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Reps members kick over Federal Government nod on budget framework


Members of the House of Representatives at a plenary. PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

Members of the House of Representatives at a plenary. PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

The recent approval of the 2017-2019 budget framework by the Federal Government is triggering contention among some members of the House of Representatives.

The legislators are expected to debate the proposal when they resume September 13.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, at the end of this week’s Federal Executive Council, had announced government’s approval of the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), with a projection of N290 exchange rate to a dollar in 2017.

In a reaction, the chairman, House Committee on Banking and Currency, Chukwudi Victor Jones, said the decision was likely to stir controversies on the floor of the House when government communicates the plan to members.

He said: “It’s mere proposal and until it comes to the National Assembly, which will look at it critically and approve it, it cannot come to force.

“I tell you, it’s going to be a huge debate on the floor when members begin to consider the proposals. How do you determine the exchange rate for 2017 when we are running a flexible exchange?”

The chairman, House Committee on Public Procurement, Oluwole Oke, regretted that President Buhari was being misled by his economic team.

In an interview, he said: “It’s sad that the government has no regard for other people’s opinions, no respect for the parliament. The economic team of the President are his greatest enemy. They lack capacity. We have had too many economic policy somersaults. Why can’t we solve the problem of the Niger Delta, so that we can have more crude oil production, so that we can earn more forex? This should be our priority.”

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