* FG to Send Virement Request to N’Assembly
By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo Monday signed the 2017 budget into law, 23 days after it was transmitted to him by the National Assembly.
The acting president’s assent to the Appropriation Bill came on the heels of the resolve by both arms of government that the executive would send a virement request to the National Assembly for the restoration of budget cuts and increase in the original document done by the lawmakers.
The budget, which was signed in a fully packed auditorium in the Presidential Villa, was witnessed by Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, and Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun.
Also present were the Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan, House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, Chairman, Senate Committee Chairman on Appropriation Danjuma Goje, Chairman, House Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun, her counterpart in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma, and a number of government officials.
Osinbajo, who signed the budget at about 4.40pm, about one hour and 40 minutes behind the initial schedule, had rushed into the conference room in his office at about 4.35pm from a one-day trip to Awka, Anambra State, where he had delivered a lecture at the 50th anniversary of Law Teachers’ Association.
In his speech after the assent, Osinbajo said the decision leading to the assent of the budget was a product of robust negotiations between the executive and the legislature, as he commended what he described as the collaborative spirit of the National Assembly.
More to follow…