Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang says Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo has the authority to sign the 2017 budget.
Enang made the clarification on Friday, May 19, after handing the document over to Osinbajo for assent.
The presidential aide initially said that the document would be sent to the president to sign in London.
Buhari is currently in London on an indefinite medical vacation after leaving Nigeria on Sunday, May 7.
“The budget as passed by the National Assembly has just been transmitted to the Acting President. I just delivered it,” Enang said on Friday.
“Let me use this opportunity to clarify an issue. The Acting President has the power to assent to the budget and he will assent to it when the processes are completed.
“The Acting President has the power to assent to the budget. In February, he assented to seven or eight bills.
Those that he didn’t agree with, he wrote the Senate and House of Representatives that he had withheld his assent from them.
“He has the power of the president to assent to it. But the assent to the Appropriation Bill will be after the completion of the standard operation process. The bill has 30 days within which it will be assented to but the process can be completed within two or three days.
“So, it is not possible to say it will be assented to in so, so and so day or in two or three days. It’s upon the completion of the process that it will be assented to by the president and the president here now is the acting president,” Enang added.
A mild controversy had earlier occurred over the signing of the 2017 Budget and whether assent would be given by Buhari or Osinbajo.
Enang, on Wednesday, May 17, said the budget would be signed by Buhari while Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, said, also on Wednesday, that the acting president would be the one to sign the budget.
“The 2017 budget will be transmitted to Mr. President and the President will assent to the budget. The acting President is in office and when the budget is transmitted, it will go through the processes and all those other questions will answer itself,” Enang said during an interview on Channels TV.
“Just so we are clear: When the time comes, everything is set, & he is satisfied, Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo will assent to the 2017 Budget,” Akande said via Twitter.