For the third time, President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly sent back the controversial 2016 budget to the National Assembly without approval.
It was learnt that the president said to have discovered some faults with the latest version and was unhappy about it and immediately returned it to the National Assembly for further legislative work.
According to Vanguard the re-worked budget was sent to the President at about 1.15 am on Tuesday, but was returned to the National Assembly at about noon, same day.
Some principal officers and members of the review committee from both legislative chambers met for about two hours on Tuesday evening, to deliberate on the President’s observation on the budget.
A source close to the committee revealed that the president refused to touch the budget after it was submitted to him because there were still issues he was not comfortable with
He said: “The budget got to the State House at about 1.10 am and Mr. President went through it early this morning (yesterday) and still had some issues with some of the figures.
“I cannot tell you exactly what it was but I think the insertions made by the lawmakers were not significantly altered.
“You know the lawmakers had moved some allocations for key projects that are dear to the President to other areas, especially to their constituency projects.
“Of course, they have changed some but I believe Mr. President is not satisfied with the reconciliation they made. I think this is one of the reasons it was returned.”
He however gave assurance that the president would approve the budget today if the legislators make all the necessary corrections and send the documents back to him tonight (last night).
“I can assure you, Mr. President is desirous to sign the budget because he is aware and has acknowledged that Nigerians are going through hardship. So, if the budget is cleaned up this night and sent to him, he will sign it as soon as possible. That I know very well,” he said.
Vanguard also reported that a N500 million diversion of funds to constituency projects was what gave the president headache.
A source told Vanguard in confidence that the “President wants a situation where the insertions should be reduced to about N50 million before he will sign the budget.”