According to reports, the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari for legislative approval narrowly escaped being rejected again at the Senate on Wednesday.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly condemned the projections of the proposal in the document as unrealistic, even though it said the Presidency had set December 1 for the presentation of the 2017 Appropriation Bill to the legislature.
The senators, who took turns to criticise the new version of the MTEF/FSP as well as the officials who prepared the document during the day’s plenary, submitted that it should be sent back to the executive to include the “correct” figures showing the true state of the
The MTEF/FSP, which will form the basis for the national annual budget for the three years, had earlier been rejected by the Senate over the failure by the executive to include some critical details in the document.
The Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, had described the first version of the MTEF and FSP as “empty.”
Although it was not announced at the plenary on Wednesday if the missing details had been sent to the Senate before it began work on the MTEF/FSP, the debate on the proposal indicated that the executive might have sent the details to the legislature.
The Senate however agreed that rather than send the MTEF/FSP back to the executive, the legislature was bound to tinker with the figures of the projections to make the proposal “realistic.”
Ndume, who led the debate on the MTEF/FSP, explained that the document articulates government’s revenue and spending plan as well as its fiscal policy objective over a period.