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Presidency: Osinbajo won’t sign 2017 Budget today

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The Presidency has denied a report that Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo is to sign the 2017 Budget into law today (Thursday) with the leadership of the National Assembly scheduled to be part of the signing ceremony.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, made this known in Abuja, on Wednesday, stating that consultations on the signing of the Budget into law was were still ongoing.

Ita Enang had before now said that the Acting President does not enjoy the cover of the constitution to sign the 2017 Budget earlier passed by the National Assembly into law, insisting that President Buhari currently in London would assent to the Bill.

When newsmen sought his reaction on the report over signing of the 2017 Budget into law by the Acting President, Ita Enang said:

“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 ongoing”.

Indeed, there has not been any official statement indicating that the Acting President would sign the 2017 Budget into law, as report already circulating on the issue quoted sources in the Presidential Villa to that effect.

The report said representatives of the President had concluded a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly where the date and time of the budget has been announced.

The National Assembly on Thursday, May 18, passed the N7.44 trillion 2017 Appropriation Bill after over 4 months since it was submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly.

Both chambers of the assembly raised the figure from N7.30 trillion presented by the president to N7.44 trillion.

The National Assembly transmitted same to the President on Friday, May 19 for assent.

However, the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari has raised questions on who would sign the budget.

Earlier, the Acting President doused the controversy on the issue when he told Nigerians that he would sign the document into law as Acting President.

Osinbajo while presenting his Democracy Day speech on May 29 also promised that the budget would be signed soon.

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