2016 budget not returned to N/ Assembly for fresh work, no decision on signing yet – FG

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The Federal Government said yesterday it could not give a definite date on when the 2016 budget would be signed, noting that talks to reach a truce between it and the National Assembly on grey areas in the document were still on going.

Instead, the government said it had set out the timetable for the submission of 2017 budget, and that the idea was to ensure early delivery of the document. This came as the as the government also stated that there was no currency deal swap with the Chinese government. The implication of the no-date-for-signing is that the hope of many Nigerians who are expectant that the 2016 budget would be signed into law anytime soon, had been dashed.

The decision for further negotiation with the federal lawmakers, was taken at the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Udo Udoma, who was flanked by his colleagues in the Ministries of Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu; Power, Housing and Works, Babatunde Fashola; Communication and Technology, Adebayo Shittu, stated that ahead of the eventual signing of the fiscal document, the Federal Government had set up a Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism to ensure that the budget was duly implemented.

Udoma also denied that the document was returned to the National Assembly for fresh work on it. He said: “On the expectation that we will soon have a budget, there is a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to make sure that the budget delivers what it promises. That mechanism was looked at by the Federal Executive Council and approved.

“To make sure that 2017 budget is done on time, a timetable was approved for the 2017 budget. In addition, council noted the report of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group which, in partnership with the National Planning Commission, organised an economic summit last year and made various recommendations. These recommendations were presented and noted.”

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