Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday signed the 2017 appropriation bill into law thus ending a month long speculation on the whether the third force at the Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power would prefer warehousing the budget pending the return of ailing President Muhammadu Buhari.
Osinbajo had while appending his signature on the budget, the first time that Nigeria’s federal budget would be signed by an acting president declared that the 2017 budget will mark the end of the recession which Nigeria is currently embroiled in.
It was not certain at press time if the presidency made significant changes to the contents of the budget which predicated capital expenditure at N2.24 trillion representing 30.7 per cent of the total budget.
According to Osinbajo, “This budget is a budget of economic recovery and growth. It is designed to bring Nigeria out of recession”.
Relying on data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, the acting President said that the economy was gradually recovering and that the budget will be implemented based on the country’s recovery plans. The acting president said the budget signing was delayed by changes in the proposal sent to parliament. “We resolved some while some are still to be resolved,” he said at the signing.
Nigeria which is currently experiencing a recession for the first time in 25 years has seen five consecutive contractions in Gross Domestic Product beginning in late 2015.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday issued a statement saying it was in the interest of the country for his deputy to sign the budget.
Buhari said had in the statement, signed by his spokesman Garba Shehu, that the 2018 budget proposal would be submitted by October will the parliament scheduled to conclude the process by December so Nigeria can return to a normal budget cycle from next year.