Buhari Orders Thorough Review of 2016 Budget Before Assent

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President Muhammadu Buhari

By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

Following the passage of the 2016 Appropriation Bill by the National Assembly last week, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered all the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to thoroughly review the budget before it is sent to him for assent.
A source in the presidency informed THISDAY yesterday that Buhari gave the directive just before the Easter break in order to ascertain if any significant amendments were made by the legislature that are inconsistent with the spending plan of the executive arm of government.

He said: “We hope to get the budget this week from the legislature immediately after the Easter holiday. But before the president assents to it, he has directed that it should be sent to all the MDAs to double check it to ensure that there were no significant amendments or errors that could adversely affect the implementation of the budget.
“It is only when this is done and the president is satisfied that there were no material alterations that are not consistent with the objectives of this administration, then he would assent to it.”

The presidency official said that the process of reviewing the budget should not take more than a week or two, following which Buhari would assent to the bill.
“However, if there are significant alterations, it may have to be sent back to the National Assembly until a compromise is reached on what should be passed in the budget,” he explained.
The National Assembly last Wednesday passed a record budget of N6.060 trillion, the first that will be implemented from scratch by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, thus laying to rest the numerous controversies that trailed its presentation by the president last December.

The budget that was passed by the legislature, however, was slashed by N17 billion from the N6.077 trillion initially proposed by the executive.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, in presenting the budget report to the Senate, said never in the history of the National Assembly, since 1999, has an annual budget witnessed more cuts as was the case with this year’s budget.
He blamed the budgetary cuts on the country’s economic challenges, explaining that cuts were made in recurrent spending, the budget deficit and the federal government’s borrowing plan.

The budget as passed provided N2.646 trillion for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure; N1.587 trillion for capital expenditure; N351.3 trillion for statutory transfers; Nl.475 trillion for debt service and N500 billion for social intervention.
The budget was also predicated on an oil benchmark of $38 dollars per barrel, oil production volume of 2.2 million per day, exchange rate of N197 to $1, a N2.204 trillion fiscal deficit, and a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 2.14 per cent.
Under the capital spending plan, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing got the lion share of N422. 9 billion, this is followed by the Ministry of Transportation with N188.6 billion.

Other allocations included N130.8 billion to the Ministry of Defence; N61.7 billion to the Ministry of Interior; N46.1 billion to the Ministry of Agriculture, and N35.4 billion to the Ministry of Education.
Under recurrent expenditure, the Ministry of Interior got the highest allocation of N451.9 billion, followed by education with N367.7 billion. Other notable allocations are N312 billion to defence and N221.4 billion to health.

  • Daniel Obior

    This is medicine after death and typical of an incompetent President and administration. Where was Buhari when this monumentally flawed first budget was issued? So much time has been wasted trying to clean up this mess of a budget and we may not have seen the end yet. The message is to do a thorough job in the first instance. Whoever is doing this reporting should also check the fifth paragraph containing the breakdown of the budget. Surely statutory transfers cannot be N351.3 trillion, as reported.

    • yinka

      I observed that as well. This is needless waste of time

      • vic

        he is a dumb and time waster.

  • hyperbole123

    ridiculous. after admitting the budget was padded, and cajoling the National Assembly to assent to it all the same without any alteration, you now order a thorough review to ensure NA did not add anything that is ‘inconsistent’, or wetin? oga, you should know by now that this year’s budget is a huge joke. just start spending the money so that people will not die on your neck. by 2017 we will know how much we have spent. laff wan tear my belle.

  • vic

    ONCE AGAIN DELAYING TACTICS BY THIS DUMB DAURA FOOL, CALLED BUHARI.

  • oghenena

    They are all brainless. Everything they do is senseless. Nigeria don walker from friepan to fire.

  • vic

    a foolish toothless clown- a symbol of backwardness and slowness in modern day nigeria.

  • xabnuq

    ..where are the executive rats here..condemning Nass for time wasting?Just like we’ve been observing,this years budget presentation was a slap in face of Nigerians that voted for change.May to August is enough to prepare the budget knowing quite fully well that the 2015 is neither here nor there..But Pmb and his APC wasted more than 4 months before getting ministers on board..and trust the beaurecrats.. They want the yam eating system to continue…hence they have their time in stuffing the appropriation.as for me the fault is from the president..he waste too much time in doing somethings..this is the result.!Pmb needs to expedite action on his policy trust..he seems too autocratic as hardly can any member of his cabinet look at his face and tell him what is wrong.May God help us.

  • RICHARDSON

    Did I read that there is a provision of “N351.3 trillion for statutory transfers”? Is this a mistake or the real figure?
    Anyway, if the NASS cut just N17b from the N6.077 trillion initially proposed by the executive the NASS will point to the items they cut away and the executive should take it on board, sign the budget and start to implement it.
    What is the need for the new instruction to the MDA’s to crosscheck the budget that was passed by the NASS for another round of deliberations by NASS? That one baffles me.

  • Mr. A

    Another unnecessary rigmarole. Once NASS passes a budget any changes will have to be via an amendment to the budget act.

  • Blessing

    Daniel, reading you comment shows either you are not matured or you lack common sense.