President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly returned the controversial 2016 budget to the National Assembly for the third time.
The budget which has been an issue of serious debate in the past few months, was said to have been returned to the lawmakers on Tuesday, May 3, after it emerged that the president was still unhappy with some of its contents.
According to Vanguard, the 2016 appropriation bill was returned for further legislative work as principal officers and members of the review committee from both legislative chambers met for about two hours on Tuesday evening.
A source close to the committee revealed that the president refused to touch the budget after it was submitted to him because there were still issues he was not comfortable with.
“The budget got to the State House at about 1.10am and Mr. President went through it early this morning and still had some issues with some of the figures. I can not tell you exactly what it was but I think the insertions made by the lawmakers were not significantly altered.
“You know the lawmakers had moved some allocations for key projects that are dear to the president to other areas especially to their constituency projects. Of course, they have changed some but I believe Mr. President is not satisfied with the reconciliation they made. I think this is one of the reasons why it was returned,” the anonymous source revealed.
Speaking further, the impeccable source told Vanguard that the president would assent to the budget on Wednesday, May 4, only if the lawmakers make all the corrections and transmit the document to him tonight.
According to him: “I can assure you, Mr. President is desirous to sign the budget because he is aware and has acknowledged that Nigerians are going through hardship.
“He is also concerned so if the budget is cleaned up this night and sent to him, he will sign it as soon as possible. That I know very well.”
And while the 2016 budget is yet to be signed by the president, the ministry of budget and national planning says it has begun the preparation of 2017 budget.
The minister of state budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed who was quoted in a statement signed by Charles Dafe, director of Information in the ministry, disclosed this when the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) paid her a courtesy visit.
The ministry solicited the support of ANAN to build the capacity of the staff on Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB) application.