Barring any last minute change in plan, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will sign the 2021 Appropriation Bill into law on today. The National Assembly had last Monday passed the N13.58tn budget for the next fiscal year. It had been the desire of the present regime to restore the country’s budget to January to December cycle.
This was achieved with the 2020 budget which Buhari signed into law on December 17, 2019. It is also the desire of the Presidency to sustain the feat this year. Thursday on which the 2021 bill is expected to be signed into law is the last day in 2020.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed this to journalists earlier in the week.
“All things being equal (and note this), the President will sign the 2021 budget into law on Thursday.
“It is not likely that the plan will change though,” the presidential aide said.
The usual process is that when budgets passed by the National Assembly are transmitted to the President, they are made available to ministers. The purpose is for the ministers to scrutinise the document to ensure that what was returned was the same thing sent to the lawmakers.
A source in the Presidency who pleaded not to be named because he had not been authorised to speak on the matter told our correspondent that in the case of the 2021 Appropriation Bill, this had not been done.