31st March, 2016
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that there is no rift between President Muhammadu Buhari (executive) and national assembly (legislative) arm of government over the passage of the 2016 budget.
Mohammed said this on Thursday when he paid a visit to the Corporate Headquarters of the Leadership Newspapers in Abuja.
“On the passage of the budget, I want to clear the misconception. There is absolutely no rift between the executive arm of government and legislative arm of government.
“It is not true that the president has refused to assent to the budget. The fact remains that it (budget) is not even before him.
“The practice really is that when the budget is approved like that, there is what we call headline figure that is approved, then, it will take a few days for the National Assembly to throw up the details.”
The minister said it was the original copy of budget that would be taken to the president after the necessary correction.
He also said that there was no setback in the budget, adding that the Ministry of Budget and National Planning was working closely with the National Assembly to ensure hitch-free passage of the budget.
The minister said that the signing of the budget by President Muhammadu Buhari would reflate the economy and uplift millions of Nigerians out of abject poverty.
He said that the budget would focus on infrastructure development which would in turn create jobs for unemployed Nigerians and wealth for workers in the construction industry.
“It is a budget of social inclusion. It is a budget that everybody is included”.
Mohammed said that there was N500 billion provision for social intervention programmes targeted at employing 500,000 graduates, to be trained as teachers and deployed to primary schools.
He said the programmes also aimed at empowering 370,000 non-graduates such as artisans and technicians.
“It targets at training one million people such as farmers, market women, traders and entrepreneurs as well as giving them loan to start off.
“It aims at giving one meal to 4.5 million pupils from class 1 to 3 per day. It is also aimed at giving N5,000 to vulnerable Nigerians such as widows, aged people and disabled people in the rural areas.”
The minister said the social intervention programmes also targeted at providing bursary and scholarship for students studying science, technology and engineering.