the Federal Executive Council on Thursday approved the draft 2018 Appropriation Bill, paving the way for President Muhammadu Buhari to present the document to the National Assembly.
The approval was given at a meeting of the council presided over by Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, confirmed the approval to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
Udoma said the Executive would liaise with the National Assembly to agree on a date that the President would present the document to the lawmakers.
The minister refused to give the details of the approved draft budget.
He said, “It is the President’s prerogative to submit the budget, submit the proposals and give the details. I will be operating above my brief if I do that; the Constitution gives that authority to the President.
“We did promise that the budget would be ready in October and it would be ready in October. We are liaising with the National Assembly because they have to approve the date for the President to come and address them to submit the budget.”
When asked if it was still feasible for the budget to be passed this year, Udoma stated, “Before now, we used to submit the proposal in December; but now, the budget is ready in October, so there is a very big difference.”
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said a total of N450bn had so far been released for capital projects in the 2017 budget.