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Our concern now is working on 2017-2019 MTEF, budget, not $30b loan—Lawmakers

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Contrary to speculations that the lawmakers currently returning from yuletide break will begin discussions on the earlier rejected $30bn presidential loan request, indications are rife that their main concern will center on the debate and approval of the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which was pending before the end of the year.

It would be recalled that the lawmakers took a 26-day break soon after Buhari presented the estimates of the N7.29tn budget to a joint session of the National Assembly on December 14.

Some lawmakers who barred their minds with our Correspondents in Abuja say in unison that after approving the MTEF, the next job will be on the 2017 budget estimates upon which the MTEF will function and not the loan request.

Besides, checks at the office of the Ministry of Budget and Planning showed that the revised loan request document is yet to be perfected as at Tuesday.

It would be recalled that the loan request document was dumped by the lawmakers based on its poor diligent packaging and lack of critical facts and figures needed by the lawmakers to carry out an informed debate on it.

A senior legislative official had explained Tuesday that, “The report on the MTEF and FSP was adopted by members after it was reported from the committee stage before the break.

“However, the details will still be laid out for members to approve them item-by-item before we move into the budget proper.

“As for the budget, the first thing that will happen is that members will begin to pick up their copies as they reconvene, for study before the debate will commence.”

Findings at the House of Representatives Tuesday showed a different direction as the Notice Paper for the resumption indicated that at least 18 bills would be treated this week.

In them, there is no sign of $30bn loan request by the presidency.


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