2017 Budget will Be Passed on Time, Saraki Assures Nigerians

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As he consults Buhari on national issues
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has given an assurance that the 2017 budget will be passed in good time, unlike the experiences with past budgets.

Saraki said the National Assembly was ready for President Muhammadu Buhari to come and present the budget before the lawmakers.

Buhari is expected to lay the proposal before the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives for consideration on a date to be agreed upon by the executive and the legislature.

Speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with the President Buhari at the Villa, Abuja, Saraki said much consultations had been carried out on the soon-to-be presented 2017 Budget proposals.
According to him, the National Assembly is ready to receive the president as soon as communication is received from the Executive.

He also said the issues concerning the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) would soon be resolved.
Saraki said: “We are ready. Once the document comes to us, we are ready. I think this time around, a lot of work has taken place behind the scene, there is a lot of collaboration, and you will see the result of that in the time frame it will take after the president would have presented it.

“I came for consultation with the president on a number of national issues. We are all getting towards the end of the year; getting the budget. Just regular consultation.”

On MTEF, he said: “That is still a work in progress. I am sure that very soon, that matter will be concluded. But I am very optimistic that this year’s budget will be passed much more sooner than what we saw in the past.”
Asked if he can give details about the budget, he said: “Well, I haven’t seen the details until the president lays it. I am sure within the next ten days, it will be presented.”

The Senate Presidnet said that the defection of a lawmaker from one political party to another on the floor of the Senate was democracy at work.

“It is democracy at work. The opposition party has its views about the defection of a senator to the APC. Normalcy has been restored to the house and we are one family again,” he said.