Jonathan submits 2015/2017 medium term expenditure to Reps

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday forwarded to the House of Representatives the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, for 2015 to 2017 heralding the presentation of the 2015 budget.

The Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, read the letter from the president conveying the message to the House in Abuja.

The letter, however, did not give highlights of the MTEF especially as it concerns much was being projected to be spent within the period and the anticipated oil benchmark.

The 2007 Fiscal Responsibility Act stipulates that budget estimates for the next fiscal year shall be presented before the joint session of the National Assembly at least three months to the end of the year.

But with less than three months to the end of the year, the 2015 appropriation bill is yet to be submitted by the executive.

It also stipulates that MTEF, covering three fiscal years, be submitted annually to the National Assembly, which will serve as guide for the appropriation bill.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tambuwal issued a week ultimatum to the House Joint Committee on Finance, Security and Loans, Debts and Aid to furnish the House with a report and recommendations on the one billion dollars loan request by Mr. Jonathan.

The House had referred the matter to the joint committee to investigate and advise it on the way forward.
But briefing the House, Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC-Kano), said the joint committee was yet to conclude its assignment.

He said that so far, the committee had discovered that if the loan was taken, it would cost the nation N30 billion to service it in seven years.

He said the joint committee had already engaged some stakeholders and plans to hold talks with others before submitting its findings.

Mr. Jibrin said that in the course of the interface with stakeholders, the committee discovered that even the military was at a loss as to how the loan was going to be utilised.

He demanded for additional two weeks to enable the committee conclude its work.

But in his ruling, Mr. Tambuwal said he would only give the committee one week because the issue was urgent and needed to be treated as such.

It would be recalled that a public hearing by the committee on the billion loan request scheduled for Sept. 30 could not hold due to the absence of the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah .

The absence of the duo forced the joint committee on finance and loans and debts to postpone the public hearing.(NAN)


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