President Goodluck Jonathan and some members of the federal executive will tomorrow meet with the leadership of the National Assembly to ensure that there is proper reconciliation and understanding in all the changes that may have been by the legislature before implementation.
Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who gave the hint after the economic management team meeting at the Presidential Villa, noted that the delay in implementing the budget stemmed from the fact that the National Assembly just gave the executive back the said budget about few days ago and of course about three weeks after it had passed the budget.
The National Assembly had last month passed the 2012 budget with higher expenditure than the finance minister had advised, hence risking further delays to implementing spending plans if President Jonathan refuses to approve them.
Explaining why the 2012 budget was being delayed, while speaking to State House Correspondents, the minister said, “What we are doing now is that the National Assembly just gave us the budget back about few days ago and of course when they pass the budget, we have to look at the details because it is not always the same as the budget Mr. President passed to the House.
“So we are doing that work, we are looking at the details. After looking at the details, we will have a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly on Thursday to make sure that we reconcile and understand all the changes that may have been made and after that, we will be ready to move on to the next step. That is where we are, doing the normal work”.
Asked to be specific on the areas where changes might have occurred, she said, “Obviously, the first one is the benchmark price that went from $70 to $72 which we have looked at.