Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin on Monday described the signing of the 2017 budget by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo as a gamble and show of good faith.
Jibrin made this disclosure in a statement in which he described the signing as the “most generous concession in budget negotiation by a president since 1999”.
“He (Osinbajo) further stated that he agreed to sign the budget after the assurance of commitment from NASS to restore the lifted funds. That demonstration of faith in NASS was unprecedented, and the most generous concession in budget negotiation by a President since 1999,” the statement read.
“No President has ever agreed to sign the budget into law on the basis of extracting a commitment from NASS. In this case of Ag President Osinbajo, perhaps beyond the respect he enjoins, he must strive to also be feared, through resistance to compromising settlements in his relationship with NASS.
“The reason isn’t far-fetched; all attempts to flatter and hoodwink President Buhari into signing the 2016 budget, by assuring to make corrections later, met an impenetrable brick wall. He saw through the smokescreen, and thus even refused to be blackmailed by threats of possible backlash from NASS if the budget is not signed before corrections are made and also the need to save time.
“No President was ready to take the risk with NASS but Osinbajo did, as it appeared like striking a deal with an untrustworthy partner. Whether this seeming pact is calculated or not, is left for time and the scrutiny of vigilant and critical Nigerians to determine. What is obvious, however, is the Ag President has played into the hands of NASS.
“What the Ag President has given to NASS is a victory it has never had in the budget process since 1999, understandably to strengthen the relationship between the two frequently hostile arms of government. And so, he deserves a reciprocal gesture and unmistakable friendship from the lawmakers, not attacks and threats.”