The Presidency on Saturday said it has no plans to reject the 2017 Budget which was recently approved by the National Assembly.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senate, Senator Ita Enang, the presidency explained that at the moment, the budget was being subjected to serious scrutiny.
According to him, at the end of the day, if the Presidency discovers grey areas or discrepancies, it would hold a meeting with the leadership of both the Senate and the House of Representatives for both the Executive and the legislature to be on the same page.
Enang’s statement read in full, “The Presidency is working within the constitutional time-frame required to process details of the 2017 budget passed by the National Assembly. There is no such plan by it to reject the 2017 budget passed by the National Assembly as alleged in some reports.
“The Presidency can only assent to the budget or withhold assent as the case maybe. However, should there be areas needing input, the Presidency would engage the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives. As such, any report suggesting a rejection of the 2017 budget by the presidency is incorrect.
“Right now, the Presidency is subjecting every detail of the budget using the available systems at its disposal to ensure the figures appropriated to MDAs are consistent with the realities on ground, while also engaging in consultations.
“When the budget was presented to both chambers of the National Assembly for consideration last year by President Muhammadu Buhari, both chambers subjected the document to legislative processes using internal systems at their disposal.
“This, exactly, is what the presidency is actually doing at the moment to ensure what would be eventually assented to sufficiently addresses the nation’s present realities, as not doing so could expose government to a backlash from Nigerians.”
It would be recalled that Presidency had last week said that no date has been fixed for assent to the passed 2017 Appropriation Bill, just as it said that consultations as to the signing of the document were still on going.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Maters, Senate, Senator Ita Enang while responding to when the 2017 budget would be signed into law has simply said that, “Further to several enquiries regarding action on the 2017 Appropriation Bill by the Executive, be informed that Assent to same is not yet scheduled as consultations and engagements are on going. Be please informed.”