Senate Summons Finance Minister Over 2017 Budget

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Contrary to its earlier plans to commence debate on the
Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP)
this week, the Senate has changed its mind, inviting Mrs. Kemi Adeosun to brief the house on the grey areas identified in the two documents.

Senate President Bukola Saraki had a fortnight ago, told
lawmakers that the Upper Legislative Chamber was to commence debate on the
MTEF/FSP to ensure it is given speedy passage in line with its economic revival
agenda.
The MTEF and FSP provide the framework for the 2017 budget.
The initial proposed early listing of the MTEF/FSP for debate was to fast-rack
its consideration and passage so as to pave the way for President Muhammadu
Buhari to present the 2017 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly.
Some of the fiscal projections in the 2017 – 2019 MTEF/FSP
which lawmakers had dwelt on, the proposed 2017 crude oil benchmark of $42.5
per barrel, up from $30 in the 2016 budget and the estimated N7.775 trillion as
oil revenue to be generated considering the $42.5 per barrel benchmark and an
estimated 2.2 million barrel per day oil production.
But in a letter dated October 19, 2016 and signed by Senate
Leader Ali Ndume, Mrs. Adeosun is expected to brief the Senate leadership on
some key issues contained in the twin documents.
The Senate is requesting for the draft copy of the Medium
Term Development Plan upon which the 2017-2019 MTEF is founded.
It is also seeking a comprehensive report on the
implementation of the 2016 budget as at September 30, 2016.
“All fiscal rates, taxes, charges used to derive the
projected revenue in the 2017-2019 MTEF. A report on the structure/composition
of the debt, funding, sources, how the borrowed funds are to be spent, as well
as repayment plan and schedule,” Ndume demanded in the letter.
His letter reads: “Following the letter from His Excellency,
President Muhammadu Buhari, dated September 30, 2016, forwarding the 2017-2019
MTEF and FSP, the Senate has begun work on the consideration of the document.
“Preliminary review suggests that the thrust of 2017-2019
MTEF and FSP, which is to reflate the economy out of recession to a sustainable
and inclusive growth path, is based on the aspirations of this present
administration as being articulated in the 2016-2019 Medium Term Development
Plan.
“In addition, it is envisaged that the reflation of the
economy will be achieved through increased capital spending in target sectors
which will be financed through a stronger non-oil revenue drive, as well as
increased borrowing.

“To enable the Senate objectively review the MTEF from a
holistic fiscal perspective, we deem it necessary to invite you to a meeting to
brief the leadership of the Senate on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at the National
Assembly by 2pm.”

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