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Jonathan Signs 2013 Budget Into Law



After a long wait, amidst threats by the National Assembly to override President Goodluck Jonathan on the 2013 Budget, the President on Tuesday signed the Appropriation Bill into law.

According to a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, the signing of the 2013 budget followed several consultations and an agreement between the Executive and the Legislature.

The statement reads in part: “President Jonathan wishes to reassure all Nigerians that the consultations have been in the best interest of the country, and in pursuit of understanding and mutual cooperation between both arms of government.

“As part of the understanding reached with its leadership, the observations of the executive arm of government about the Appropriation Bill as passed by the National Assembly will be further considered by the National Assembly through legislative action, to ensure effective and smooth implementation of the 2013 Appropriation Act in all aspects.

“The administration remains fully committed to the positive transformation of the country, and effective and efficient service delivery for the benefit of all citizens.

“All Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government have, therefore, been directed to work very hard to ensure that all the services, projects and programmes contained in the budget are successfully delivered on schedule in spite of the slight delay in its enactment.”
President Jonathan was initially reluctant about assenting to the budget which was forwarded to him on January 14 following claims that the National Assembly increased the budget by moving allocations from Ministries, Departments and Agencies to fund constituency projects.

President Jonathan was also alleged to have, based on the promptings of a senior minister, insisted that corrections on the budget be made in details before his assent.

Besides, the President had at a meeting with the National Assembly leadership raised the issue of the oil benchmark and the non- provision of funds for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on account of the retention of Arunma Oteh as Director-General of the Commission. The National Assembly leadership had politely declined the request on Ms Oteh and the benchmark, saying that the two issues were non-negotiable but agreed to look again at the mistakes in the details of the budget.

Legislators from the opposition parties had given their intention to initiate moves to override a veto if the President refused to give his assent to the budget by February 13 which made it 30 days after the budget was forwarded to him.

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