Barring any unforeseen circumstances that might change his schedule, President Muhammadu Buhari may today sign the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law.
The President had last November 7 laid the 2018 Appropriation Bill before a joint session of the National Assembly but legislative proceedings on the Bill was not concluded until May 16 after which it took the National Assembly another 10 days to transmit passed Bill to the President.
President Buhari had laid an appropriation proposal of N8.6 trillion before the legislature but the provisions were adjusted by the lawmakers to N9.12 trillion, representing an additional N508 billion increase to the initial provisions.
According to the legislators, the upward review of the budgetary provisions was informed by the need to provide additional funding to some critical sectors, including health and power, works security, and housing as well as to reduce the budget’s deficit.
Reports in some media indicated that although the budgetary provisions increment had triggered fears that the President may be reluctant to assent to the passed budget, he may eventually concede to some persuasive counseling on the need for him to sign the Bill to avoid further delays that might further injure the economy.
It would be recalled that the 2017 Appropriation Bill had gone through the similar delay at the National Assembly and was eventually assented to by the then Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on June 12 last year.
There were some rumours that President Buhari would have signed the Bill yesterday, June 12 but for the activities associated with the June 12 Democracy Day in which he played the leading roles.