NASS Settle Differences, To Assent 2017 Budget As Presidency.
The Presidency and leadership of the National Assembly have resolved all the grey areas that prevented the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo from assenting to the Appropriation Bill passed into law by the legislature last month.
The agreement comes after three days of stormy deliberations between the executive and legislature.
Speaking to gbasibe.com.ng, a top Presidency source on Thursday night said that the major areas of disagreement had been resolved by the two sides, paving the way for the President to assent to the bill, which is already six month late in coming and holding back major financial transactions of the government.
As a result of the deal struck by both parties, there were indications that the President would assent to the bill before the end of this week, although the presidential source simply said: “We will sign it soon,” declining to specify the date and time.
A competent source close to the polity said that the meetings between the Presidency and the leadership of the NASS took place on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before the areas of conflict were resolved.
It is also understood that as part of the understanding between the two sides, the lawmakers would not insist on the full implementation of the “over 400 strange projects,” which the lawmakers brought into the budget and would also not accuse the executive of not complying with the full implementation of the law.
“It is true that all the contentious issues that delayed the President’s assent had been resolved. Hopefully, the president will assent to the budget soon,” the official said.
The lawmakers, it was gathered, had agreed that the money taken away from major infrastructure projects and added to other obscure projects, be returned to those projects as outlined by President Muhammadu Buhari in the budget sent to the NASS even though the president would sign the bill as transmitted to him by the NASS.
The Presidency was not happy after it learnt about the insertion of strange projects mostly roads, health centres, recreational centres, water and electricity schemes, which are under state and local governments that were never evaluated, designed or included in the federal government.
The executive was also upset that while NASS slashed the votes for other vital projects and MDAS, it jerked its own votes from N115 billion to N125 billion even with the hard times.