By Naomi Sharang
President Muhammadu Buhari will present the 2017 budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
This is contained in a letter to the Senate and read by the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, at the floor of the upper chamber on Tuesday in Abuja.
The letter reads: “I crave the indulgence of the National Assembly to grant me the 10.00 hours on Wednesday Dec. 14, to formally address a joint session of the National Assembly on the 2017 budget proposal.’’
The President will also address the joint session on plan to get the country out of recession.
“Please extend, Mr Senate President the assurances of my highest regards to the distinguished senators as I look forward to addressing the joint session.”
Meanwhile, the Senate is yet to approve the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
The two documents convey the estimates upon which any budget is predicated.
The Senate had spotted ‘loop holes’ in the documents and had asked the excutive to fill the missing gaps.
However, the Minister of Budget and National Planning Udo Udoma stressed that the document was well prepared.
He said his ministry had adequately addressed the observations made against MTEF by the National Assembly.
“Naturally, the estimates, every time you improve on your estimate based on the latest estimates. For instance, one of the issues they raised was about the exchange rate.
“That we used 290 as the exchange rate, and that was the exchange rate of the time.
“So, you only use the exchange rate that is valid at that time. Naturally by now you will change that.
“But that MTEF was extremely well prepared consistent with the best possible methods of preparation by people who are very experienced in preparing MTEFs,” he said.