Buhari Refuses To Sign Budget

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President appears set to return the 2016 to the National Assembly for further review as the Presidency has identified some major changes the lawmakers made to it.

The changed were identified by the ministers at an emergency meeting to vet the budget details.

This means the passing of the budget will be further delayed until the President returns from a week-long trip to China.

According to sources; the President felt disappointed that provisions for major national projects and programmes that are expected to turn around the economy were either outrightly removed or funds for them slashed by the lawmakers.

These projects include the Coastal Railway project which the President plans to discuss with the Chinese government during his visit.

The FG has earmarked N60 billion counterpart funds for it but the NASS removed it completely from the budget details.

The Presidency also found that the NASS:

1. Expunged the Calabar – Lagos rail line project from the budget details.

2. Reduced allocation to the completion Idu-Kaduna rail project by N8.7b

3. Slashed allocations for the completion of all major road projects across the country

4. Proposed new roads for which studies have not been conducted

5. Dropped proposals for the purchase of essential drugs for major health campaigns like Polio and AIDS

6. Cancelled or reduced allocations for diversification projects under Agriculture and Water Resources; and

7. Diverted funds for rural health facilities and boreholes for which provisions had been made elsewhere.

It was gathered that Buhari had planned to assent to the Appropriation Bill yesterday but the “strategic and fundamental errors/ oversights” in the details may now delay it by a week.

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