At exactly 4:40pm on Monday, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo signed the 2017 budget into law.
Senate President Bukola Saraki; Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives; Udoma Udoma, minister of budget and national planning; Lai Mohammed, minister of information; Abba Kyari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari and Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, witnessed the signing of the appropriation bill.
The budget was due to be signed a fortnight ago, but the exercise was put off for undisclosed reasons.
There were reports that it was cancelled in order to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to personally sign the budget when he return from his medical vacation in London.
But earlier on Monday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said the president had indicated that it was in the interest of the country that his deputy sign the budget.
“Following the receipt of a full brief on the 2017 appropriation bill as passed by the national assembly, and to buttress the unity at the highest level of government, President Muhammadu Buhari has indicated that it is in the interest of the nation’s economy for the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to sign the appropriation bill into law,” the statement read.
Buhari presented a budget proposal of N7.298 trillion to the national assembly on December 14 but the senate which passed it on May 11 jerked it up by N143 billion.
The budget christened, ‘Budget of Economic Recovery and Growth’ has projected revenue of N5.08 trillion with deficit of N2.36 trillion.
A total of N2.98 trillion was earmarked for recurrent non-debt expenditure, while N2.17 trillion was earmarked for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure exclusive of capital expenditure in statutory transfers.
A total of N434.41 billion was earmarked for statutory transfers; N1.84 trillion for debt service and N177.46 billion for sinking fund for maturing bonds.