From Basil Obasi, Abuja
To avoid controversy of late budget passage as experienced with the 2016 Appropriation Act, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning said it has commenced work on 2017 appropriation bill.
The ministry said the bill could be presented to the National Assembly by October.
The ministry also said it has commenced internal processes of developing the Medium-Term Revenue Framework (MTRF) and, subsequently, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and has promised that, at every stage of the budget cycle, it shall ensure increased stakeholders’ engagement.
The 2016 budget was believed to have been passed into law late in the fiscal year.
An official in the Ministry confirmed to Daily Sun they have commenced engagement of the National Assembly in the budget preparation process.
“The thinking is that, if we get legislators and other critical stakeholders involved at every stage of the process and ensure increased stakeholders’ engagement, through evolving a more participatory approach, we will produce a budget that is more inclusive which will ultimately lead to timely passage of the 2017 appropriation bill into law, possibly by October,” the source stated.
He added that they would engender inputs at the appropriate stage from the civil society to ensure an inclusive budget, in line with the change mantra.
He further disclosed that the ministry has started meeting with the key revenue generating agencies including; the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as key economic agencies such as the National Population Commission (NPC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to assess and determine trends in revenue performance and macro-economic indicators and the implication of such trends for the next three fiscal years.