Senate on Thursday gave reason why the National Assembly yet to debate Medium Term Framework Expenditure (MTEF) has not been considered revealing that President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded an empty MTEF to National Assembly.
Buhari had submitted MTEF/FSP to National Assembly since September 30, 2016.
However, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume who made the shocking revelation known while reacting to the statement credited to Minister of Budget and National Planing, Udoma Udo Udoma on the newspapers blaming Federal lawmakers for non submission of budget said he has went through the copy and even consulted experts on it and most them said it is emepty.
Ndume said,”We received the MTEF on 30th September instead of submitting it according to law by 1st of September – not later than. That is not
even the problem. I have a copy, I went through and the copies have been circulated. I talked to some experts. Even in this chamber, we have people we can call experts.
“If you look at this document that they call MTEF, it is empty; it is empty and it doesn’t contain anything. If you have nothing, how do you
“Going through and knowing that it is empty, on October 19 – this is my letter – I wrote to the Minister of Budget and National Planning. In
the third paragraph, I stated, ‘To enable the Senate objectively review the MTEF from a holistic fiscal perspective, we deem it necessary to invite you to a meeting to brief the leadership of the
Senate on Tuesday, 1st November.’ But the minister failed to turn up.”
In his contribution, Senator Albert Bassey, senator said when he saw the publication he called Udoma who told him that he was quoted out of context.
“This has gone to incite the public against the national assembly. The minister is a senator and knows the workings of the national assembly,” he said.
In his own reaction, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said the national assembly was ready to take the budget any time.
“It is important to let Nigerians know that we are ready to take the budget anytime,” he said.
However, Senate President Bukola Saraki informed the lawmakers that the Minister denied media report credited to him.