I will critically review 2016 budget passed by NASS before assenting – Buhari

I will critically review 2016 budget passed by NASS before assenting – Buhari
March 31 21:39 2016

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

Speaking at a meeting with the United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry in Washington DC, USA, the President said critical review of the budget was necessary in view of the controversial alteration and padding.

The President said he needs to review the appropriation bill to be certain that its contents tallied with the authentic budget proposal presented to the National Assembly.

“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,” he said.

Declaring that his administration would continue to vigorously prosecute the war against corruption, the President sought for assurances from Mr. Kerry on the need for the United States Government to 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.

Acknowledging that the United States has been of great help to his administration in the retraining and re-equipping of the Nigerian Armed Forces that has resulted in the significant success already achieved against Boko Haram, the President said the federal government was 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,” he said.

Responding, the Secretary of State said that he has 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, adding that relevant United States Government Officials will meet with the Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to discuss further cooperation in that regard.

Mr. Kerry applauded the Buhari Administration’s success in rolling back the Boko Haram insurgency, saying that the United States would 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 of State also praised the President’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.