OrderPaperToday– There was almost a replay of history today as President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2016 Appropriation Bill into law a day after former President Olusegun Obasanjo assented the 2000 budget on May 5, 2000.
The 2016 budget of N6.06trn was signed by Buhari this afternoon at Aso Rock, flanked by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, among other top government functionaries.
The budget provides N351bn for statutory transfers, N1.4trn for debt servicing, N2.6trn for recurrent expenditure, and N1.5trn for capital expenditure.
President Buhari said that the budget promises to “pursue an expansionary fiscal policy despite the huge decline in government revenues from crude oil exports”.
According to him, “the budget was designed to reflate the Nigerian economy, especially through an immediate injection of N350bn by way of capital projects”.
Buhari expressed his delight at finally assenting to the delayed budget and assured Nigerians that he has been feeling their pain as a result of the late assent.
Recall that the budget was laid before a joint session of the National Assembly on December 22, 2015. The document was then returned to the Presidency on March 23, 2016, amidst intense impasse between the NASS and the Presidency.
The budget impasse tarried after President Buhari declined to sign the Bill into law owing to alleged inflated figures (paddings) and insistence by the Presidency to have it reviewed and reworked.
Time dragged on as the blame game continued until today May 6 2016 when the President assented to the 2016 Appropriation Bill, signing it into law.