The Nigerian Government is still tinkering with the 2017 budget despite Acting President Yemi Osinbajo assenting to it since June 12. Reuters said the amendment to the budget was due to disagreements between parliament and the presidency.
Reuters quoted a presidency source as saying that “Before the budget was signed it was agreed between the executive and the lawmakers that those insertions of some new projects into the budget made by the National Assembly should be removed and replaced with the priority projects of the federal government which the lawmakers removed”.
The delays for the 2017 budget come as the presidency locks horns with the National Assembly over projects added to the document in a practice known as “padding” — lawmakers’ efforts to funnel money and development to their local jurisdictions at the expense of the federal government.
The news agency added in its report that any delays to government spending could hobble recovery in Africa’s largest economy, now in its second year of recession.
When asked for clarification, a budget ministry spokesman referred Reuters to Osinbajo’s June statement from the budget signing, in which he said the National Assembly had agreed to reinstate federal government projects and that “will be expeditiously considered and approved by the National Assembly.”
He declined to say whether funds from the 2017 budget had begun to be released.