Senate President, Bukola Saraki has disclosed the Medium Term Framework Expenditure (MTEF) document submitted for 2017 budget is unrealistic.
Saraki made this disclosure in his remarks after debate on MTEF in the Red Chamber said there is no doubt that the projection of the 2017 budget in MTEF is unrealistic.
Saraki said, “There is no doubt about the fact that these projections are not realistic. The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it is using N305 (to a dollar).
“There is no doubt as well that throughout this year, we did not achieve 2.2 million barrels per day; even in time of peace (in the oil rich Niger Delta), we have not achieved 2.5mbpd.
“How realistic is 2.2mbpd next year? The oil price as well looks conservative.
“Like some of our distinguished colleagues said, our responsibility is to work on it and use our capacity to do the right thing.
“We have our Committees on Appropriation and Finance that should not just take anything from the executive, sign it and return it (verbatim).
“If it means that we have to rehash it, look at it again, turn it around and do what is right, then, that it our responsibility.
“I think that it just the way to go rather than to just take a document from the executive and return the same to it. It is clear from what was submitted (by the lawmakers) today that it will not work like that this time around.”
Saraki also asked the Committees on Finance and Appropriation to take note of all said by the senators on the MTEF and FSP during the plenary while preparing their report on the MTEF and FSP.
He ordered the committees to organise a debate on the performance of the 2016 budget “before we even take the report of the committees on the MTEF, that must be a precondition.”
It was gathered by our correspondent that leadership of Senate had agreed to return to document to Presidency immediately the document was submitted to the National Assembly.
According to the source, the Senate perceives the executive’s attitude towards its request on detail of MTEF and FSP as a major setback for 2017 budget process.
However, due to appeal from some Senators, the leadership U-turn and allowed the matter to be debated on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday.
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