President Muhammadu Buhari is still unsatisfied with some sections of the 2016 controversial budget and as a result, has sent the document back to the National Assembly for the third consecutive time, for further legislative work.
According to Vanguard, the budget which has been trailed with so many controversies in the past few months, was re-worked and sent to the President at about 1.15 am on Tuesday, May 3rd, but was returned to the National Assembly at about noon on the same day, after it turned out that the president was still discontent with some of its contents.
The news outfit also gathered that principal officers and members of the review committee from both legislative chambers met yesterday, at about 3.20pm till about 5.30pm in the Senate wing to reconsider the president’s observations on the 2016 controversial budget.
A source close to the committee confirmed that the budget was submitted to the President but that he refused to touch it due to some issues he was still not at rest with. He said:
“The budget got to the State House at about 1.10 am and Mr. President went through it early this morning (yesterday) and still had some issues with some of the figures. I cannot tell you exactly what it was but I think the insertions made by the lawmakers were not significantly altered.
“You know the lawmakers had moved some allocations for key projects that are dear to the President to other areas, especially to their constituency projects. Of course, they have changed some but I believe Mr. President is not satisfied with the reconciliation they made. I think this is one of the reasons it was returned”.
The source who spoke to Vanguard went on to give an assurance that the “President is desirous to sign the budget because he is aware and has acknowledged that Nigerians are going through hardship. So, if the budget is cleaned up this night (being yesterday, May 3rd) and sent to him, he will sign it as soon as possible. That I know very well”.
Digging deeper into the issue, it was discovered that the N500 million diversion of funds to constituency projects is “what is giving the president headache.”
Although the president is yet to assent to the 2016 controversial budget, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning says it has started preparations for the 2017 budget.