President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present the 2016 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly on Tuesday. The Presidency has described the proposed budget as a budget of change.
Addressing Journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang explained that the 2016 budget would be a departure from the previous budgets, where the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) was presented to the National Assembly while the budget was being considered.
Enang said it was deliberate that President Buhari had planned to lay the 2016 budget estimates before the National Assembly after the apex Parliament had considered and approved the MTEF. The Senate passed the MTEF on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015.
The presidential aide noted that the MTEF was the parameter upon which budget was determined and would act as a guide to developing implementable budget.
He appreciated the National Assembly for the expeditious passage of the 2016-2018 MTEF, noting that their action showed how determined they are to work with President Buhari to bring the needed change to the country.
“I appreciate the National Assembly on the expeditious passage of the MTEF and the Fiscal Strategy Paper because it was the basis for the preparation of the 2016 budget.
“Most of you have been here for a while and you agree with me that one or two years past we used to have a situation where the MTEF is considered and perhaps being considered while the budget is being presented but the present leadership of the Senate considered it appropriate to pass the MTEF and FSP before the budget is presented.
“You will agree with me that the Fiscal Responsibility Act says that it is the parameter set in the MTEF such as the oil benchmark, exchange rate, production quota, the non-oil revenue, sources of funding the budget, sources of other fiscal items; those are the items that determine what the executive will use to prepare the budget, and it is after these were considered and passed that His Excellency Mr President communicated the date, that the budget will be presented on Tuesday next week.
“A lot of people may have expected that this will be difficult to do, that is the way the legislators have responded to matters affecting Nigerians and Nigeria and communications and requests from Mr President; on this note that President has been very and highly appreciated.
“I am here again to extend my appreciation to His Excellency the President of the Senate, the Speaker, leadership and membership of the Senate and House of Representatives and indeed the management,” Enang said.