Buhari Plans To Review Budget Before Assent | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari Plans To Review Budget Before Assent

Posted: Apr 1, 2016 at 9:07 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Washington DC said he would critically review the 2016 Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly before assenting to it.

He gave the indication at a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.

Buhari said that in view of the controversial alteration and padding of the budget proposals, he needed to review the appropriation bill to be certain that its content tallied with the authentic budget proposal presented to the legislature.

He added that “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 would continue to vigorously prosecute the war against corruption, Buhari sought and received an assurance from Mr Kerry that the U.S. Government would 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,”
the President told Mr Kerry.

Buhari acknowledged that the U.S. had been of great help to his administration in retraining and re-equipping of the Nigerian Armed Forces that resulted in the significant success already achieved against Boko Haram.

The President noted that 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.”

Responding, the U.S. Secretary of State said he had 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,” Mr Kerry assured President Buhari.

He added that relevant U.S. Government Officials would meet with the Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to discuss further cooperation in that regard.

Kerry applauded the Buhari administration’s success in rolling back the Boko Haram insurgency.

According to him, the U.S. 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 Secretary also praised 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.