Nigeria’s lower house of parliament held a closed session to debate the country’s 2010 budget on Tuesday, paving the way for the spending plans to be signed into law in the absence of President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Once the House of Representatives approves the 4.08 trillion naira budget, the Senate must do the same and any differences must be harmonised before the spending plans can be signed into law.
Yar’Adua sent the budget proposal to parliament in November but has since been absent for more than two months, receiving hospital treatment for a heart condition in Saudi Arabia.
His absence had raised fears that there could be delays to the passage of the 2010 budget, which if approved in its current form would push sub-Saharan Africa’s second biggest economy to a deficit of 4.79 percent of gross domestic product.
The Senate on Tuesday passed a motion that Vice President Goodluck Jonathan should immediately take over as acting president in Yar’Adua’s absence, which would mean he is able to sign the budget for this year.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS