Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will assent to the 2017 budget when he is satisfied with the content, his spokesperson said on Wednesday, in apparent reaction to a report that Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the government was unsure of who to sign the budget.
Earlier on Wednesday, Vanguard newspaper had published a report entitled: “We don’t know who will sign 2017 budget – Lai Mohammed.”
“It’s absolute rubbish,” said Mr. Mohammed, dismissing the report when contacted by the press
Coming shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari’s “medical follow-up” letter to the Senate had generated controversy, Nigerians started expressing concerns over the effectiveness of Mr. Osinbajo.
In that letter, Mr. Buhari invoked Section 145(1) of the Constitution, transferring full powers to Mr. Osinbajo, but said his deputy would “coordinate” affairs of the government in his absence.
Mr. Buhari’s use of “coordinate” instead of “will perform duties of my office” or “act on my behalf” as previously used had unsettled the polity.
But the spokesperson to the acting president, Laolu Akande, stressed his principal would sign the budget into law in due course.
“Just so we are clear: when the time comes, everything is set, and he is satisfied, Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo will assent to the 2017 Budget,” tweeted Mr. Akande.
The National Assembly had last week passed the budget,increasing the total sum by N143 billion compared to what was sent by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The lawmakers are, however, yet to transmit the budget to the presidency amidst reports some senators are dissatisifed with the final version.