Just when we thought an end has come to the controversial 2016 budget President Muhammadu Buhari has again refused to sign the budget. He is reported to have officially returned the bill to the National Assembly, pointing out areas of concern and demanding adjustment.
The spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Abdurazaq Namdas (APC-Adamawa State) confirmed this to journalists on Thursday. He said: “I can confirm to you that we are in possession of the letter from the president identifying grey areas.”
He also said that the grey areas in the budget will be made known to Nigerians soon.
Namdas added that the leaders of the Senate and the House, as well as the relevant committees, will meet to discuss the development and come up with possible solutions.
A senior legislative official said:
“The meeting will be held on Friday; the point is that efforts are on by the executive and the National Assembly to resolve the budget dispute once and for all. Mr. President is expected to be at the meeting with his economic team so that all sides will be on the same page.”
BuzzNigeria gathered however that the President is likely to be presented with two options regarding the budget – either a supplementary budget will be presented or the president will have to sign the already-passed document and areas of high importance can be implemented immediately.
The 2016 budget has generated several controversies ever since it was presented to the National Assembly by the President in December last year.
Please recall that the National Assembly passed the budget on March 23 and later transmitted it to Mr President for assent which has since withheld, probably because of the omission of certain projects and addition of others not proposed by the Executive.
Also Read: FG And NASS Trade Tackles Over 2016 Budget
The Senate had on Tuesday mandated its leadership to meet with the President and appeal to him to sign the budget and later send a supplementary bill on any areas left out of the Appropriation Bill. According to a source, the senators were mindful of Section 59(4) of the constitution, which spells out the 30 days for assent to a bill passed by the National Assembly from the day it is presented to the president for his assent or veto.