Twenty-four hours after the Senate said it was expecting the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday submitted the 2014-2016 MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the Senate.
The MTEF is the fiscal policy framework prepared by the Minister of Finance and presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for its consideration and endorsement, after which it is taken to the National Assembly for approval. It serves as the basis for the preparation of estimates of revenue and expenditure for the federal budget.
In his letter addressed to Senate President David Mark, Jonathan who thanked the senators for what he described as an enduring partnership, said sending MTEF yesterday was pursuant to the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, indicating that the “developments towards the preparation of the 2014 budget have culminated in the 20014-2016 MTEF and FSP.”
He added: “Prepared against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty, the 2014 -2016 MTEF and FSP reflect the reality of our circumstance and will ensure that planned spending is set at prudent and sustainable levels consistent with government’s overall medium-term developmental objectives.”
Commenting on the MTEF, Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, said with the submission of the document by the president, the National Assembly should be ready to ward off distractions and be fully prepared to work assiduously for the 2014 budget to be presented next month.
She enjoined the lawmakers to repeat the feat of 2013 when they passed the Appropriation Bill before the end of the year.
Emodi also urged the National Assembly to ensure the speedy passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as well as the Pension Reform (amendment) Bill 2013 currently before it, noting that while the PIB is urgently needed to salvage the ills pervading the oil sector, the Pension Bill would pave the way for a better life for Nigerians after retirement.
Emodi also enjoined the lawmakers to partner Jonathan in the delivery of good governance and efforts to transform Nigeria, in accordance with the social contract they have with Nigerians, stating that this social contract overrides intra-party affairs as well as party issues.
In a veiled reference to the crisis which has polarised the ruling Peoples Democractic Party (PDP), she deplored what she described as the attempts by certain mischief makers to overheat the polity by seeking to transfer the crisis to the National Assembly, describing the move as a failure “because such prophets of doom underrate the patriotic spirit of the National Assembly and their commitment to preserving our democracy.”
Also yesterday, the Senate confirmed the appointment of eight ambassadorial nominees and received the appointment of a new nominee, Mr. S.U. Ahmed, for ambassadorial confirmation from the president.
Those confirmed were O. F. Muoh (Imo), Mrs. T.J. Chinwuba-Akabogu (Anambra), Mr. Adamu Emozoro (Edo), A. Echi (Benue), Mrs. G.M. Quist-Adebiyi (Lagos), M. Dauda (Borno), Hakeem Sulaiman (Ogun) and Dr. Bolere Ketebu (Bayelsa).
Jonathan also sought the confirmation of Justice Ibrahim Bukar as the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), saying his appointment was in observance of Section 249 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also said Bukar’s nomination followed the voluntary retirement of Justice Hassan Gummi on July 13, 2012, adding that his nomination was in compliance with the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The president also sought the confirmation of Muhammad Wudil as a member of Federal Civil Service Commission to represent Jigawa and Kano States.