By Dipo Awojobi – President Muhammadu Buhari has finally signed the 2016 budget into law months after its passage by the National Assembly.
The signing ceremony for the controversial N6.07 trillion budget was witnessed by Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker, House Of Reps, Yakubu Dogara, Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, Minister ofBudget, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje and his counterpart in the House Of Reps, Abdulmumuni Jibrin.
The signing finally brings to an end the various controversies that had dogged the budget which Buhari presented to the National Assembly last December.
After it was presented came the allegation that it was stolen or missing; then the presidency found that the provisions had been padded, with ministers after ministers coming to the National Assembly to disown the content and President Buhari himself expressing a great embarrassment and vowing to punish civil servants responsible for the padding of the document, the first by his administration since 29 May last year.
After the National Assembly sent the budget for signing in March, the Presidency against raised fresh issues of distortions and padding by the National Assembly.
The document was sent back for reworking by the Assembly along with a joint committee of both the executive and the legislature.
The cleaned copy was sent to President Buhari on Monday for his signature.