BUDGET: REPS TO SUSPEND PLENARY TILL DEC 19
The House of Representatives will today adjourn plenary for two weeks until December 19, to enable standing committees proceed on oversight functions to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government to ascertain the level of capital implementation of the 2017 budget.
This decision was taken last week at the plenary so as to allow committees the opportunity to visit MDAs and project sites in preparation for the defence of 2018 budget proposals. Before embarking on the two-week working recess, the House is expected to pass the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP). Also, House spokesman, Hon. Abdulrazaq Namdas, had, at a briefing, informed that the Green Chamber will likely pass the MTEF/ FSP to pave the way for earnest commencement of work on the budget, whose debate is underway in the second chamber.
Ruling on the decision to suspend plenary for two weeks, Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, had explained that the standing committees would not have adequate information to engage all MDAs on the budget, without passing the MTEF and embark on oversight of various projects implemented so far in the 2017 fiscal year.
“The MTEF has not been sorted out, even if we adjourn today, there is no legal basis for the committees to work. We will continue the debate on Tuesday before we round off on the budget. “There is no doubt about that. The reason for this is not far-fetched. Whatever that was in the 2017 that was not carried out would be rolled in full into 2018. Our chairmen will do well to put side by side with 2018 budget and compare and ensure that MDAs did not just wave off provisions for 2018,” the speaker said.