President Goodluck Jonathan has finally signed the 2013 appropriation bill into law in a brief ceremony attended by the leadership of the National Assembly Executive without media coverage as usual.
The budget signing ceremony which took place in the president's office was done without the presence of the media as had always been tradition. While State House Correspondents were asked to wait at the briefing room of the council chambers, only close aides to the president; the National Assembly leaders led by Senate President, David Mark and Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and a handful of members of the executive witnessed the event.
LEADERSHIP had reported last week that the president was to sign the 2013 budget last weekend, but it was learnt that issues bordering on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Nigeria Governors' Forum occupied the period.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati in a statement after the event noted that the signing of the budget followed consultations and an agreement between the Executive and the Legislature on the 2013 Appropriation Bill.
Abati said the president reassured "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.
"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.
He stated further: "The administration remained "fully committed to the positive transformation of the country, and effective and efficient service delivery for the benefit of all citizens.
"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".