President Buhari Presents 2017 Budget To National Assembly

Buhari To Present 2017 Budget To National Assembly On WednesdayNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has presented the 2017 appropriation bill to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The President gave the assurance that there will be no such thing as budget padding in the document.

He condemned what he termed injecting rogue projects and figures into the financial document, saying it is unfair to Nigerians and detrimental to the growth of the economy.

Meanwhile the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma says the federal government intends to spend 10 trillion naira and will issue new oil licenses as part of efforts to explore new streams of revenues to fund the 2017 budget.

Udoma made this known when he appeared before the Senate joint committee on appropriation and finance to defend the revised Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

He said that the federal government would also review the current joint venture arrangements with oil companies, marginal oil fields as well as mount pressure on revenue generating agencies to surpass expected targets.

Udoma said a total of 10 trillion was being targeted by the federal government as revenue for the 2017 fiscal year.

According to him, out of this amount, about 5 trillion Naira is expected to be generated from the sale of crude oil. Non-oil revenues will rake in about 5.06 trillion Naira.

 

How Senate Criticised Executive’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework

Nigerian Senate on MTEF and FSPThe Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper  (FSP) prepared by Nigeria’s Executive Arm of Government has come under heavy criticism in the Senate.

Most Federal lawmakers say the policy document is a fraud, unrealistic and misleading.

Lawmakers on Wednesday deliberated on the MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) after accusing the executive of sending a document to them that was empty and lacked enough details for lawmakers to deliberate on.

Consideration of the documents that contained President Muhammadu Buhari 2017-2019 MTEF and FSP in accordance with the nation’s Fiscal Responsibility Act began after its details were presented to the Senators by the Deputy Senate Leader Na’Allah.

First to comment on the documents was the Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

He said: “We are looking at assumptions and assumptions might not be correct. Let us forward the documents to the appropriate Committee”.

Senator John Enoh told the Senators that the first thing to consider was the broader provisions of the MTEF and FSP, insisting that the executives must put in place negotiations for peace in the Niger Delta to achieve the 2.2 million barrels per day plan contained in the document.

In the documents the executives had presented different figures that will set the stage for the country’s annual budget.

The MTEF and FSP are proposing a budget that will be predicated on an oil revenue benchmark of $42.5 per barrel between 2017-2019, a Gross Domestic Product growth projection of 3.02%, an average oil projection of 2.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2017, a 2.3 mbpd in 2018 and a 2.4 mpbd in 2019.

It also projects an average exchange rate of 290 Naira per dollar.

Host Of Criticism

But the lawmakers had a host of issues with the projections in the policy document.

 

Senator Isiaka Adeleke insisted that the 290 Naira per dollar was not achievable and unrealistic while Senator Dino Melaye described the document as ‘a lie’.

“It is not truthful and is not factual. What happened to the 2017 aspect of the MTEF 2016-2018 that was passed last year?

“We must form a level of compliance to the MTEF we passed last year, what is the amendment, is 290 Naira per dollar realistic?” he questioned.

While Senator Foster Ogola told the Senate that the documents were expected to present the real facts and figures of the economy another Senator, Hassan Mohammed, pointed out that the GDP proposed for 2016 was very unrealistic.

“I don’t understand the basis of it. We should look at the MTEF and FSP and tell the executive to urgently look at them. They are unrealistic,” Senator Mohammed stressed.

Senator Sam Anyanwu, on his part, expressed pleasure with the agreement seen between the members of different political parties in the Senate.

“For the first time Senators of both APC and PDP are agreeing that the MTEF and FSP are unrealistic.

“For me, there is no document before us the MTE and FFSP should be sent back to the executive,” he suggested.

Senator Joshua Lidani also suggested that the executives should rework the document before it would be treated by the Senate.

“The Government needs to take the bull by the horn, the Senate should either tinker adjust it or return it.”

Another Senator, Biodun Olujimi said: “The MTEF and FSP has not received the performance of the 2016 Budget to contrast with the 2017 budget.

“This is not what we expected, it is incomplete the MTEF and FSP is Voo Doo oriented”.

While criticisms continued to pour in, in reaction to the proposal of the Executive Arm of Government, some other Senators called for caution and proper consideration of the documents.

Ahmed Sani told the Senate that they could not just sit in the chambers and say that the document was not good.

“As a Certified Economists, I know that the government can do wonders in three months,” he insisted.

Senator Ahmed Lawan stressed the need for the Senate to be very practical “so that at the end of the day we will not worsen the state of things”.

Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who also spoke in support of the MTEF and FSP, urged his colleagues not to just criticise the documents entirely.

After the debate on the issue, Senate President Bukola Saraki appreciated his colleagues for their contributions and gave his opinion on the MTEF and FSP.

“Let me state some guiding principles. The MTEF and FSP are assumptions and estimates. Some are unrealistic. Oil Prices, GDP and Exchange Rates are unrealistic. We have the responsibility to work on it, use our Committees to look at the MTEF and FSP again and turn it around.

“We won’t take documents from the executive and send it back that way. Committees should take the comments of everybody and use it to decide.

“We should take a debate on 2016 budget performance before we do a debate on the report of the Committee,” Senate President Bukola Saraki concluded.

He then asked the Senate if the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper document should be referred to the Committees on Finance and Appropriations for further legislative action and the Senators answered in the affirmative.

Saraki Denies Friction Between Legislature And Executive

Saraki Denies Friction Between Legislature And ExecutiveSenate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has dismissed insinuation in some quarters of a frosty relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government.

Dr. Saraki was speaking to State House correspondents shortly after holding a meeting with the President, following the Friday jumat prayers in the Presidential Villa.

He said that both arms of government are working to move Nigeria forward.

He asked Nigerians not to politicize the Senate’s rejection of the President’s request for foreign borrowing.

“Don’t let us politicize very important issues. As we said, this is work in progress,” he said.

The Senate has explained that it turned down the external borrowing request due to “lack of documents supporting the request as referenced in the letter” from the President.

President Buhari wrote to the National Assembly seeking its approval for an external borrowing of 29.9 billion dollars to ensure the prompt implementation of projects.

The Senate had also accused the Executive of submitting an incomplete Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly.

The National Assembly is required to pass the MTEF and FSP before working on the 2017 budget.

At Thursday’s legislative proceedings, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, drew the attention of the lawmakers to a statement credited to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udo Udoma, in a newspaper report.

Senator Ndume said that the Minister allegedly stated that the National Assembly was to be blamed for any delay in the presentation of the 2017 budget.

He also claimed that the MTEF, which the Executive submitted to the Senate was empty, adding that it has hindered work on the policy document.

The lawmaker alleged that attempts to get Mr Udoma to submit the necessary documents on the MTEF to the Senate have been unsuccessful.

He also purported that the Minister has not replied the letter or made himself available for scheduled meetings.

Senate Accuses Executive Of Submitting Incomplete MTEF

National Assembly, Senate, Executive, MTEF, FSPThe Nigerian Senate has accused the Executive of submitting an incomplete Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly.

The National Assembly is required to pass the MTEF and FSP before working on the 2017 budget.

At Thursday’s legislative proceedings, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, drew the attention of the lawmakers to a statement credited to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udo Udoma, in a newspaper report.

Senator Ndume said that the Minister allegedly stated that the National Assembly was to be blamed for any delay in the presentation of the 2017 budget.

He also claimed that the MTEF, which the Executive submitted to the Senate was empty, adding that it has hindered work on the policy document.

The lawmaker alleged that attempts to get Mr Udoma to submit the necessary documents on the MTEF to the Senate have been unsuccessful.

He also purported that the Minister has not replied the letter or made himself available for scheduled meetings.

On Tuesday, October 4, President ‎Muhammadu Buhari forwarded to the National Assembly, the MTEF which showed a proposal to spend 6.8 trillion Naira on the 2017 budget with the debt servicing of 1.6 trillion Naira.

The receipt of the document was acknowledged at plenary by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Based on the MTEF, the oil benchmark price is put at $42.50 per barrel with 2.2 million barrels of oil production per day and an exchange rate of 290 Naira to a dollar.

The document also states that 65 billion Naira will be spent on the Amnesty Programme while 350 billion Naira will be spent on the special intervention programme in 2017.

Issues The Senate Will Discuss When Plenary Opens On Tuesday

senateIssues that will top deliberations when the Senate opens plenary on Tuesday will be the rising unemployment in Nigeria, congestion of Nigeria’s prisons and the recognition of Kogi and Anambra State as oil producing states.

According to the Senate’s Notice Paper for this week, a motion entitled “Intolerable upswing of unemployment in Nigeria” would be considered, with a view to curbing the trend.

Sponsored by the lawmaker representing Ekiti North, Senator Duro Faseyi, the motion would specifically call on the nations’s security outfits to engage more Nigerian youths as a veritable means of reducing unemployment and boosting security across the country.

Other motions to be considered are provision of medical attention for critical condition victims and the need to determine the status of 90 billion Naira dividends in securities for Nigeria investors.

Others include urgent need to investigate special funds accrued to the Federation, as provided by the Revenue Allocation Act, 2004 and the rehabilitation of prison inmates through agricultural training programmes run by the Nigerian Prison Service.

Also slated for consideration during the week are the Bills for an Act to provide for the Governance, and Institutional Framework for the Petroleum Industry, popularly referred to as the PIB, Establishment of the Public Private Partnership Regulatory Commission, the Customs Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill and a Bill for an Act to repeal the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.

The notice paper further showed that the Senate would discuss the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), and a Bill to provide for Establishment of Federal Entrepreneurship Centres at Local Government Areas.

A cursory look at the activities of the Senate this week shows that the Red Chamber is poised to speedily pass critical bills with bearing on the economy and other social challenges – like unemployment, confronting the country.

Last week, the senate gave huge consideration of a bill that prescribed a five-year jail term and five million Naira fine for any one found guilty of harassing any tertiary institution’s student sexually.

The Sexual Harassment Bill passed its third reading at the Senate last week, with most lawmakers saying it is a critical bill needed to end the rise in cases of sexual harassment in Nigeria’s higher institutions.

Senate To Debate 2017 Expenditure Framework On Tuesday

Senate Plenary NigeriaThe Senate will on Tuesday open debate on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in a press release from his media office confirmed that deliberations on the expenditure framework will has been fixed for Tuesday. He added that this comes as the Senate has resolved to prioritize all economic bills to help fast track the exit of Nigeria from the economic current recession.

The statement added that quick consideration and eventual passage of the MTEF will help pave the way for the Executive to present the 2017 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly in good time.

The MTEF and FSP provide the framework for the 2017 budget.

An analysis of the fiscal provisions of the 2017 – 2019 MTEF/FSP includes a proposed 2017 crude oil benchmark of $42.5 per barrel, up from $30 in the 2016 budget and the estimated N7.775 trillion as revenue to be generated from oil resources based on an estimated 2.2 million barrel per day oil production.

Jonathan Writes NASS On 2014 Budget

President Goodluck Jonathan has chosen Tuesday, November 12, 2013 to present the proposed 2014 budget before a joint session of the National Assembly.

The date for the presentation of the Budget followed a letter dated October 23rd which was addressed to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The letters were read in both chambers of the National Assembly at plenary today.

Following the development, the Senate stood down some of the items listed on its Order Paper, which it had scheduled for deliberation at plenary. This gave an opportunity for members of the Senate and House Committees on Finance to meet revenue generating agencies to consider the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

It will be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had on September 17, submitted to the Senate, the 2014-2016 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.


Both documents set the parameters for the medium-term expenditure plan of government before the 2014 budget presentation.