The Senate on Tuesday announced the deferment of debate on the 2018 budget submitted to the joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari about 2 weeks ago.
This contradicts its earlier plan to commence debate on the general principles of the budget.
Senate President and leader of the National Assembly, Bukola Saraki who made the announcement at the commencement of Tuesday’s legislative business said the postponement was due to the delay in the passage of the 2018-2020 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and distribution of budget documents.
He also said that the deferment will allow the National Assembly’s bureaucracy distribute copies of the budget proposal to members of the House.
He announced the documents to include; “revenue and expenditure of FGN owned enterprise and agencies, the consolidated 2016 implementation report, budget implementation report for first quarter 2017 and second quarter 2017 and also budget volume one and two and the joint sitting votes and proceedings also should be received today.”
The Senate president, thereafter announced that the discussions on the 2018 budget will start on November 28 and 29, while November 30 will be for the debate on revenue and expenditure budget of FGN on enterprise and agencies.
President Muhammadu Buhari had promised earlier while presenting the 2018 Budget to the joint session of the National Assembly, NASS, to raise the implementation of the 2017 Budget to “about 50%” by the end of December this year prompting speculations that the implementation of the previous budgets were below 50%.