The Punch reports that President Goodluck Jonathan has signed the 2015 Appropriation Bill into law. Jonathan decided to sign the budget into law a couple of days back without fanfare. There have been concerns among Nigerians on whether Jonathan will sign the budget before May 29 when he will formally hand over to Muhammadu Buhari or he will leave it behind for the incoming administration which is believed may still prepare a supplementary budget.
But a Presidency source told our correspondent that the President signed the budget about two weeks ago immediately after the document passed by the National Assembly was transmitted to him. The Senate had passed the 2015 budget on April 28, following the passage of the same bill by the House of Representatives on April 23, with an expenditure outlay of N4.493tn, up from the N4.425tn proposed by the Executive.
When contacted, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, also confirmed that Jonathan had signed the budget. Although he also did not give any reason why the signing was not made public, Abati said the President signed the document “some weeks back.”
The Senate, in passing the budget, slightly reduced the N2.607,601, 000,300 proposed by the Executive to N2.607,132,491,708 as recurrent expenditure and simultaneously scaled down the capital expenditure from N642,848,999,699 estimated in the proposal to N556,995,465,449.
Education takes the lion’s share of the budget with N392.3bn; followed by the military which gets N338.7bn while police commands and formations will receive N303.8bn.
In the same vein, N237bn was voted for the health sector; N153bn for the Ministry of Interior while N25.1bn was budgeted for the Ministry of Works.