Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Ita Enang, yesterday, gave reasons why President Goodluck Jonathan was delaying presentation of the 2014 budget, saying it was because the National Assembly had not passed the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF.
Enang, who represents Akwa Ibom North East on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, explained in an interview with Vanguard that the President was awaiting the passage of the MTEF by the National Assembly before acting on the 2014 budget.
He said the National Assembly cannot expect presentation of the budget now, since it had not passed and forwarded the MTEF to the President.
He explained that the MTEF would guide the executive in the preparation of the budget.
“We will expect the 2014 budget after we have passed the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and forward it to Mr President which is going to be the basis for preparation of the budget.
“I think ordinarily, that is what it is supposed to be. We will expect the budget when the President shows any indication to present it but as at now, we have not had any indication as to when it will come. On our part, we ought to prepare and pass the Medium Term Expenditure Framework which will be the basis for preparation of the 2014 budget.”
Senator Enang denied that the delay of the President was as a result of the absence of the Special Adviser to the National Assembly, insisting that it had nothing to do with it.
Enang said: “It has nothing to do with absence of Special Adviser to the National Assembly. Mr President can decide to present the budget himself if he so wishes, it must not be presented through his Special Adviser on National Assembly.”
Recall that President Goodluck Jonathan, had on September 17, submitted to the Senate, the 2014-2016 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP.
The MTEF and FSP set the parameters for the medium-term expenditure plan of government before the 2014 budget presentation.
In his letter, read by the Senate President, David Mark, Jonathan said the 2014-2016 MTEF and FSP were prepared after due consideration of global economic uncertainty.
He added: “The 2014-2016 MTEF and FSP reflect the reality of our circumstance and will ensure that planned spending is set at prudent and sustainable levels consistent with government’s overall medium-term development objectives.” [Vanguard]