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.

Udo Udoma States Steps FG Is Taking To Stabilise The Economy

udo-udoma, foreign currency shortage, recessionThe Minister of Budget and Planning, Mr Udo Udoma, on Friday stated steps being taken by the federal government to restabilise the economy.

 

Mr. Udoma, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, noted that “foreign currency shortage, is responsible for where we are today”.

He further explained that the country is in need of money, which is needed to raise more money.

He then opined that “what we need to recharge the economy, is foreign currency”.

The Minister said that the ministry had a fiscal stimulus plan which they have been developing over the last month.

He stated other plans by the ministry to stabilise the economy to include “asset sales, concessioning, advance payment from licensing rounds”, all aimed at raising between 10-15 billion dollars.

Mr Udoma also used the medium to solicit the understanding of Nigerians, saying everything is being done to ease their pains.

“I want Nigerians to be patient, we are on top of the Job, we know what to do but it takes time”.

Change Begins At The Individual Level

As economic and financial experts continue to offer suggestions to help re-inflate the Nigerian economy, the government in turn, has urged citizens to embrace change on an individual level, through the ‘Change Begins With Me’ initiative.

Further more, at a time like this, the onus is now upon the private sector and business owners to begin to think creatively of ways by which the economy can be boosted.

With the recession hitting almost every sector, some have also said that the only way to address this challenge is through the adoption of policies that will enhance local production and reduce pressure on the nation’s reserves.

2017 Budget Will Address Abandoned Projects – Udoma

Budget, Udo Udoma, Abandoned ProjectsThe Federal Government has promised a better national budget in 2017 to address the issue of abandoned projects across Nigeria.

The government also pledged to bring a rest to the crisis of confidence over the 2016 Budget, which has been fraught with allegation of padding right from the beginning.

The Minister of National Planning and Budget, Mr Udo Udoma, disclosed this on Wednesday at a two-day conference on capital projects, implementation and monitoring organised by the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

The Minister, who was represented by the Director of Budget Planning, Mrs Olasunbor Ayinde, hinted that the 2017 Budget would attain uniform cost price for all items presented by MDAs to fund the abandoned projects spread across the country.

President of the NIQS, Mercy Iyortyer, expressed worry over the more than 19,000 abandoned projects across Nigeria, including the Benue State Sheraton Hotel which has remained uncompleted after 33 years.

The Benue State Governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, who was represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, blamed the spate of uncompleted projects on lack of ethical behaviour on the part of professionals.

The Senate Committee Chairman on Public Procurement, Senator Mohammed Abdulsalami, on his part explained the controversy of budget padding while he blamed the legislature and the executive for lack of restraint.

FEC Directs MDAs To Fast Track Capital Budgets

FECThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to fast track the processes for their capital budgets so that the economy can be quickly reflected.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udo Udoma, said this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yomi Osinbajo.

Senator Udo Udoma while answering a question on the N350 billion, which the federal government promised to inject into the economy at the inception of this administration, said the money is available but there is a process that needs to be followed by the MDAs before the release of the fund.

According to the minister existing projects will receive more attention since they have undergone the procurement process.