By Anthony Ogbonna
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Mr Ita Enang has said that President Buhari will assent to the 2017 budget while the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will take it up from there.
Mr. Enang made the statement in an interview on Channels Television’s political programme on Wednesday.
According to him, “The 2017 budget will be transmitted to Mr president and the President will assent to the budget.“
“The President will assent to the budget, the acting President is in office and when the budget is transmitted, it will go through the processes and all those other questions will answer itself.”
He also confirmed that the Presidency received the budget on Wednesday afternoon.
Enang also said: “In respect to the budget, it was only this morning that the Minister of National Planning informed the council that the budget has been passed. He has not sent to us individually, copies of the passed budget.
“We now need to look at it against what we sent, and if there is any discrepancies, we will report back to the Minister of Budget and National Planning on harmonization.”
Recall that controversy over who would be saddled with the responsibility of assenting to the budget had arisen following dissenting voices from different quarters that the Acting President Osinbajo may not be the one to sign the budget.
Recall also that the House of Representatives on May 11, passed the 2017 Budget of 7.441 trillion Naira.
But, fielding questions from State House Correspondents earlier after the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed also disclosed that ministers were studying the budget as passed by the National Assembly.
However, the Office of the Acting President yesterday cleared the air over the assent of the 2017 budget affirming that it would be singed into law when and if the Acting President expresses satisfaction with the bill.
Spokesman to the Acting President, Mr. Laolu Akande in a tweet late last night said “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.”