The Presidency may present the 2017 budget on Thursday, December 1 before a joint session of the National Assembly.
This was disclosed by the Senate minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, at the end of the debate on 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP, yesterday.
Akpabio was reacting to criticisms by some senators that the document should be returned to the executive.
Akpabio noted that doing so would be counter-productive in view of the planned presentation of 2017 budget on Thursday, December 1.
Akpabio, however, said the document should be left with relevant committee to address the flaws.
Akpobio said, “We can see that we don’t have a perfect document in our hands but of course we are looking at assumptions and assumptions may not necessarily be correct.
“I want to suggest that we send it to the committee. Of course, the committee will invite the relevant agencies and ministries of government.
“They will come up with a more realistic MTEF/FSP because I believe also that looking at the date that this was submitted to the Senate – it was submitted to the Senate on the 4th of October – and we are debating it today on the 22nd (of November). So, a lot of indices must have changed.
“Yesterday, you [Senate President Bukola Saraki] made reference to the fact that the president may be coming to the chambers to submit and read the 2017 budget on December 1.
“If that is the case and we send this back now and wait for it to come and debate it, it means that we will not be able to meet that deadline. But if we send it to the committee level, they may come up with something within the next three days that will be more realistic.
“So, my appeal will be that the committee members should take into cognisance all the submissions and observations made today so that we can come up with a more realistic MTEF and FSP.”