, that the executive was still waiting for the National Assembly to finish its work on the budget by sending the approved copy to the Presidency for necessary action on the bill.
He said the advanced copy with Udoma was for cross checking of the content of what has been presented to the public by the parliament, through the media, as the approved copy of the appropriation bill.
Mohammed said all ministers would be required to look at the document against what they sent to the federal lawmakers and report back to Udoma for representation before the Presidency would finally accept the copy as authentic, when transmitted.
Hear him: “In respect of the budget, it was only this morning that the Minister of Budget and National Planning informed the council that the budget has been passed.
“He has not sent to us individually, copies of the passed budget. We now need to look at it against what we sent and if there is any discrepancy we will report back to the Minister of Budget and National Planning on harmonisation.
“The Ministry of Budget and National Planning will make the implementation of the 2016 budget public. They have told us that about N1.2 trillion has been released for capital.”
He also assured Nigerians that the two ministers recently confirmed by the National Assembly -Stephen Ocheni (Kogi) and Suleiman Hassan (Gombe)-would be inaugurated in due course.
On Ebola virus, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the Federal Government had put in place a standby team of 10 health care workers that can be deployed wherever they are needed.
“We already have a standby team comprising 10 front-line health ‎care workers that would be moving to any location they are needed. It is only then that we will require more money, but now, we don’t need additional money,” the minister said.

 

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