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The Upper Legislative Chamber on Wednesday, November 23, described the 2017 – 2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP, submitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari, as spurious, and full of errors.
According to the Legislature, ‎the projections in the documents were unrealistic, even though it said the Presidency had fixed December 1, 2016, for the presentation of the 2017 Appropriation Bill, to the Legislature.
‎Some of the Senators, who spoke at the plenary, described the 2017 Budget as empty, making mockery of President Buhari’s economic policy.
One of such is ‎Senator Olamilekan Adeola, representing Lagos West, who asked for the document to be rejected out-rightly.
He said: “The Economic Team of Mr. President, is in disarray.”
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while reacting, said: ‎”There is no doubt about the fact that these projections are not realistic.
“There is no doubt that the exchange rate is not realistic.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, has said it is using N305 (to a dollar).
“There is no doubt as well, that throughout this year, we did not achieve 2.2 million barrels per day; even in time of peace, we have not achieved 2.5 mbpd.
“How realistic is 2.2 mbpd next year? The oil price as well, looks conservative.
“Like some of our distinguished colleagues said, our responsibility, is to work on it, and use our capacity to do the right thing.
“We have our Committees on Appropriation and Finance, that should not just take anything from the Executive, sign it, and return it verbatim.
“If it means that we have to rehash it, look at it again, turn it around, and do what is right, then, that it our responsibility.
“I think that it is just the way to go, rather than to just take a document from the Executive, and return the same to it.
“It is clear from what was submitted today, that it will not work like that this time around.” Saraki noted.


Meanwhile, Senator Dino Meleya, Representing Kogi-West, in his own submission said, “I want to say this document that I have before me, this MTEF proposal and projections for 2017 to 2019, is a lie.
“This document is not truthful, it is not honest, it is not transparent, and it is not factual.
“In this great Chamber, last year, we passed the 2016 to 2018 MTEF of three years.
“This Chamber will want to know what happened to that MTEF, and what happened to the 2017 aspect of the three-year MTEF we passed last year.
“Now, there is a new one for 2017. What are the variations between, and comparative analysis of what we received in the MTEF of last year, that is meant for three years, and what we have now? This Chamber needs to know.
“What are the new amendments? Is this MTEF predicated on the loan that the Executive is requesting to take?
“We want to know, and that is not stipulated in this MTEF. The average of N290 exchange rate per dollar, is it realistic? Is this the truth?
“The Gross Domestic Product is going down, and this MTEF document is telling me that it is going up.
“So, how do you corroborate this fraud? We should not be talking about a deficit GDP growth.
“In realistic term, we should be talking about deficit to revenue.
“How much of our revenue is being used in servicing our debts?
“You need to tell us; we need to know what percentage of our revenue are you allocating to servicing debts; but that question is very painful to me, because recently at an international forum, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, was blatantly displaying ignorance of not knowing even what the debt profile of the government is,”‎ Melaye said.

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