By Kingsley Okoye
Abuja – The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan on Friday said the senate would give priority debate to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper(FSP), when it resumes for plenary on Sept. 24.
Lawan, who made this known to journalists in Abuja, said information at his disposal indicated
that the senate had received the MTEF and the FSP from the Executive arm of government.
“I have been informed that the executive arm of government has sent request for the MTEF to the senate and we hope to take the MTEF within the first legislative week.
“That is the first thing we will do and of course the committee on finance will be saddled with its first assignment to ensure that it works judiciously on the MTEF and FSP report, before the budget estimates will come,” he said.
He also said the senate would ensure that the security situation in the country improves.
This, it said would be done with the support of the Executive.
“In the 8th Senate, we had an ad-hoc committee that i was privileged to chair, to review the security architecture of the country.
” We are going to look into that report, and of course in addition, other contemporary issues that affect security in the country.
“We are also going to look into the crisis that affected Nigerians living in South Africa.
“You recall that this issue was reviewed before we went on recess.
” The senate felt as an institution that our citizens’ diplomacy must be protected where ever they go in the world.
“The government must be there for them, and I’m happy that after the xenophobic crisis, the Federal Government was able to take a position.
“We need to be much more resolute, whatever the situation is; our citizens must be protected.
” If someone runs foul of the laws of a country, there are processes and procedures on how such a person can be prosecuted,” he said.
He added that the senate was ready to receive the 2020 Budget proposal from the Executive.
” We are hopeful and optimistic, as well as hungry and thirsty, to receive the 2020 appropriations bill.
” I am aware that the executive arm of government is working assiduously to ensure that the appropriation bill for the year 2020 is presented to the National Assembly at the end of this month.”
” Lawan said the National Assembly would work so hard to ensure that the 2020 budget was passed into law before it proceeds for the Christmas break. (NAN)