Jonathan, after secret signing ceremony, tasks ministries, others over budget implementation

Posted by News Express | 27 February 2013 | 2,739 times

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President Goodluck Jonathan has charged ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government to faithfully implement this year’s budget, which he finally signed into law yesterday evening, ending a standoff with the National Assembly.

“The administration remains fully committed to the positive transformation of the country, and effective and efficient service delivery for the benefit of all citizens,” he said in a statement issued by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati.

“All ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government have, therefore, been directed to work very hard to ensure that all the services, projects and programmes contained in the budget are successfully delivered on schedule in spite of the slight delay in its enactment,” he added.

Departing from the tradition of signing the budget in public, Jonathan had appended his signature to the N4.987 trillion 2013 Appropriation Bill at a secret ceremony in the Presidential Villa Abuja attended by leaders of the National Assembly and selected ministers, among them the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Abati said that Jonathan signed the budget after consultations and an agreement between the executive and the legislature. He said that in resolving the matter, both sides reached an understanding that the observations of the executive on the budget would be considered through legislative action. Both sides had disagreed over the oil benchmark to use for the budget, among other issues.

“President Jonathan wishes to reassure all Nigerians that the consultations have been in the best interest of the country and in pursuit of understanding and mutual cooperation between both arms of government,” Abati said.

“As part of the understanding reached with its leadership, the observations of the Executive arm of government about the Appropriation Bill as passed by the National Assembly will be further considered by the National Assembly through legislative action, to ensure effective and smooth implementation of the 2013 Appropriation Act in all aspects,” he added.

Photo: President Jonathan.

Source: News Express

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