The National Assembly will finally transmit the 2017 appropriation to the Presidency on Wednesday.
This is even as the Presidency says Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, will take time to peruse the document before signing, just like President Muhammadu Buhari did last year.
The Senate and House of Representatives had on Thursday, 11th May, 2017 approved the sum of N7.441 trillion for year 2017 fiscal year.
The 2017 budget showed a 2.18 percent deficit of N2,356,773,720,940; oil production pegged at 2.2mbpd and $44.5 crude oil benchmark and N305/$1 exchange rate.
BusinessDay correspondent at the National Assembly on Tuesday reported that Vote and Proceedings from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, have been compiled alongside the details of the 2017 Appropriation bill for onward transmission to the Presidency.
On Tuesday at the Presidency, BusinessDay observed that the Senior Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang (Senate) met with the Acting President hopefully to inform him of the development.
BusinessDay subsequently gathered that the official document will be submitted to the Acting President on today.
Meanwhile, despite the denials by the National Assembly that the 2017 spending plan which was approved by the National Assembly last week was not padded, Aso Rock officials believe that the Acting President will not take anything for granted. “He will go through the budget like he and the President did last year, before he signs it,” an official told BusinessDay on Tuesday.
There are still issues of constituency projects pending between the executive and the legislature as President Buhari had insisted on not accommodating the constituency projects in the 2017 budget.
President Buhari had last year said he will not allow any form of padding in the 2017.
“I am waiting for the 2017 Budget to be brought to us in Council. Any sign of padding anywhere, I will remove it,” Buhari had said last year while receiving in audience members of the Governance Support Group (GSG), led by Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, at State House, Abuja.
Recall that the two chambers of the National Assembly, had been embroiled in controversies involving the 2016 budget, right from December 2015 when Buhari first presented the appropriations document before the NASS members.
There had also been padding allegations involving the leadership of the House of Representatives where sacked Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin protested his sack by the Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
Jibrin had alleged that the padding of the 2016 budget by N40 billion was done at a secret location with the backing of the Speaker and three principal officers including Deputy Speaker Yusuff Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor.
These had led to the late passage of the 2016 budget which was eventually assented to by President Buhari in May.