By Taiye Odewale and Joshua Egbodo
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday wrote the leadership of the National Assembly asking for slot to address its joint session on November 7 for presentation of the 2018 budget proposal.
A copy of the letter titled “Laying of the 2018 Budget Proposal Before the National Assembly” addressed to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, read in part: “Pursuant to Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution, may I crave the indulgence of the National Assembly to grant me the slot of 1, 400 hours on Tuesday, 7thNovember, 2017 to formally address the joint session of and lay before the National Assembly the 2018 budget proposal.”
The President had earlier prepared ground for the budget presentation with the forwarding of the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the legislature on the 18th of last month.
President Buhari in the MTEF document to both chambers disclosed that the Executive is proposing an oil benchmark of $45 per barrel for the 2018 budget, a production target of 2.3 million barrels per day, mbpd, and an exchange rate of N305 to the dollar.
He explained that the parameters were prepared against the backdrop of generally adverse global economic uncertainty as well as fiscal challenges and recovery in the domestic economy to ensure that planned spending is set at prudent and sustainable levels and consistent with government’s overall developmental objectives and inclusive growth.