President Muhammadu Buhari today, Tuesday, October 4 has sent a draft of the 2017 budget to the Nigerian Senate for approval. Part of the details of the budget reveals that the plan assumes an oil price of $42.5 per barrel and production of 2.2 million barrels a day, as well as an exchange rate of 290 Naira to the U.S. dollar. Earlier today, Tuesday, October 4, President Buhari submitted the 2017-2019 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the Senate for consideration and approval.
This was disclosed after Senate president Bukola Saraki read out the letter on the floor of the Senate. President Buhari in the letter to the Senate noted that the submission of the MTEF and FSP was in line with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Buhari in his letter to the senate said in part: “I am pleased to submit the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly. Let me use this medium to express my gratitude for the enduring partnership between the legislative and the executive arms of government. “In particular, I note with appreciation the committment and support that distinguished senators have continued to demonstrate with respect to the preparation passage and implementation of the federal budget.”
It is important to note that the 2016 national budget was presented before a joint session of the National Assembly, comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives today on December 22, 2016. The National Assembly complex was locked down by presidential guards ahead of the presentation. Later, thesenator representing Osun central senatorial distict, Olusola Adeyeye on Thursday, January 21, 2016 faulted the late submission of 2016 budget stating that it gives shorter period of time for consideration.
President Buhari seems to have learned from that as this 2017 budget submission has come far earlier than that of 2016. Meanwhile, drama relating to the 2016 budget padding scandal continues to linger.
Suspended House of Representatives member, Honorable Abdulmumin Jibrin who accused the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dogara, and some other principal officers of the House of padding the 2016 budget to the tune of over N40bn has received encouragement from the Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP).
The suspended lawmaker yesterday, October 3, had threatened to reveal more alleged “systemic corruption among the leadership of the House of Representatives including in the House’s investigative hearings and oversight functions; as well as to disclose the internal budget of the House.”
Adetokunbo Mumuni who is the executive director of SERAP described Jibrin as a “whistleblower because of his public interest disclosures on alleged budget padding and fraud in the House of Representatives in the context of his work in the House as a member.”
SERAP encouraged Jibrin saying: “We encourage Mr Jibrin to tell Nigerians more about his allegations of systemic corruption in the House of Representatives. “Mr Jibrin will be doing a positive act of ‘good citizenship’ by revealing how exactly is the House profiting from its investigative hearings and oversight functions; and disclosing the House’s internal budget.”