Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday, revealed that the 2016 budget will be ready for President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
Saraki made the disclosure after a meeting between the Presidency and the leadership of the National Assembly at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He said, “We just finished a meeting with the president and vice president. We came to let them know some of the solutions that we found in moving the budget process forward and we are happy to say that we have agreed on the way forward and we believe that this process will be completed in matter of days rather than weeks.
“So it is good to Nigerians and all of us, we have found a way forward and in a matter of days the budget will be ready for president’s assent. We have committees that have been set up on our side and also on the executive side. We will engage over the next few days, to just tidy up a few loose ends and here and there and the outcome will be satisfactory to everybody.
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“You heard what I have said, I said it is a matter of days and not weeks, so you can start counting the days which means that between now and Monday or Tuesday, I’m hopeful that the budget will be signed.”
Also speaking on the issue, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who described the controversies surrounding the bill as disgraceful, said: “The lingering issue on the budget is something that we feel is embarrassing to Nigeria, not just to the National Assembly as a whole. If we had a group like this, by now that issue would have been brought to an end.
“But just to reassure you that Mr President will have his budget. And we are doing everything possible to rejig the details of the 2016 budget for Mr President to sign as soon as possible. And we hope we can finish that by this Friday so that things can kick-start in the Nigerian economy.”
On his own part, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma said: “We have agreed to work together to resolve all issues in the next few days and we have also agreed on the modalities of or doing so.
“It was a very good meeting and it was very positive; within the next few days, all issues will be resolved.
“We are working together, both the Executive and the Legislature, to sort those things out. Within the next days, all matters will be resolved,’’ he added