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nass complex

2017 budget crisis deepens as Presidency accuse NASS of delaying submission

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A new twist in the 2017 budget delay crisis has emerged considering the feelings of the presidency on how the national Assembly is attending to the submitted2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP)

The presidency said Monday that “By refusing to consider and approve the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), a statutory prerequisite for the submission of next year’s budget, the presidency is of the firm view that the National Assembly is doing everything possible to put pressure on the executive arm to fund the controversial constituency projects contained in the 2016 budget”.

Government had said that the MTEF is a three-year expenditure framework that sets out the medium-term expenditure priorities and hard budget considerations against which sector plans can be developed and refined. It also contains the outcome criteria for the purpose of performance monitoring.

In the past few weeks, the Senate had consistently dismissed the MTEF sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the documents as “empty” and not worthy of legislative consideration.

Disturbed by the observed delay tactics of the National Assembly members, a presidency official argued that the reasons given by the lawmakers for not accepting the MTEF were “frivolous”, adding that the intention of the lawmakers is to use it to force the president to fund and implement their N100 billion constituency projects.

The source said “The same MTEF the lawmakers said was empty was the same document presented to a forum of economic experts in Lagos for debate and their input; it was also presented to civil society groups in Lagos and Abuja for debate and their input, before it was later presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval”.

 “It was the same MTEF that was given to the African Development Bank, upon which the bank recently approved the $600 million loan as the first tranche of the one-billion-dollar budget support to help finance Nigeria’s economic governance, diversification and competitiveness programme.

“It was the same MTEF, which the National Assembly said was empty that was presented to the World Bank for part of the proposed borrowing plan of $29.96 billion for infrastructure development.

 “So, we don’t understand what they are talking about. Are the lawmakers more knowledgeable than these institutions on economic and financial matters?”


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