Garba Shehu, the Senior Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, says the 2018 budget that was approved the the Federal Executive will be sent to the National Assembly soon.
Speaking on Channels TV, Shehu said ‘soon. The President’s earlier commitment was by the end of October. I hope we will be able to do that. The budget is work in progress. The presentation by the minister at the cabinet is for it to be debated and agreed upon. Obviously, you would expect that there will be knocks for it here and there and the need to change this and that. And, therefore, they obviously have to go back to the drawing board. A technical committee of the cabinet will work on the final shape of the budget before we take it to the National Assembly. I optimistic that it will be completed very soon and within the time giving by the President’.
When asked about the details of the budget, he said ‘what I can say to you is that the entire budget has been planned in line with the ERGP, which the government has launched and that this, broadly speaking, is aimed at continuing with the growth of the economy, investing in the people of Nigeria and also ensuring that the economy transforms into a globally competitive one. Beyond that you know I cannot disclose to you the numbers, for instance, and I am sure quite a number of the viewers are interested in knowing how much the government will be spending. The executive arm of the government sits and debates issues the same way you see the parliament do it. Therefore, though the Minister of Budget has done his job, that is not in any way to suggest that it is a job that was complete. Today’s discussions were very interesting, and the viewers were divergent. In the end, the President said this is the way. Therefore, the budget ministry has gone back to the drawing board and they will finalise on each of the elements that are contained in the budget’.