Senate denies frustrating 2017 budget proposal over constituency

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The Senate yesterday dismissed media reports that it was frustrating the early passage of the 2017 budget.

Buhari-and-Senate

The upper chamber said it has deliberated and passed the medium Term Expenditure Frame Work with some reservation by some senators.

In a statement by the senate spokesman, Sen. Aliyu Sabi the senate condemned the report, describing it as misleading and false.

A national newspaper has on Monday reported that the National Assembly is frustrating the submission of the 2017 Appropriation Bill.

Parts of the statement reads. “The attention of the National Assembly has been drawn to a misleading, malicious and false report that the National Assembly is frustrating the submission of the 2017 Appropriation Bill because of the contention over the refusal of the presidency to approve the constituency project of the law makers.

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“The said story quoted an unnamed presidency official as its source. Much as the National Assembly does not respond to speculations in the media, it however wishes to state as follows:

“The said news item is completely false. The Senate on November 22, 2016 at the plenary session deliberated on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and passed it on to its legislative committees for necessary legislative actions and recommendations.

“Throughout the debate at the plenary, no mention was made of the constituency projects of the lawmakers as it was not the subject of debate. Rather, the Senators took time to comment on the observed deficiencies of the MTEF/FSP document before the National Assembly”

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It further stated, “The senators observed the unrealistic aspect of the document pointing out that it was not in tune with realities on ground. For instance, the senators that spoke complained against the crude oil benchmark projection and that expectation that over two million barrels of crude oil per day is being projected without taking into cognizance the militancy in the Niger Delta region. The Senate at the plenary was alarmed on the Naira projection to the US Dollar, which was not in tandem with the current Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) projection of N350 to a US Dollar, whereas the MTEF/FSP projected N290 to a US Dollar.

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“The senators also complained against the projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and projected growth in 2017 and other issues. In none of these were the issue of constituency projects mentioned.

”It, therefore, beats the imagination where the national daily and the so-called presidency official got their information from. It must be a product of disinformation and attempt to blackmail the National Assembly.”

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