At last, Osinbajo signs 2017 appropriation bill into law

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*Osinbajo (seated) at the budget signing ceremony in Aso Presidential Villa. Standing close to him (from R) are senior special assistant to President Buhari on national assembly matters (senate), Ita Ennang and senate president, Bukola Saraki.

One month after the national assembly passed the 2017 appropriation bill, the acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has finally signed the budget into law.

The budget first presented on December 14, 2016, to the two chambers of the national assembly by the President Muhammadu Buhari had an estimate of N7.28 trillion but was raised to N7.44 trillion by the federal lawmakers.

Details of the budget showed that N434.4 billion was appropriated for statutory transfers to the National Judicial Council (N100 billion); Niger Delta Development Commission (N64.02 billion); Universal Basic Education (N95.2 billion); National Assembly (N125 billion); Public Complaints Commission (N4 billion); INEC (N45 billion); and National Human Rights Commission (N1.2 billion). ‎

“It’s an important milestone in our economic recovery and growth plan laid in April by President Buhari,” Osinbajo said shortly after the signing ceremony in Aso Presidential Villa which was attended by the senate president, Bukola Saraki, speaker, house of representatives, Yakubu Dogara, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters, (senate), Ita Ennang, among others.

The signing took place hours after Osinbajo was directed to sign the budget by President Muhammadu Buhari, currently on extended sick leave in London. Buhari, according to the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, observed that it is in the interest of the nation’s economy for the acting president to sign the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law.

In a statement issued in Abuja, Shehu quoted Buhari as saying that “the signing of the budget by the acting president would further buttress unity at the highest level of government.”

He also stated that the president was delighted  the federal executive councils’ decision to submit 2018 budget proposals by October, while the national assembly would conclude the appropriation process by December 2017.

He said: “Following the receipt of full brief on the 2017 appropriation bill as passed by the national assembly, and to buttress the unity at the highest level of government, President Muhammadu Buhari has indicated that it is in the interest of the nation’s economy for the acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to sign the Appropriation Bill into law.

“The president also said he was pleased by the joint resolution that the executive would submit next year’s budget proposals by October 2017.”

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