2018 budget suffers setback as Senate postpones passage of MTEF

Nigerian Senate Chambers
Nigerian Senate Chamber used to illustrate the story.

The consideration of the 2018 budget suffered a setback at the Senate on Thursday as the lawmakers failed to pass the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The Senate suspended the consideration of the report of its joint committee on Finance, Appropriations and National Planning and Economic Affairs due to the absence of John Enoh, Cross River-PDP, who was to present the report.

The Senate on had Wednesday stood down the consideration of the documents due to the scanty number of Senators in attendance as at the time it was supposed to be considered.

President Muhammadu Buhari sent the 2018-2020 MTEF and FSP to the Senate on October 19.

The document was which must be passed before consideration of the 2018 appropriation was sent to the joint committee to work on and report back to the full house.

However, the Senate was forced to suspend the consideration on Thursday due to the absence of Mr. Enoh who is currently at the ongoing Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ meeting convened to determine the cap oil output from Nigeria.

Announcing Enoh’s absence, Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan asked senators to be patient so as to take an informed decision on the passage of the documents.

“We need to know what the production quota for Nigeria will be so that we’ll take a very informed and enlightened decision on the daily production for our crude,” he said. “I believe that this is a strong and enough ground for us to stand down the consideration of this report until next Tuesday.”

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the sitting also emphasised the need to wait for the outcome of the meeting before going ahead with the passage of MTEF, FSP.

The lawmakers unanimously adopted the prayer.

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