The presidency has debunked reports of a crisis between President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly over the 2022 budget.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu said the disagreement over 6,576 new projects worth N37billion added to the appropriation bill was not out of the ordinary.
On December 31, Buhari raised “worrisome” concerns at the State House during the signing of the 2022 Budget and Finance Bill.
Shehu insisted that the President’s complaint about alterations, including “reduction in the provisions for many strategic capital projects to introduce ‘Empowerment Projects’,” is being misinterpreted.
In a statement on Sunday, he recalled how Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the budget-signing ceremony, assured that conflicts are normal Executive-Parliamentary relationship.
Shehu told those “trying to create a fiasco” between the two arms of government that they will be disappointed.”
The aide said there will be no return of the “environment engendered by the 8th Senate when an elected government was held in chains, held hostage to the desperate political ambitions of a clique”.
He stressed that Buhari was clear and candid in expressing reservations “with the numerous changes to the 2022 budget made by the National Assembly”.
“To respond to critics that question why assent to the budget if it was so severely tampered with, we wish to respond as follows:
”Although over 10,733 projects were reduced and 6,576 new projects were introduced into the budget by the National Assembly, there are tens of thousands more provisions in the 2022 Budget.”
Shehu disclosed that Buhari endorsed the estimate due to his commitment to improve the lives of common man, as it would “not be wise to throw away the baby with the bathwater”.
The statement said Buhari, the legislature, Lawan, Gbajabiamila are committed to a good neighborly relationship and that differences between them will not affect their partnership.