By Chris Nomjov
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for an emergency meeting of the Federal Executive Council, (FEC), expected to consider the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) ahead of the final preparation of the 2016 Appropriation Bill.
The President, who just returned to the country from a State trip to South Africa for the China- Africa economic meeting, is expected to chair the FEC meeting, which will among other things, dwell on modalities in the 2016 Appropriation bill.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma told State House Correspondents yesterday at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that his ministry would this week approach council to seek for approval of the MTEF.
The Monday’s FEC scheduled for the Council Chambers would be second time the meeting will be holding after the inaugural one held on November 11, shortly after the Council was inaugurated by the President.
He said, “As you may know, this administration is introducing zero based budgeting, which means that every activity must be justified in accordance with the principles of the administration.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had said that government plans to use a zero-based budgeting format for the 2016 budget planning to achieve a policy driven approach to governance, especially the proposed social intervention policy of the administration.
The Vice President, himself made a brief appearance at a meeting at the Banquet Hall where he supervised the work of technical teams put together by the ministry to clean up the zero budgeting template, ahead of the appropriation document.
Udoma explained that the meeting at the State House was to give the officials handling the document cleanup all aspects of the document. We invited the Vice President who graciously accepted to come and see what we are doing. He said yesterday’s meeting would be followed up with bilateral, discussions with the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
According to the Minister, “We are going next week to seek approval from the council for the MTEF, after that we would then have hard numbers to give them. So, we are working flat out to make sure the budget is out before the end of the year.”
According to sources tomorrow’s council meeting, FEC will now hold when the pressing policy issues to discuss, unlike in the previous government the cabinet met every Wednesday.
The source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak told reporters that “FEC will no longer be all about awarding contracts but a serious discussion of policy issues and appraisal of ministerial performance”.
He said “in the past decisions on such matters as purchasing of cooking stoves and waste bins were discussed at FEC.”