Buhari signs 2018 budget, concerned by changes

Buhari signs 2018 budget, concerned by changes

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday signed Nigeria’s record N9.12 trillion 2018 budget into law.

Buhari said he was concerned by some changes to the 2018 budget made by the National Assembly.

“The logic behind the Constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that it is the Executive that knows & defines its policies & projects,” said Buhari in a tweet.

The National Assembly passed the appropriation bill last month.

The N9.12 trillion budget is higher than the N8.6 trillion plan presented to the lawmakers by Buhari in November because both chambers of the National Assembly increased the assumed oil price to $51 per barrel, from $45.  

Meanwhile the National Assembly said it is not worried about concerns raised by President Muhammadu Buhari over the alterations made on the 2018 budget by the lawmakers.

The Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah; and the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, after joining Buhari during the signing of the budget at the Presidential Villa, Abuja stated this in separate interviews with State House correspondents.

Na’Allah said the lawmakers were not worried about the concerns raised by the President because their (lawmakers) job was a difficult one.

He said if they had allowed the budget to scale through the way Buhari submitted it to them, they would have been in trouble with those who elected them.

He said, “No, we are not worried. The job of parliamentarians is a very difficult one.

“The way the budget came, if we had allowed it to go that way, we would have been in trouble with those who elected us.

“You have to balance between the six geo-political zones. It is the balancing efforts by the National Assembly that led to those observations and happily enough, he himself has said he is coming with a supplementary budget which will be dealt with as quickly as possible. I assure you about that one.”

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were absent at the brief ceremony.   

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