Osinbajo to sign 2017 budget into law, inaugurate new ministers — Presidency

  • As National Assembly raises 2017 budget by N143bn

Though report of the three-man Presidential Committee that investigated the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General, Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayo Oke, is yet to be made public, both men stand suspended, a Presidency source has said.

Investigations by Vanguard, last night, revealed that chairman of the committee, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo would not take any soft measure that may exonerate Lawal and Oke.

Findings also indicated that Osinbajo may have quietly submitted the report to President Buhari during their meeting the night the President departed. The top Presidency source, privy to the workings of the committee, which concluded its assignment last week, said Osinbajo, as the Acting President, was likely to implement the outcome of the report without waiting for President Buhari’s return.

The source also told Vanguard that Osinbajo was most likely to sign the 2017 budget into law should the document be passed by the National Assembly any time soon. The same goes for the swearing in of the two minister-designates, who had been screened and confirmed by the Senate.

The source said:  “Look, the President, before leaving, had briefed Osinbajo. He had empowered him to do  certain things on his behalf. Both had some discussions on a wide range of issues. So, those things may be part of what they discussed.”

In the meantime, the House of Representatives on Tuesday received the report of 2017 N7.30tn Appropriation Bill from its Committee on Appropriation for final consideration.

The report indicated that the committee increased the budget to N7.44tn, representing an addition of about N143bn to the one presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Dec. 14, 2016.

After the receipt of the bill, the House referred it to the Appropriation Committee on Jan. 26, 2017, but its processing suffered delay due to the inability of other committees to tidy their reports in time.

Presenting the report at plenary, Chairman of the committee, Rep. Mustapha Dawaki, said that the committee worked with other committees in the House to arrive at the new figure for the budget.

According to the report, N434.4bn is for statutory transfer, N1.84tn for debt servicing and N177.46bn is for sinking Fund for maturing bonds.

The committee appropriated N2.99tn for recurrent (Non-Debt) expenditure, while N2.17tn was provided for contribution to the development fund for Capital Expenditure.

Additional report from Vanguard