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Senate suspends consideration of FG’s MTEF… and it has a point

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Senate suspends consideration of FG’s MTEF… and it has a point

The senate has suspended consideration and debate of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) submitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Those two documents are very important. The national assembly has to approve them first before Pres. Buhari can present the 2017 budget to the lawmakers for consideration.

Any delay in approving the MTEF and FSP would inevitably lead to a delay in consideration and approval of the budget. And we’re almost in November, so there’s hardly any time to waste.

But the senate has a good reason for suspending debate on the documents. It needs the executive to fill some blanks so that it could more effectively carry out its duties.

Consequently it has invited the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma to brief it’s leadership on the controversial areas.

In a letter which the senate forwarded last week to Adeosun and Udoma, it also asked for the following details to be submitted to it before they appear before Senate leadership:

1. A (draft) copy of the Medium Term Development Plan, upon which the 2017-2019 MTEF was founded;

2. A comprehensive report on the implementation of the 2016 budget as at 30th of September, 2016;

3. All fiscal rates, taxes, charges used to derive the projected revenue in the 2017-2019 MTEF;

4. A report on the structure/composition of the debt, funding, sources, how the borrowed funds are to be spent, as well as repayment plan and schedule.

The ministers are expected to appear before the Senate leadership on November 1st.

The thrust of the 2017-2019 MTEF and FSP submitted to the national assembly by the president is “to reflate the economy out of recession to a sustainable and inclusive growth path.”

The FG says it envisages a reflation of the economy through increased capital spending in target sectors, which will be financed through a stronger non-oil revenue drive as well as increased borrowings.

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