2016 budget to be signed into law soon, Osinbajo assures
An indication that the 2016 budget would soon be signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari was given in Abuja following an emphatic declaration by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the budget would be signed into law “very soon”.
He assured that once the budget is assented to by the President, the federal government would immediately go to work, completing power projects that were left uncompleted by the immediate past administration.
However, he did not give a definite timeline for the president’s assent, but he assured that the budget would be become operational in the next few days.
The Vice President who spoke at the ‘Platform’ a non-denominational conference, sponsored by the Covenant Christian Centre (ICC) in Abuja, however,criticized Nigerians most of whom now have mixed feelings about the ‘Change Agenda’ of the federal government,saying they were unnecessarily impatient with an administration that was working behind the scene to correct the ills that has been inflicted on them over
His words, “People now wonder, “Where is the ‘change,’ where is the change” that formed the crux of our electioneering campaign s,but they fail to understand that patience is also a virtue that they must have as a people”.
He said now that it has been established that oil resources could no longer guarantee the sustenance of the economy, owing to fall in its price at the international market,federal government would spearhead the diversification process where most states are found wanting.
According to the Vice President, such diversification will begin from three key sectors: agriculture,technology and innovation as well as entertainment.
He explained that the benefits inherent in the agricultural sector, noting that Nigeria requires an average of 7 million metric tonnes of rice to feed its population,annually but that foreign exchange that goes into rice importation was between N4 to N5billion each year.
He said such statistics spurred government to invest about N7billion in Kebbi state rice plantations, which currently produces one million metric tonnes of rice at an estimated value of N63billion.
On power infrastructure,Osinbajo noted that it was somehow inconsistent for power tariff to increase when power services were poor but that customers must imbibe the altitude of regular payment of bills in order for the system not to collapse entirely.
Saraki, had during the chat with reporters said both the legislature and the executive had identified areas of disagreement and had found solution to them, but he would not go into the details of the solutions, assuring however, that both executive and the legislature were committed towards ensuring that the budget was passed with a very short period of time.
In fact, predicated that the budget would be signed into law on Monday or Tuesday, this week.
On what he meant by the way forward, Saraki explained: “We have committed that have been set up on our side and also on the executive side, we will engage over the next few days, to just tidy up a few loose ends here and there, and the outcome will be satisfactory to everybody.”
Asked if the budget was going to be signed into law in the course of last week, the Senate President had declared: “You heard what I have said. I said it is a matter of days and not weeks. So, you can start counting the days; which means that between now and Monday or Tuesday, I’m hopeful that the budget will be signed.”