President Muhammadu Buhari has returned the 2016 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly for further legislative work. This makes it the third time the president was rejecting the Bill sent to him for assent, after he reportedly picked holes in it.
Vanguard reports that the re-worked budget was sent to the President at about 1.15 am, yesterday, but was returned to the National Assembly at about noon the same day. According to the newspaper, a source close to the budget review committee confirmed that the budget was actually submitted to the President but that he refused to touch it due to some issues he was not comfortable with.
“The budget got to the State House at about 1.10 am and Mr. President went through it early this morning (yesterday) and still had some issues with some of the figures,” Vanguard quoted the source to have said.
“I cannot 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 it was returned.”
However, he held that if the required changes were made on time and the budget was sent back to the president, he would sign the documents.
“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. 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,” the source said.