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President Muhammadu Buhari may present the 2017 Appropriation Bill to the joint session of the National Assembly on December 1, 2016.
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, gave the hint Wednesday while contributing to the debate on the 2017 to 2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
Akpabio said that the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki on Tuesday made reference to the fact that the President Buhari may be coming to the National Assembly to submit and read the 2017 budget on 1st of December 2016.
The information came as the Senators overwhelmingly described the MTEF and FSP as largely unrealistic.
The lawmakers took turns to tear the MTEF and FSP to shred rooting for the fiscal document to be returned back to the Presidency.
Saraki saved the day by appealing to his colleagues that though the assumptions and estimates in the MTEF were largely incorrect they remained assumptions and estimate.
The Senate President noted that it was the responsibility of the Senate to work on the document and use its capacity to produce a realistic document.
Akpabio said, “We can see that we don’t have a perfect document in our hands but of course we are looking at assumptions and assumptions may not necessarily be correct. I want to suggest that we send it to the committee. Of course, the committee will invite the relevant agencies and ministries of government.
“They will come up with a more realistic MTEF/FSP because I believe also that looking at the date that this was submitted to the Senate, (4th of October) and we are debating it today on the 23nd of November. So, a lot of indices must have changed. Wednesday, you made reference to the fact that the President may be coming to the chambers to submit and read the 2017 budget on 1st of December.
“If that is the case and we send this (MTEF) back and wait for it to come and debate it, it means that we will not be able to meet that deadline. But if we send it to the committee level, they may come up with something within the next three days that will be much realistic.”
So, my appeal will be that the committee members should take into cognisance all the submissions and observations made today; so that we can come up with a more realistic MTEF and FSP.
The Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper is proposing a budget that will be predicated on an oil revenue benchmark of $42.5 per barrel for the period 2017 -2019.
The non-oil revenue for 2017 -2019 is guided by the improved efficiency of collection and expected growth in non-oil GDP, and accordingly customs collection, Companies Income Tax, Value Added Tax and FGN Independent Revenue are non-oil sectors the government is expecting revenue from in 2017.
The proposal also shows that the government is projecting a 3.02% GDP growth in 2017, while inflation is expected to moderate at 12 ‚92%.
The GDP growth would be driven by strong performance in agriculture, wholesale and retail, construction and real estate sectors ‘ among others.
Similarly, the GDP growth for the medium term is based on the assumptions of average oil production of 2.2mbpd‚2.3 mbpd and 2.4mbpd for 2017,2018 and 2019 respectively with average benchmark oil price of USD42.5pb,USD45pb‚ and USD50pb for 2017,2018 and 2019 respectively as well as an average exchange rate of N290 per dollar. It is also based on an average growth rate of 9.69% during the period.
Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah who presented the MTEF noted that the document is designed to reposition the Nigerian economy from the shores of recession to a sustainable inclusive growth path.
“The fiscal strategy for the 2017 -2019 MTEF / FSP therefore is framed to fundamentally restructure the economy for enhanced productivity, efficiency and accountability in the management of national resources with the intent of unlocking the real sector and private sector potentials for bolstering growth.
“The focus of the 2017-2019 MTEF and FSP is the

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