The Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on Monday urged the Presidency to ensure the early submission of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to allow for early passage of budget 2020.
Gbajabiamila who spoke during a courtesy visit by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha and his team at the National Assembly, said it will help the country return to the January to December budget cycle.
He said: “Again, part of the reforms which we want to achieve is: I will want a situation where before we go on long break in the next week, maybe three weeks, I would want a situation where the MTEF will be submitted to this House so that we can pass it before going.
“And then, when we come back in September, maybe by the end of September, the budget is before us. Because by finance laws, the budget is based in the MTEF. The MTEF needs to be submitted. At the end of the day, we don’t want the budget to be brought in December.
“So, this is the timetable that we have set. One, the MTEF to be submitted. Two, we work on it and go on our long break and then come back. At the end of September, present the budget to us. And what does that do? It leaves us with three months to pass the budget. It brings us back to that circle of January to December. And by January 1, we pass the budget as envisaged in the constitution.
“We want you to help us with this process. We want to streamline the budget process because the input of the members cannot be negotiated. So, if that input can come before the presentation of the budget, fine. So that when the budget comes, we just need little things here and there but not to rewrite a whole budget because we have not been carried along from onset. I think those are the issues. We want good collaboration.”
He demanded better working conditions in the National Assembly.
He said the parliament will be coming to the executive “with a shopping list which will make our work easier.
“The list will include things like library, world-class, international standard library. we will be needing your intervention in that regard. We will need to make the House IT compliant.
“But I am glad to announce that even by tomorrow as we resume sitting, one of our reforms will already be in place. The chambers are more or less 80 per cent IT compliant. We have a new set of equipment that allows easy face recognition and electronic registration or internet server as they say. This was done on our own in the last two to three weeks because they were promises we made and we must fulfill.