The 2015 federal budget laid before the National Assembly on December 17 2015 by the Minister of Finance came very late in the year and marks the second time the President chose to make himself unavailable to address the Nigerian people on key economic policy directives contained in the budget. Although, legal scholars opine that the Constitution did not oblige the President to come in person to present or lay the budget before the legislature or even address the nation, the idea of a President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shying away and delegating his core duty to another person is a departure from tradition and does not portray Mr President as being in charge of the economic policy direction of the country.
The second issue is that the budget is being laid before the legislature at a time the Medium Term Expenditure Framework has not been approved. This is contrary to section 18 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The MTEF undergirds the budget and nothing is to be found in the budget that has not already been approved in the MTEF.
The third issue is that the fiscal authorities in the Ministry of Finance and Budget Office of the Federation have refused to provide information on the implementation of the 2014 budget. As at today, only the first and second quarter budget implementation reports of 2014 is available to the public. This is contrary to section 30 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA). Thus, the parametres for comparing the budgets of 2014 and 2015 may not be fully available to Nigerians.
2. KEY ASSUMPTIONS
The 2015 Federal budget is premised on the following key assumptions ….
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