Buhari To Presents 2017 Budget Dec 1
Barring last-minute change of plan, President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday, December 1, 2016, present the proposed 2017 Budget to a joint sitting of the National Assembly, it was revealed yesterday.
Senate minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom, PDP) made the revelation during the debate on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) submitted for Senate’s approval by the president Buhari preparatory to the submission of the 2017 Budget.
This is even as majority of Senators picked holes in the fiscal documents, describing all their parameters and assumptions as “unrealistic, not truthful and voodoo-oriented” among others.
“We can see that we don’t have a perfect document in our hands but of course we are looking at assumptions and assumptions may not necessarily be correct. I want to suggest that we send it to the committee. Of course, the committee will invite the relevant agencies and ministries of government and they will come up with a more realistic MTEF/FSP.
“Because I believe also that looking at the date that this was submitted to the Senate on the 4th of October – and we are debating it today on the 22nd November, a lot of indices must have changed.
“Yesterday, you (apparently referring to the Senate President) made reference to the fact that the president may come to the chambers to submit and read the 2017 Budget on the 1st of December. If that is the case and we send this back now (to the Executive) and wait for it to come and debate it, it means that we will not be able to meet that deadline. But if we send it to the committee level, they may come up with something within the next three days that will be much much realistic,” Akpabio said.
The Senate has however referred the document to its Committees on Finance, Appropriation and National Planning for further scrutiny and legislative inputs.
Recall that both chambers of the National Assembly had on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 read a letter dated Friday, September 30, 2016, personally signed by President Buhari intimating them of the submission of the fiscal documents.