By Lucy Nwachukwu
A don, Charlse Nwaekeaku, on Tuesday, said the signing of the 2017 budget by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was a welcome development for the country.
Nwaekeaku, an Associate Professor and former Head of Department, Public Administration, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the decision by the presidency was highly commendable.
He said that a cabal had allegedly insisted that the acting president would not sign the budget until President Muhammadu Buhari returned, noting, however, that “we
believe that government is a continued process and should not have any vacuum.
“Government is an institution and as such, the acting president should sign the budget and now that he has signed it, it is the right step in the right direction.”
The don, however, advised the Federal Government to ensure diligent implementation of the budget to improve the country’s economy and alleviate the sufferings of the people.
He said that in the past, the Nigerian budget was hardly implemented, adding that “for most Nigerians, the budget is a mere ritual, but we hope that this one will be an exception; we hope that this budget will be implemented as appropriated.
“I believe that the Federal Government will implement the budget and I also believe
that when implemented, it will help to reduce the sufferings of Nigerians.”
The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, signed the 2017 Appropriation bill into law.
The budget, which was presented to the two chambers of the National assembly in December 2016, was passed by the National Assembly only few weeks back.
It had an estimate of N7.28 trillion but was raised to N7.44 trillion by the federal lawmakers.
The signing of the budget was witnessed by some members of the National Assembly, the Chief of Staff to the President, the Head of Service, some ministers, among others.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was currently in the UK for medical attention, approved
the signing of the budget by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, saying it was in the interest of the nation’s economy.
A statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in Abuja on Monday also quoted Buhari as saying that “the signing of the budget by the acting president would further buttress the unity at the highest level of government.”