• January to December cycle not sacrosanct, says Senate Leader
• Adeosun declares new debt strategy will save N91.65 billion yearly
President Muhammadu Buhari will next week Tuesday present the 2018 budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki said this yesterday as he read a letter from the President officially informing the upper legislative chamber of the presentation of the fiscal appropriation bill.
The letter read in part: “In pursuant to Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution, may I crave the kind indulgence of the National Assembly to grant me the slot of 1400 hours on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, to formally address a joint session and lay before the NASS the 2018 budget proposal.”
However, the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has accused territory’s administration of receiving huge returns on investment without making returns to the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, the Senate Majority Leader, Ahmad Lawan, has declared that the January to December calendar cycle for the country’s yearly budget is not sacrosanct.
Lawan, who stated this while speaking with State House Correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa yesterday, said that what is more important is for the fiscal document to be implemented fully.
He said to return to the January to December calendar arrangement was predicated on the level of collaboration between the executive and the country’s parliament.
In another development, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has declared that the new debt strategy adopted by the current administration will save the country N91.65 billion yearly.
By this strategy, she said the Federal Government’s revenue and debt management strategy would mitigate the country’s debt service risk and fast-track her development.
Adeosun, who welcomed the advice of Nigeria’s international development partners, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said the strategy would also achieve a number of objectives that include mobilising revenue whilst reducing the debt burden by lengthening the maturity profile, increasing foreign exchange reserves, reducing crowding-out of the private sector and creating savings in debt service cost.
According to a statement by the minister’s media aide, Mr. Oluyinka Akintunde, key element of the economic reform strategy was the mobilisation of revenue to improve the debt service to revenue ratio.
This, she said, is being undertaken through a number of initiatives, including plugging of leakages and the deployment of technology revenue management.