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President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law on Tuesday, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, told Reuters in London on Friday.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had on Wednesday told newsmen after the Federal Executive Council meeting that President Buhari would sign the budget next week. But, he did not give a specific date.
“The budget will be signed next week. We will give you the specific date when it is confirmed,” Adesina said, stressing that the details would be made available later.
However, Mohammed was precise on the specific date. “We will sign it off on Tuesday,” he disclosed.
President Buhari had in November 2017 submitted the 2018 budget estimate of N8.612 trillion to the National Assembly, but the lawmakers jerked up the budget figures by N508 billion to N9.12 trillion, claiming it was done with “due consultation of the executive.”
The lawmakers explained that the increase was applied to critical sectors of the economy, including the reduction of the budget deficit, security, health and power, works and housing.
While concerns are being raised by Nigerians over the negative effects of the delay on the economy, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun had in May assured that the Federal Government would mitigate the negative impact of the delay in the implementation of the 2018 budget on the economy.
She noted the Federal Government would have to realign its priorities since five months had gone already.
But, the Information Minister said he expected the delay would have little effect on government projects.
“Even once a budget is passed, there are still processes, due diligence to be done … this takes,” Reuters reported
The National Assembly had delayed the budget passage for more than six months and another 10 days before transmitting it to the Presidency.
Should the budget be signed on Tuesday, it would be the most delayed budget since the return of democracy in 1999 having spent 223 days before becoming a law.