Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
By Ndubuisi Francis
Contrary to various dates being bandied, October 10 is the new date for President Goodluck Jonathan to present the 2013 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly, THISDAY can report.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy (CME) and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala confirmed the new date to THISDAY in a telephone conversation.
Although it could not be confirmed how the October 10 date was arrived at, the new date is believed to have been chosen during Wednesday’s meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and the executive arm of government.
The minister had told THISDAY Wednesday that following the position of the House of Representatives, a new date was being mulled for the budget to be laid before the lawmakers.
It was gathered Friday night that shortly after President Jonathan’s presentation of the appropriation bill on October 10, Okonjo-Iweala is expected to depart for Tokyo, Japan for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, which are billed to hold between October 9 and 14, 2012.
The new date for the budget presentation is six days behind October 4 earlier proposed by the executive arm of government but rejected by the House of Representatives, which said it needed to digest the 2013-15 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), upon which the 2013 Budget is predicated as well as oversight the performance of the 2012 Budget.