More than three months after President Muhammadu Buhari was supposed to present the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Papers (FSP) before the national assembly, the presidency has said Buhari would finally do it “anytime next week”. This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, in a chat with journalists on Friday.
Section 11(1)(b) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (2007) mandates the president to prepare a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for the next three financial years and lay it before the national assembly FOUR MONTHS to the commencement of the next financial year. The financial year begins in January, therefore the MTEF ought to have been presented before the national assembly not later than 31st August.
Enang however claimed that the government did not violate the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
According to him, the President was still acting within the framework of the relevant laws and that there were no areas of friction between the two arms of government.
“There is no violation at all. It’s within what is allowed by law. We are not in violation at all,” the presidential aide stated.
Ita Enang said that the presentation of the MTEF would be followed by the presentation of the 2016 Appropriation Bill for the consideration of the lawmakers.
Enang said: “I want to assure you that in the next few days, Mr. President will forward the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper to the National Assembly.
“The National Assembly will consider it and in the course of it, Mr. President will communicate to the National Assembly the date on which the 2016 budget will be laid.
“You know that is normally preceded by a letter from the President requesting for a date for the presentation of the documents.”
He described the speedy passage of the 2015 supplementary budget by the National Assembly as an indication of cordial relationship between the executive and the legislative arms.
“The National Assembly will consider it and in the cause of it, Mr. President will communicate to the National Assembly the date on which the 2016 budget will be laid. The letter will be issued and the letter will communicate the date”.