•Confirms Daily Sun’s report on unveiling of stimulus package to joint session
From Fred Itua, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday notified the National Assembly that he would present N7 trillion 2017 budget proposals to a joint session next Wednesday.
Buhari disclosed this in a letter addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki, saying the event would hold at about 10am.
Buhari also confirmed Daily Sun’s report that he will unveil his administration’s stimulus package to get the country out of its current economic recession.
The National Assembly had on October 6 summoned Mr. President to brief them on plans to get the country out of the woods.
On November 15, 2016, Daily Sun exclusively reported that Buhari had deferred his planned appearance to coincide with the presentation of budget proposals to a joint session of the Assembly.
Sources told Daily Sun then that the President did not want to appear before a joint session twice before the end of the year and had instead, resolved to cash in on the presentation of the budget to address lawmakers on his rescue plans.
The sources further claimed that Buhari’s position was informally communicated to Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
But Buhari in his letter addressed to Saraki, noted: “I crave the kind indulgence of the National Assembly to grant me the slot of 1000 hours on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 to formally address a joint session of the National Assembly on the 2017 budget proposal and our plans to get the country out of recession.
“Please, extend Mr Senate President, the assurances of my highest regards to the distinguished Senators, as I look forward to addressing the joint session.”
It is, however, not clear if the National Assembly will pass the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) before Buhari lays the budget proposals next Wednesday.
If President Buhari honours the invitation and appears before a joint session of the National Assembly, it would be the first time since the time of former President Olusegun Obasanjo that a sitting president will respect such summons.