The Federal Government will revert to the January to December budget cycle, beginning with the 2020 national budget.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, stated this in Abuja when he defended his ministry’s 2019 budget in the Senate.
Udoma expressed the executive’s willingness to comply with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 by submitting the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper to the National Assembly on time.
He said it would be achieved by collaborating with the legislature.
He noted that the new arrangement would not only make planning easier for both the public and private sectors but would also ensure proper oversight by relevant committees of the National Assembly.
He said the delay in submitting and passing the 2019 budget was caused by both the executive and legislative arms of government which relegated governance to the back seat because politics occupied centre stage during the 2019 elections.
He said, “I believe that going into 2020, this is a year that we should be able to achieve it. This is the year that we should be able to sit down with the National Assembly and achieve it. The President is determined to achieve it.
“We will be sitting down with the National Assembly so that we can achieve it. And we don’t need to do it by legislation. I think it is better to do it by cooperation, working together.”
The MTEF/FSP, an annual rolling three year-expenditure planning, sets out the medium-term expenditure priorities and provides the basis for the preparation of the annual national budget.
Specifically, Section 11 (b) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act stipulates that the MTEF/FSP be submitted to the National Assembly ‘not later than four months before commencement of the next financial year.’