25 February 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Presidency and the leadership of the National Assembly has announced that it has resolved grey areas in the 2017 budget.
The different positions of the two arms of the government in some areas has threatened the early passage of the 2017 Appropriation Bill.
The Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, and the leadership of the National Assembly held a meeting on Wednesday night to resolve their differences.
A source said it was agreed that “the budget should be structured in a manner that will give priority attention to all existing capital projects to avoid abandoned projects”.
The source said that it was also agreed that deliberately leaving out key projects in the budget only to take care of them through extra-budgetary expenditure should not be allowed.
Specifically, the meeting was said to have resolved that projects, such as the N6.9 billon Abuja Airport rehabilitation which was provided for in the 2017 budget, should be captured in the capital aspect of the budget.
The meeting was held at the Presidential Villa at the instance of Osinbajo was attended by Senate President Bukola Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the National Assembly.
The Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and Budget and National Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma and a few others were also at the meeting.
It was said that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) yet to defend their budget proposals were directed to do so immediately.
It was also learnt that key road projects, such as the Lagos-Ibadan expressway are to be given more funds to facilitate their early completion.
Before the Villa meeting, the leadership of the Senate had met with committee chairmen to get information on the budget.