In line with its resolve to prioritize all economic Bills as a way out of the current recession, the Senate will on Tuesday commence debate on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) submitted for its approval by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday October 4, 2016.
The MTEF and FSP provides the framework for the 2017 budget. The early listing of the MTEF/FSP for debate in Senate, shortly after it was laid before both chambers of the National Assembly, according to a statement from the Media Office of the Senate President, is to fast-rack its consideration and passage so as to pave the way for the Executive to present the 2017 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly.
Ahead of the commencement of debate on Tuesday, the Senate is expected to hold its second interactive session with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on the nation's budgeting system on Monday barring any last minute change.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, had on Thursday said the Red Chamber would commence debate on the MTEF/FSP in order to ensure it is given expeditious passage in line with its economic revival agenda.
Some of the fiscal projections in the 2017 - 2019 MTEF/FSP expected to engage the lawmakers' attention during the debate include the proposed 2017 crudel oil benchmark of $42.5 per barrel, up from $30 in the 2016 budget and the estimated N7.775 trillion as revenue to be generated from the oil resources considering the $42.5 per barrel benchmark and an estimated 2.2 million barrel per day oil production.
According to the statement: "The commencement of debate on the MTEF/FSP this week underscores the commitment of the Senate and signposts the desire of the Upper Chamber and by extension the National Assembly to ensure that all economic bills are conscientiously considered and passed as a way of boosting the economic revival policies and programmes of the present administration.
"The Senate believes that the quick consideration and approval of the MTEF/FSP to pave way for the laying of the 2017 budget would enable the National Assembly to consider the 2017 money bill and pass it so that the budget cycle can commence normally next year.
The implementation of the 2017 budget can start in earnest in January if the budget is laid on schedule, considered and passed by the National Assembly. Therefore, the Senate has decided to give attention to the MTEF/FSP so as to correct some of the delays of the past which often impacted negatively on the full implementation of the budget," it said.