Buhari presents N10.729.4trn to N’Assembly 

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday presided over the extraordinary meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to take a final look at the year 2020 budget estimates to be presented to the National Assembly Tuesday.

Details of the deliberations were not made known to journalists after hours of meeting as the members filed out of the Council Chamber venue of the meeting without speaking to State House correspondents who have been waiting.

There was not also any official communication from the Presidency but the Senate had last week increased the proposed nation’s budget for 2020 from N10.002 trillion to N10.729.4 trillion as contained in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

This has paved the way for President Buhari to submit the fiscal document by 2 pm today.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that the decision not to address news conference was taken because the briefing would amount to giving away details of what President Buhari would be addressing the National Assembly on.

The Senate chamber of the Parliament had received official communication from President Buhari to present the 2020 Appropriation bill before a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The request, which was dated October 2, 2019, and addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, was read at plenary last Thursday.

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Also, the Senate, after a long debate on Thursday, approved all the 16 recommendations contained in the report of the National Assembly joint committee on Finance and National Planning, on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The Extraordinary FEC which was earlier scheduled to hold last Saturday when President Buhari returns from his trip to South Africa was shifted through a terse statement on Friday night.

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had last Tuesday explained that President Buhari will return to Abuja on Friday. The President returned in the evening.

However, the Presidency in another statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina announced that the meeting has been shifted to hold at 12 noon Monday.

The last time an extra-ordinary FEC held was in January this year, where the President launched the new enhanced security international e-passport with 10-year validity.

In December last year, a special FEC session was convened on a Friday for the consideration and approval of this year’s budget proposal.

The budget presentation to the Parliament was meant to have taken place in the third week of September but for President Buhari’s participation in the 74th United Nations General Assembly.

The federal government plans to return to the January–December budget calendar.

As a fallout of signing of the 2017 budget into law by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while acting as the president, the Executive and the Legislature had agreed to return the Federal Government to a January–December budget calendar, starting from the 2018 budget.

Nigeria currently runs a May-June budget cycle, a development caused by executive-legislature delays since the 8th National Assembly.

The delays have caused what many see as “distortions” in implementation and the inability to meet budget targets.

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