With three months to the end of 2014 budget, indication emerged yesterday that the federal government is yet to send the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which is the parameters upon which the 2015 budget estimate would be based.
This is even more worrisome, given that the Senate Tuesday adjourned plenary to October 14, for members to mark both the 54th Independence Anniversary and Sallah celebration.
Meanwhile, this has indicated that the 2015 budget is to experience another delay as happened in the 2014 budget.
Confirming that the Senate is yet to receive the MTEF, which is usually a prelude to the complete budget, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Itah Enang, said it is only when the MTEF is received by the Senate that it would be read in the chamber.
“When was it received, where? It is only when it is received that it would be read, and if it is not read, that means it was not received”, Enang told Peoples Daily when he was questioned on why the Senate adjourned without reading the MTEF.
When contacted, the spokesman of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said if any executive communication is received by the Senate, it would be read the next legislative date.
According to him “When an executive communication is read, it is discussed on the next legislative date. We don’t debate anything on the same day it comes from the executive. It’s merely legislative procedure.”
Meanwhile, efforts to get the reasons why the Cordinating Minister of the economy and Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was contacted through his media assistant, Paul Nwachukwu, she could not give any response up to the press time.
Meanwhile, the MTEF is a fiscal document which stipulates the amount of money the government intends to spend in the upcoming financial year.
It contains vital indices of the budget like the oil benchmark, the dollar price of crude oil per barrel, the average number of oil to be produced daily in the fiscal year under consideration, among others vital information.
Recall that the passage of the 2014 budget was delayed particularly because the executive and the legislature could not agree early enough on the above budget parameters in the MTEF, which has resulted to poor budget performance today.