A mild controversy is brewing over the signing of the 2017 Budget and whether assent will be given by President Muhammadu Buhari or acting president, Yemi Osinbajo.
Buhari left the country on May 7, 2017, for an indefinite medical vacation and handed over authority to Osinbajo.
Senior Special Assistant to Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, on Wednesday, May 17, said the budget would be signed by Buhari.
“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.
However, Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, said, also on Wednesday, that the acting president would be the one to sign the budget.
“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.
However, Information Minister, Lai Mohammed denied telling journalists that a decision was yet to be reached on who would sign the budget.
Buhari’s letter to announce his departure caused an uproar after he said Osinbajo would “coordinate” the activities of government in his absence.
Many believed that the statement was made in a bid to reduce the powers Osinbajo would wield while Buhari was away.
The Presidency however dismissed the controversy as being an unnecessary distraction.
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