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Why Yar’Adua can’t sign budget

Posted by By LUCKY NWANKWERE, Abuja on 2008/03/28 | Views: 610 |

Why Yar’Adua can’t sign budget


Indications have emerged that Nigerians may have to wait longer for presidential assent to the 2008 budget following the inability of the legislature and executive to come to agreement on a key issue of the document.

Indications have emerged that Nigerians may have to wait longer for presidential assent to the 2008 budget following the inability of the legislature and executive to come to agreement on a key issue of the document.

Daily Sun gathered that the delay in President Umaru Yar’Adua assenting to the appropriation bill passed two weeks ago by the National Assembly is sequel to the refusal of the lawmakers to send the comprehensive document to the executive.

A source in the Presidency told Daily Sun that what the National Assembly forwarded to the president for his assent was a mere two-page summary of the budget harmonised by both chambers of the legislature without the necessary detail of the document.

The summary, according to our source, was passed to the president for assent through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mike Aondoakaa who questioned the rationale behind withholding the detail of the budget from the executive.
"How can the president be expected to sign into law a bill which detail he knows nothing about. The document as was originally sent to the National Assembly had been worked on and reworked by the lawmakers. The details should be forwarded with the letter for the president to peruse and vet as required.

"The Attorney-General is insisting on getting the comprehensive budget to be sure that the things the president want expunged from the budget were really expunged. The president would not want to be embarrassed after signing the budget to find out that the things that are not supposed to be included in the budget are still retained," our source pointed out.
The president, he said, would look stupid and unserious if he should sign what had been presented to him into law because he would have no way of convincing anyone that what he saw was a summary and not the comprehensive document.

While ruling out sabotage by the lawmakers in the on-going drama over the budget, our source however pointed out that the president was insisting that the right thing be done before the matter could be attended in the overall interest of the country and the people.

"Anybody who is not comfortable with that should understand that the president too wants to protect his image both within and outside the country. He must be seen as doing the right thing, otherwise no person would take him serious," the source further explained.

The source gave the assurance that as soon as the National Assembly does the right thing in the matter, President Yar’Adua would not delay in assenting to the budget so that its implementation could commence in earnest.

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