The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Mr. Ita Enang has clarified the opinion in a section of the media that he said it is President Muhammadu Buhari who is abroad on a medical follow-up that will assent to the 2017 budget while the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will take it up from there.
Mr. Enang had made the statement in an interview on Channels Television’s political programme on Wednesday.
“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 had 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.”
However, Senator. Enang who, while speaking to state house correspondents after the delivery of the 2017 budget to Osinbajo on Friday, said that what he meant in his earlier comment was that the 2017 budget will be assented to by the President who is here presently in Nigeria and that since Osinbajo is the Acting President, then Professor Osinbajo will be the one to sign the budget and not Buhari.
“The budget as passed by the National Assembly has just been transmitted to the Acting President. I just delivered it.”
“Let me use this opportunity to clarify an issue. The Acting President has the power to assent to the budget and he will assent to it when the processes are completed.
“It’s upon the completion of the process that it will be assented to by the president and the president here now is the acting president.”
“The Acting President has the power to assent to the budget. In February, he assented to 7 or 8 bills. Those that he didn’t agree with, he wrote the Senate and House of Representatives that he had withheld his assent from them.”
“He has the power of the president to assent to it. But the assent to the Appropriation Bill will be after the completion of the standard operation process.
“The bill has 30 days within which it will be assented to but the process can be completed within two or three days. So, it is not possible to say it will be assented to in so, so and so day or in two or three days.