2016 budget still work in progress – FG

The Federal Government on Friday said the 2016 Budget whose details were presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by the National Assembly on Thursday “is still work in progress.”

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.

Mohammed briefed reporters when an expanded session of the Federal Executive Council convened on the budget went into a short break to allow Muslims observe Jumat prayers.

Buhari was absent at the meeting which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

The Vice-President is coordinating the nation’s economy.

Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as some presidential aides attended the meeting which started at about 11.10am.

A similar meeting presided over by Osinbajo was held shortly before heads of MDAs started defending their budgets at the National Assembly.

The minister said, “We have received the details of the 2016 budget from the National Assembly yesterday (Thursday) and an extra-ordinary Federal Executive Council meeting was called this morning (Friday) to avail every minister to look at the details of the budget and see how it affects each of the ministries.

“And also at this point, it is still work in progress we have broken up to resume later in the afternoon. We will come out with a statement later.”

The minister did not brief reporters after the meeting.

The Senate and the House of Representatives passed a harmonised budget of N6.06tn on March 23.

The appropriation bill was forwarded to the Presidency within 24 hours of the passage by the National Assembly.

However, Buhari declined to sign the bill, insisting on seeing the details before appending his signature to the budget.

The President said before he would append his signature on the document, he would do a ministry-by-ministry review of the budget to ensure that what was returned to him was the same with what his administration submitted to the National Assembly.