Buhari ready to present 2017 budget to NASS

The 2017 appropriation bill is ready to be presented by President Muhammadu Buhari before a joint session of the National Assembly, after the document was yesterday given accelerated consideration and approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided by Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

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Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting did not disclose details of the document.

He simply said President Buhari would soon write the leadership of both chambers of the parliament proposing a date when he would present the fiscal document.

According to the Budget minister, who was joined by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, the lawmakers would decide the date for presentation.

“The budget has been approved by the Federal Executive Council and the details will be revealed when the president presents the budget to the National Assembly,” he said.

“With respect to ‎implementation of the 2016 budget, we have revenue constraints. We have paid all personnel in full. We meet all our personal emoluments in full.”

Explaining the controversy that trailed the submission of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) by the presidency, which was returned by the Senate, Udoma said the MTEF was a very well prepared document after extensive consultations.

“We consulted the private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

According to him, the assumptions of that MTEF were true and correct as of the time the document was prepared in August this year.

“One of the issues they raised was the exchange rate — that we used N290 as the exchange rate — and that was the exchange rate of the time.

“So, you only use the exchange rate that is valid at that time. Naturally, by now you will change that. So, whenever we appear before the national assembly, we’ll engage them and take them through each item.”

In his remarks, Fashola said that Council also approved the commencement of the Federal Secretariat complex in Ekiti State. He noted that the project was conceived way back in 2000, but no funding was provided for it.

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