President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the National Assembly, notifying them of his intentions to present the 2018 budget to the lawmakers next week . Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara read a letter from the President to his colleagues. While specific details of the budget have not been released, the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) put the size of the 2018 budget at N8.6 trillion. It comes with a deficit of N2.9 trillion which is 2.61 per cent of the GDP. The oil benchmark price is $45 dollars per barrel whilst the production is estimated at 2.3 million barrels per day.
Here’s are 3 things that are likely to happen when the budget is passed next week
The lawmakers will reopen current battles
Despite the Presidency preparing next year’s budget on time, the National Assembly may be up in arms, as the Senate has denied knowledge of the President’s intentions. The upper chamber is also embroiled in a battle of wits over the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu’s continued stay in office, despite rejecting his nomination. In retaliation, the Senate has refused to confirm nominees for other posts.
The presentation could be shifted
In the event of not being able to reach a common ground before the presentation of the budget, the Presidency could decide to shift the ceremony to a later date after all disagreements with the National Assembly are resolved.
The President could skip the ceremony
As a middle ground to prevent either embarrassment by the National Assembly, and keep within the time frame, the President could decide to send either the Vice President or the Minister of Budget and Planning to present the budget. Then Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala presented the 2015 budget to the National Assembly on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan.