Passage of 2018 budget may suffer delay as Senate shelves debate

OrderPaperToday – The anticipated passage of the 2018 federal government budget may not happen before the end of the year as the Senate on Tuesday shelved its earlier plan to commence debate on the bill this week.

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki told plenary that the debate on the 2018 appropriation bill has been postponed because the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Frame (MTEF) has not undergone legislative scrutiny.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari submitted the 2018 MTEF in a letter addressed to Saraki on October 19, 2017.

Buhari subsequently appeared before the joint session of the National Assembly to present the 2018 budget bill on November 7.

Saraki had earlier stated on November 16 that the dates slated for the budget debate would be 22nd and 23rd of November.

But the president of the red chamber on Tuesday informed his colleagues of the postponement stating that “the reason is that we have to pass the MTEF which we are hoping to be passed this week.”

Saraki however, said the debate on the general principles of the bill will hold next week Tuesday and Wednesday “and specifically allocate Thursday for the debate of revenue and expenditure of FGN run enterprises and agencies.”

Recall that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had presented the budget with the hope that it would be passed by the end of the year so the country can start a new fiscal year by January 2018.

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