By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
BARELY 48 hours to the presentation of the 2023 Appropriation Bill to the joint sitting of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidency said yesterday that proposal could still be altered tomorrow to accommodate inputs that may have been omitted.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Adesina said the budget proposal was the only item for consideration of the council to enable members make input.
He affirmed that if the need arose, the proposal could be tweaked to accommodate necessary inputs, stating further that the budget proposals were discussed at length, though he was reluctant to give details.
He said: “It was virtually a one item for the Executive Council meeting in which the budget proposals for 2023 was presented and discussed, at length.
“That budget proposal will be taken to the National Assembly on Friday morning by Mr. President. So, it will not be proper to begin to discuss the contents of what will be officially presented on Friday.
“So, that is the information I have for us, that we won’t have the traditional briefing of what happened at the Council, because it’s about a budget that will be presented on Friday morning. We’ll want to give the National Assembly that honour of receiving it first. Thank you.”
Pressed to give details, he argued: “When will it be appropriate to speak about it, after the budget has been represented?
“Yes. You know, usually after the budget has been presented, then there will be a breakdown by the Minister of Finance. So, it will not be proper to begin to unveil what is being taken to the National Assembly on Friday.”
Asked to give an idea of the debt profile, the presidential aide said it was one of the facts contained in the proposal.
“All those are things that are in the budget, it will not be fair. My brief is to let you know that the budget was discussed at length, all the details. But as a mark of respect for the National Assembly, which will receive it on Friday, it’s not prudent to begin to give out this information,” he said.