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I’m in no hurry to sign 2016 Budget, says Buhari



Buhari urges commitment in fight against corruption


I'm in no hurry to sign 2016 Budget, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said he is not in a hurry to sign the 2016 Budget passed by the National Assembly.

The N6.06 trillion budget was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on March 23, 2016 but there has been doubts as to whether President Buhari will sign the document as only the highlights of the Appropriation Bill was forwarded to him by the National Assembly.

Explaining why he is not in a hurry to sign the 2016 Budget, President Buhari in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said he would critically review the document before assenting to it

Speaking at a meeting with the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington DC, President Buhari said in view of the controversial alteration and padding of the budget proposals, he needed to review the Appropriation Bill to be certain that its contents tallied with the authentic budget proposal presented to the National Assembly.

He said: “Some bureaucrats removed what we put in the proposal and replaced it with what they wanted. I have to look at the bill that has been passed by the National Assembly, ministry by ministry, to be sure that what has been brought back for me to sign is in line with our original submission.”

Declaring that his administration will continue to vigorously prosecute its war against corruption, the President sought and received an assurance from Mr. Kerry that the United States Government will facilitate the repatriation of all stolen Nigerian funds found within the American banking system.

“It will greatly help our country if you assist us to recover all our stolen funds which we can establish to be within your financial system,” Buhari told Kerry.

Responding, the US Secretary of State said that he has been told that the stolen Nigerian funds were in “billions of dollars”.

“It’s not easy to hide that amount of money and we are pretty good in tracing them,” Kerry assured President Buhari, adding that relevant United States Government officials will meet with the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to discuss further cooperation in that regard.

Kerry applauded the Buhari administration’s success in rolling back the Boko Haram insurgency, saying the United States will continue to give Nigeria all possible support to ensure that the terrorist sect is finally eliminated as a threat to national and regional security.

The US Secretary of State also praised President Buhari’s clear order that Nigeria’s Armed Forces must show greater regard for the human rights of persons in the theatre of operations against Boko Haram.

Acknowledging that the United States has been of great help to his administration in the retraining and re-equipping of the Nigerian Armed Forces that has resulted in the significant success already achieved against Boko Haram, President Buhari said the Federal Government was now working very hard to restore full normalcy in the North Eastern states.

“Boko Haram no longer holds any local government area. We are reconstructing damaged facilities and preparing the police to take over and reassert civilian control over areas affected by the insurgency,” President Buhari told the US Secretary of State.

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