Barely a week since the passage of the 2017 budget by the National Assembly, the lawmakers are yet to submit the budget document to the presidency, Information and Culture minister, Lai Mohammed said on Wednesday.
Mr Mohammed, however, said the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, was in possession of an “advanced copy” which ministers would use to check if there are discrepancies between what they sent to the National Assembly and what was returned.
The minister spoke with State House correspondents after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.
“It has not yet been transmitted but at least the Minister of Budget and National Planning has received an advanced copy of what was passed and that is what we need to look at and compare to what we sent. It has not been transmitted officially to the Presidency,” the minister said.
He said all ministers would be required to look at the document against what they sent to the federal lawmakers and report back to Udoma for harmonisation.
“In respect of the budget, it was only this morning that the Minister of Budget and National Planning informed the council that the budget has been passed.
“He has not sent to us individually, copies of the passed budget. We now need to look at it against what we sent and if there is any discrepancies we will report back to the Minister of Budget and National Planning on harmonisation.
“The Ministry of Budget and National Planning will make the implementation of the 2016 budget public. They have told us that about N1.2tn has been released for capital,” he added.
When asked who will sign the budget between the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently in London, United Kingdom for medical consultation, Mr Mohammed said, “when it is transmitted to the Presidency, that decision will be taken.”
He also assured Nigerians that the two ministers recently confirmed by the National Assembly, Stephen Ocheni, Kogi, and Suleiman Hassan, Gombe, would be inaugurated in due course.
He was not specific on when the inauguration will take place.
On Ebola virus, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the Federal Government had put in place a standby team of 10 health care workers that can be deployed wherever they are needed.
“We already have a standby team comprising 10 frontline health care workers that would be moving to any location they are needed. It is only then that we will require more money, but now, we don’t need additional money,” the minister said.