The leadership of the National Assembly, on Tuesday, held a consultative meeting with the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, over the draft 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).
MTEF and FSP contain projections upon which the annual budget is predicated.
The consideration and approval of the two fiscal documents – MTEF/FSP – are a pre-condition for the presentation of annual national budget before the National Assembly.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase, led key leaders from the two Chambers of the Assembly to the meeting which held behind closed-doors at the Senate wing of the National Assembly complex.
Also in attendance were the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, and heads of government revenue generating agencies such as NNPC Limited, Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) and also the Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO).
A statement signed by the media adviser to the Senate President, Ola Awoniyi, a copy of which was sent to LEADERSHIP, quoted the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, as saying that the meeting was at the instance of the Finance Minister.
Lawan said the discussion on the 2023-2025 MTEF/FSP, in a way, was to kick start the budget process for 2023.
“We take this very seriously because we have established a trend and we want to keep the trend of processing the budget and pass it before the end of December. Then Mr President, on the side of the Executive, assents to it before the end of December as well.
“This is, of course, very important to us. For us, this is our last MTEF/FSP, because our tenure will come to an end on 11th June, 2023.
“We will be as committed as we have ever been and probably we will be more committed to ensure that we work with you to process the MTEF/FSP and the budget as well so that we continue with the trend that we intend to leave as a legacy for the 10th session of the National Assembly by the Grace of God.
“So that the 10th National Assembly will have something to build on and serve as the bridge between the ninth and the tenth National Assembly.
“The partnership between the two arms of government on the budget particularly, has been very rewarding.
“This year, we expect the budget estimates to be presented between the last week of September and the first week of October,” Lawan said.
Speaking in a similar vein, Hon. Wase who stood in for Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, expressed the readiness of the House to work together and synergise with relevant stakeholders with a view to ensuring that “we give the best for our country and we shall do that with the utmost sense of duty and with all patriotism.
“And by the Grace of God, I believe that the relationship that has been established in the past will continue to wax stronger and stronger for the benefit of our nation.”
For her part, the Finance Minister said the views of the lawmakers would be appreciated on the proposals which would also be scrutinised by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) the next day Wednesday.