National News

Buhari directs Osinbajo to sign 2017 Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, to go ahead and sign the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a two-paragraph statement on Monday.

Shehu said Buhari who is currently receiving medical attention in London, the United Kingdom believed that it was in the interest of the nation’s economy for Osinbajo to sign the document without further delay.

He said Buhari’s directive was conveyed to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, in a letter dated June 10.

The statement read, “Following the receipt of a 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, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to sign the Appropriation Bill into law.

“In a letter dated June 10, 2017, which he personally signed and addressed to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the President also said he was ‘pleased by the joint resolution that the Executive would submit next year’s budget proposals by October 2017 and the National Assembly will conclude the Appropriation process by December 2017, so that the country can return to a normal fiscal period from next year onwards.’”

There have been speculations that Osinbajo might be delaying the signing of the budget to wait for Buhari’s return.

The President left the country on May 7 for another round of medical treatment after sending a letter to the National Assembly as provided for in Section 145 of the nation’s constitution.

He told the federal lawmakers that only his doctors would determine how long he would be away from the country.

There were speculations last week that the 74-year-old Nigerian leader would return last weekend.

The Presidency, however, said it had no such information.

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