President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the leadership of the National Assembly added about ₦90 billion to the 2019 appropriation bill of ₦8.92 trillion which he signed into law on Monday.
Speaking at the event which took place at the president’s mini-conference room at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari said the addition of about ₦90 billion to the ₦8.83 trillion which he submitted to the legislature may affect its implementation.
He however assured that the executive arm of government would dialogue with the incoming ninth National Assembly in order to make it less difficult for the government to realize its set objectives and make life better for Nigerians.
“Of course, some of these changes will adversely impact our programmes making it difficult for us to achieve the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. Although I will be signing this bill, it is my intention to engage the National Assembly to ensure we deliver on our promises.
“I will, therefore be engaging with the leadership of the 9th National Assembly as soon as they emerge to address some of our concerns with the budget,” he said.
Buhari further alleged that the legislature made cuts amounting to ₦347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own to the tune of ₦578 billion.
The president said he only signed the bill because he did not want to further slow down the pace of recovery of Nigeria’s economy, adding that he would send a supplementary and/or amendment budget to the National Assembly to rectify the issues he raised.
According to the president, his administration will look at how to improve the budget process in order to speed up its consideration as well as return the country to the January to December fiscal year timetable.