President Muhammadu Buhari is slated to present 2022 fiscal budget to the joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday.
Before then, the Senate Tuesday received revised 2022–2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) / Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) from the President and gave it expeditious consideration by suspending its relevant rules on stage by stage consideration of such requests.
The request which came by way of Presidential communication, ought to have been listed on the Senate’s order paper for Wednesday plenary for general debates by Senators but transmitted straight to the committee on Finance for required scrutiny for just 24 hours.
In moving for expeditious consideration of the presidential request read by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo – Agege, who presided over the session, the Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya (APC Kebbi North), informed the Senate that 2022 budget presentation will be made by President Buhari to joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday this week.
“In view of the planned 2022 budget presentation to joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari this Thursday, I move for suspension of our relevant rules for expeditious consideration of the revised 2022 – 2024 MTEF/ FSP documents.
“In doing this, I move that lead debate on the request should be skipped and that it should be transmitted to our committee on Finance for the required scrutiny for just 24 hours , which makes the committee’s report to be submitted on Wednesday in plenary to pave way for the Thursday budget presentation by the President. I so move”, he said.
Accordingly in line with parliamentary practices and procedures, the leader’s motion was seconded by the Minority Leader and adopted by the Senate when put to voice votes.
Meanwhile as stated in the revised 2022 – 2024 MTEF/ FSP documents and read by the Deputy Senate President, President Buhari has jerked up the deficit status of the planned budget from N5.6trillion to N6.2trillion.
The President in the revised document said the deficit which was 3.05% to GDP ratio is now 3.4% which is above the threshold recommended by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The Act as explained by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos West), when the earlier forwarded MTEF which had N13.98trillion total budget projection for 2022, was passed, will be amended before passage of the 2022 budget .