Monday, June 12, 2017

Six days to expiration of 2017 budget assent: Presidency denies waiting for Buhari

It is six days from today to the expiration of assent to the 2017 budget as constitutionally mandate to be done. This has fuelled speculations that there are subterranean plans by the Presidency to delay the assent to the bill for the return of President Muhammadu Buhari back into the country.

      In a reaction to this, however, the presidency has refuted the claim that the 2017 budget remains unsigned because it was subtly waiting for President Buhari to return from his medical  follow-up trip to the United Kingdom. It said the talks were misplaced since President Buhari, upon leaving the country on May 7, had transmitted full presidential powers to acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
There are speculations that the delay in signing the budget since its transmission by the National Assembly on May 19 was a deliberate ploy to ensure that Osinbajo does not assent to the Appropriation Bill.
But the delay in assent has raised fears because of the 30-day constitutional requirement for the assent of a bill after its transmission by the National Assembly to the executive. The duration expires June 18.
Reacting, a source in the presidency confided in Thisday on Sunday that “holding the nation down by delaying assent to the budget would be at variance with the president’s intention”. The source said that Buhari does not want the nation to be held to ransom in anyway and hence his decision to transfer powers without reservation to Osinbajo.
He further expressed confidence that the budget “would be signed soon”.

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