Why 2019 Budget Is Delayed- Presidency

Nigeria’s 2019 budget has not been presented to the National Assembly due to the delay in the passage of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper by the legislature, the presidency has revealed. While speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, the senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters, Senator Solomon Ita-Enag said arrangements for the budget which has not been released had reached an advanced stage to transmit the national budget to the legislature. He said “When President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the 2019 budget, he had reservations, but after having an understanding with the legislature, he sent in amendments and asked for virement. “That (approval) is still being awaited; it has not been done. He (Buhari) has also sent in his requests for other funds for other agencies from virement, which is still pending. “He sent in his requests for a loan for the approval of external finances through Eurobond and other windows. That has just been approved a few weeks ago. They (executive) are in the process of raising money to fund the budget.” However, Ita -Enag added that “The budget is almost ready. The president has transmitted to the National Assembly the request for the approval of the MTEF and the approval of the Fiscal Strategy Paper. “It is the MTEF that set out the budget parameters for the benchmark of oil, the exchange rate, the money projected to realize from solid minerals, internal revenue from oil and borrowings. “It is this that enables you to deal with budget projections. That document is pending before the legislature. “Since the legislature is still working on the MTEF/FSP document, we are going to use the parameters that we used as the budget benchmark of oil, exchange rate, excess crude projection and other sources of revenue as submitted to prepare the budget.” The Senator concluded by reassuring members of the populace that the Buhari-led administration “will work with the legislature when they eventually pass the MTEF/FSP. That is where we are on the budget but every necessary step has been taken by the executive for the presentation of the document. The budget of 2018 will expire in June next year.” Photo Credit: Getty

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