Monday, 17 October 2016

Senate to begin debate on 2017 MTEF/FSP tomorrow.

The Senate will tomorrow begin debate on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP. According to the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, the move by the upper chambers to speed up debate on the documents is in line with its resolve to prioritize all economic bills as a way out of the current recession. 

Saraki had at the close of plenary last Thursday, disclosed that the senators would commence debate on the MTEF/FSP in order to ensure it was given expeditious passage in line with its economic revival agenda. 

Some of the fiscal projections in the 2017 – 2019 MTEF/FSP expected to engage the lawmakers’ attention during the debate include the proposed 2017 crude oil benchmark of $42.5 per barrel, up from $30 in the 2016 budget and the estimated N7.775 trillion revenue to be generated from oil resources, considering the $42.5 per barrel benchmark and an estimated 2.2 million barrel per day oil production. 

Ahead of the commencement of debate tomorrow, the Senate is expected to hold its second interactive session with Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, on the nation’s budgeting system today, barring any last minute change. A statement from the Senate President’s office yesterday said: “The commencement of debate on the MTEF/FSP this week underscores the commitment of the Senate and signposts the desire of the Upper Chamber and by extension the National Assembly to ensure that all economic bills are conscientiously considered and passed as a way of boosting the economic revival policies and programmes of the present administration.” 

“The Senate believes that the quick consideration and approval of the MTEF/FSP to pave way for the laying of the 2017 budget would enable the National Assembly consider the 2017 money bill and pass it so that the budget cycle can commence normally next year. “The implementation of the 2017 budget can start in earnest in January if the budget is laid on schedule, considered and passed by the National Assembly. 

Therefore, the Senate has decided to give attention to the MTEF/FSP so as to correct some of the delays of the past which often impacted negatively on the full implementation of the budget.” 

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, submitted the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the Senate and the House of Representatives for approval. The MTEF and FSP provides the framework for the 2017 budget. The early listing of the MTEF/FSP for debate in Senate, shortly after it was laid before both chambers of the National Assembly, according to a statement from the Media Office of the Senate President, is to fast-rack its consideration and passage so as to pave way for the Executive to present the 2017 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly. 

President Buhari had with the 2017, 2018 and 2019 MTEF & FSP, projected a total budget of N6,866,335,052,740 for 2017 fiscal year. Of the N6.866 trillion proposed 2017 budget, the government would spend N1.765 trillion as capital expenditure, N2.563 recurrent (non-debt expenditure) and N1.639 trillion for debt service, even as N350,000 had been budgeted for recurrent social intervention programme in 2017.


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