….acting President has powers to assent to budget –Enang
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has officially received the 2017 Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly. The fiscal document was submitted yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Nation Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The document is coming after much speculation and many questions about who was really in charge to sign the budget when the president receives it. After the National Assembly passed the budget last week, speculation began to spread that Mr. Osinbajo did not have the power to sign it even as acting President.Osinbajo is acting while President Muhammadu Buhari is in the United Kingdom, the second time he had travelled there this year for medical attention.
When Buhari spent 50 days in London between January 19 and March 10, the economy was touted to have greatly improved, and the Economist in a report said Nigeria would be better if Mr. Buhari could remain abroad for a very long time.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after submitting the document, Sentor Enang said, “the budget as passed by the National Assembly has just been transmit ted to the Acting President. I just delivered it. He said: “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. “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. 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,” he added. The 2017 appropriation bill has a revenue and expenditure estimate of N7.441 trillion for the fiscal year.