Far from what were awash in the media that President Muhammadu Buhari refused to sign the 2016 appropriation bill into law because the National Assembly removed some vital projects and padded several other projects, fresh investigation carried out by Ripples Nigeria suggests that the emergence of Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate President is the main reason why the President refused to sign the budget.
Our source revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari delayed the signing of the 2016 budget over his resolved not to have anything to do with Ekweremadu who is an opposition occupying a position the President believed ought to occupy by his party, All Progressives Congress, APC
The presidency, sources said, vowed not to have anything to do with Ekweremadu, who it believed usurped a position that should have been occupied by an All Progressives Congress, APC Senator.
Knowledgeable sources at the National Assembly reveal that in the past, an ad-hoc committee, led by the Deputy President of the Senate and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives supervised works on the budget.
The committee, the sources said, was comprised of the director-general of the Budget Office, senior officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Presidency and the chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Appropriation.
“It was the work of that committee to clean the budget and address all issues of concern between the executive and legislative branches of government and all issues that erupted were quietly settled under the guidance of the Deputy Senate President and the Deputy Speaker.
“For the past eight years, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was involved, but you know as a result of the issues around his emergence, nobody in the Presidency wanted to deal with him and you can see that committee was not formed and you see how we ran into this problem,” the source disclosed.
The Nigerian economy is currently been battered by the delay in signing of the budget, the Nigerian Labour Congress and others labour organisation stressed. The failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the 2016 budget over disagreements with the National Assembly has created uncertainties in the economy.