Buhari has till June 30 to Sign 2018 Budget to Prevent Govt Shutdown—Lawmaker

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

With the 2018 budget not yet signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, there are fears that there would be government shutdown in Nigeria.

This is because the lifespan of the 2017 budget would have expired, leaving government with no money to spend to run affairs of the nation.

A member of the House of Representatives from Anambra State, Mr Chris Emeka Azubogu, has said the lifespan of the 2017 budget will end on June 30, 2018.

Speaking on a programme monitored by Business Post on Tuesday morning, Mr Azubogu revealed that the capital expenditure part of the 2017 budget had expired in December last year.

“The capital expenditure part of the 2017 budget expired in December 2017,” the lawmaker said on Political Platform on RayPower this morning during a phone chat with Mr Amaechi Anakwe, presenter of the show.

“But the recurrent [expenditure] part of the budget is still running and it will expire by June 30, 2018,” Mr Azubogu, who is the Deputy Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, said further on the programme.

With this revelation, if President Buhari fails to sign the budget before June 30, there might be a shutdown of government.

Last week, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udoma, disclosed that President Buhari will only sign the 2018 budget after he was satisfied with its contents.

According to him, Mr President was taking his time to review the budget passed by the National Assembly last month.

“The President is currently reviewing the budget. As soon as he is through, he will sign it. That is what l can tell you for now,” he had said.

However, the Minister did not state how long the President would take to finish reviewing the budget, but he said, “As you know, we have a minimum window of 30 days.”

Business Post recalls that the 2017 budget, also passed in May last year, was signed into law a month later.

In November 2017, President Buhari presented a budget of N8.6 trillion to a joint session of the parliament, but the lawmakers raised the appropriation bill to N9.1 trillion when it was passed.

Nigeria is still struggling to return to the January to December budget year.

Experts have lamented that the late passage of budgets in Nigeria was becoming a norm in the country, warning that the economy will continue to suffer for it.

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