All things being equal, the Senate will tomorrow commence debate on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) submitted to it on October 4, 2016, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
A statement by the Senate President’s Media Office at the weekend said the decision to promptly list the MTEF/FSP for debate without any delay was prompted by the necessity to fast-track its consideration and passage with a view to paving the way for early presentation of the 2017 Appropriation Bill by the executive.
However, ahead of the commencement of tomorrow’s debate, the statement added that the Senate would today hold its second interactive session with members of the civil society organisations (CSOs) on the nation’s budgeting system.
The statement read: “Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, had last Thursday said the Red Chamber would commence debate on the MTEF/FSP in order to ensure it is given expeditious passage in line with its economic revival agenda.
“Some of the fiscal projections in the 2017 – 2019 MTEF/FSP expected to engage the lawmakers’ attention during the debate include the proposed 2017 crude oil benchmark of $42.5 per barrel, up from $30 in the 2016 budget and the estimated N7.775 trillion as revenue to be generated from the oil resources considering the $42.5 per barrel benchmark and an estimated 2.2 million barrel per day oil production.
“The commencement of debate on the MTEF/FSP this week underscores the commitment of the Senate and signposts the desire of the upper chamber and by extension the National Assembly to ensure that all economic bills are conscientiously considered and passed as a way of boosting the economic revival policies and programmes of the present administration.
“The Senate believes that the quick consideration and approval of the MTEF/FSP to pave way for the laying of the 2017 budget would enable the National Assembly to consider the 2017 money bill and pass it so that the budget cycle can commence normally next year.
“The implementation of the 2017 budget can start in earnest in January if the budget is laid on schedule, considered and passed by the National Assembly. Therefore, the Senate has decided to give attention to the MTEF/FSP so as to correct some of the delays of the past which often impacted negatively on the full implementation of the budget.”