Reps to start review of 2017 budget in two weeks

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ABUJA, JANUARY 13, 2017 – The House of Representatives says it is set to pass the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP, next week to prepare way for the commencement of consideration of the 2017 Appropriation Bill.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, disclosed this on Thursday at a briefing with journalists in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the House had on Wednesday, began distribution of copies of the 2017 Appropriation Bill to members.

The House had before proceeding on the Christmas and New Year break adopted the 2017-2019 MTEF.

Confirming the development, Mr. Namdas also informed journalists that consultations between the House and leadership of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were at an advanced stage to get the MTEF approved.

He said, “The House has started engaging stakeholders and heads of MDAs on the MTEF and by the grace of God; we will soon finish work on it.

“The law provides that we cannot debate the general principles of the budget until the MTEF is passed.

“So, by the grace of God, we shall consider the MTEF next week; and the other week, we will start debate on the budget, “he said.

Mr. Namdas said that the House would be transparent in the consideration of the budget, insisting that the processes had not changed.

NAN also recalls that the House had, in adopting the MTEF, fixed the exchange rate of naira to a dollar at N350 as against the N290 recommended by the executive.

The House also concurred on the oil benchmark of 42.50 dollar per barrel with a proposed daily production of 2.2 million barrels per day.

Consequently, the House had mandated its joint committees on Finance, Appropriation, National Planning and Economic Development, Legislative Budget and Research and Aids, Loans and Debt Management to further scrutinise the document.

President Buhari had on October 4, 2016 forwarded a request to the National Assembly, seeking for approval of the 2017 to 2019 MTEF and FSP.

(NAN)

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