From Ndubuisi Orji,Abuja
Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun on Tuesday appealed to members of the House over the inability of the House to pass the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) before scheduling the 2018 Appropriation Bill for debate.
Lasun made the appeal shortly before the commencement of debate on the general principles of the 2018 Appropriation Bill at Tuesday’s plenary.
His appeal came as response to opposition by lawmakers to commencement of debate on the 2018 budget before the passage of the MTEF.
Shortly after the Deputy Speaker, who presided over Tuesday’s plenary, called for debate on the 2018 budget, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker, Hon Kingsley Chinda raised a point of order.
Chinda said it is wrong for the House to be talking about the 2018 budget when the MTEF has not been passed. Consequently, he called on the House to step down debate on the budget.
As he stated his position, majority of lawmakers on the floor echoed their support.
However, Lasun begged the dissenting lawmakers to allow the debate on the budget commence, promising that the MTEF will be passed before by the end of this week.
“You are right. (But) my hands are tied on this. But I will crave the indulgence of my colleagues so that we can go on with the debate. Debate is not passage,” he said.
Thereafter, the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila kicked-off debate on the 2018 budget.