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2017 budget: Senate, House leaders in crucial meting

LEADERSHIP of the Senate and the House of Representatives held a crucial meeting in the office of the Senate President, Dr Senator Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday.

The meeting, which lasted one and a half hours, was said to have centered on three key issues – the resolution of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), 2017 budget and the virements to 2016 budget as requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sources in the National Assembly confirmed on Tueday that the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, led the leadership of the House to the office of the Senate President, where they met with the leadership of the Senate.

It was gathered that the meeting refused to discuss the $30 billion foreign loan request rejected last week by the Senate.

The leadership of the two chambers, it was gathered, decided to meet so as to ensure unity of voice on key issues.

It was also gathered that the lawmakers decided to clear the way for a smooth passage of the budget whenever the president was ready to present.

“The meeting ironed out all issues regarding the MTEF and virements requested by President Buhari and decided the way forward on the 2017 budget.

“The meeting also laid the foundation for continuous engagement between the two chambers going forward, such that the process of bills and issues demanding joint actions would run smoothly henceforth,” the source said, adding that the issue of loan deal did not come up for discussion at all.