Senate to hit the ground running •Set to pass MTEF this week, debate 2017 Budget next week
Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 10 January 2017 | 1,205 times
The Senate in session.
xThe Senate, upon its resumption from the end-of-year break on Tuesday, vowed to expedite action in ensuring that the passage of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) is actualised by the end of the week, and commencement of debate on the 2017 Budget next week.
Senate President Bukola Saraki made the promise in his welcome back speech to Senators during the first plenary session of the 2017, saying: “We will with this budget begin the implementation of the report of the Committee on Budget Reforms, which has since submitted its report.”
Saraki said that Senate’s action will enable more Nigerians to participate in the budget consideration process, deepen the review and create the necessary efficiencies expected from the budget implementation.
According to him, “There is hardly a point reiterating the importance of making the 2017 Budget the most successful budget we have ever passed, neither is it important to emphasise the need to have this budget back on the desk of the executive on time for implementation.
“As you may be aware, based on the recommendations of the Budget Reform Committee, we are working towards ensuring that budgets are prepared and submitted timely, so that implementation will follow a regular fiscal circle.
“In this regard, the National Assembly will not tolerate agencies of government not submitting their budgets within the budget period. This is why I urge all agencies yet to submit their budgets to do so quickly as budgets not received within time may have to wait for the next budget circle.
Saraki emphasised that the budget is the most critical instrument within the public context for economic reordering, which also serves as an effective tool to stimulate the economy, ensure an even distribution of development across the country; and give the “Made In Nigeria” initiative the impetus to survive and in the long term, sustain itself.”
While commenting on the Procurement Act which will put the Made-in-Nigeria initiative in limelight, Saraki remarked that the Senate has played its part by passing the amendment for which “we are awaiting concurrence by the House and for the immediate assent of the President.”
According to him, “Once this happens, we will not rest at simply assigning it back to the relevant committee but rather, we all will play our part to ensure that all government agencies comply with the law. I for one, intend to put the full weight of my Office behind this initiative to build the trust and ensuing patronage of Nigerians in goods and products made by our own people.
“I truly believe that this is the singular policy that can play a key role in getting out of this recession, provide the needed jobs; and keep the economy going.”