Acting President Yemi Osibanjo Signs 2017 Budget

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Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday signed the 2017 appropriation bill into law.

Prof. Osinbajo signed the budget at about 4:40p.m on Monday inside his conference room in the presence of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari; Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Ministers and other top government officials.

The total budget figure signed is put at N7.44 Trillion.

Signing of the budget was a milestone in the implementation of the economic and growth plan programme put in place by Mr. Buhari in April, Prof. Osibanjo said.

He also said the processes of putting the budget in place had been smoother than that of 2016 with no allegations of errors.

“There were far few cases of acrimony unlike in the past. There is no doubt at all that our democracy is maturing very well” said the acting President.

The National Assembly passed the 2017 Appropriations Bill on the 10th day of May after raising from the N7.28 Trillion earlier proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari in December last year, to N7.44 Trillion.

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President Buhari is away in the UK for medical treatment. Which makes It the first time in recent years that an acting President would sign the budget into law.

Initially, there were controversies whether the Acting President or President Muhammadu Buhari, who is away in London for medical treatment, would assent to the document. But the acting President’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande, cleared that doubt on May 18 when he said Prof. Osinbajo would sign the bill once satisfied with its content.

“Just so we are clear: when the time comes, everything is set, and he is satisfied, Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo will assent to the 2017 Budget,” Mr. Akande tweeted at the time.

The National Assembly had last passed the budget, increasing the total sum by N143 billion compared to what was sent by President Muhammadu Buhari.