*Cancels FEC meeting
By Chesa Chesa
President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N9.12 trillion at 11am on Wednesday morning at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina confirmed that the event will hold in place of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which has been shelved for this week as a result of the long Eid-el-Fitri holiday.
The weekly FEC meeting is usually shelved when a major national holiday precedes it closely, as officials are usually not available to prepare memos and documents needed for deliberations, Adesina had stated.
Anxiety had enveloped the nation over the delay in the passage and signing of the 2018 budget which Buhari presented to the National Assembly since November last year.
The lawmakers eventually passed it last month and the presidency had indicated that Buhari would take some time to go through the document thoroughly before appending his signature to it.
In passing the budget, the National Assembly increased the proposed figures by about N500 billion, a development the President was reportedly not excited about.
Similar action in the 2017 budget was dubbed as padding by Buhari, who dubbed it criminal and vowed to prosecute those in involved in it.
This curent increment in this year’s estimates was attributed to increases recorded in the sale of crude oil at the international market which compelled oil benchmark proposed by the executive in the budget submitted to the National Assembly to move up from N45 to N51.
Exchange rate of N305 to a dollar and production of 2.3 million barrels of crude oil per day was adopted by both chambers of the National Assembly as proposed by the executive.
In any case, the president was expected to append signatures on the document before the 2017 budget elapsed on June 12, 2018, exactly a year after last year’s budget was assigned by then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.