The presentation of the 2014 budget scheduled for Tuesday is postponed again.
President Goodluck Jonathan was scheduled to present the budget by 12 noon today. According to Punch’s sources, however, “security reasons” accounted for Jonathan’s alleged change of mind.
It became clear at 9:50 am as the Sergeants-at-arm began the removal of the the labeling and demarcations meant for the joint sitting in the Green Chamber that the President would not honour the National Assembly with his presence as far as the 2014 budget is concerned. “The red carpet laid in anticipation of Jonathan’s coming has also been rolled up,” the source added.
No official explanations have been given yet.
Senators and House of Representatives members that spoke with The Nation expressed deep disappointment at the action of the President.
Initially the presentation of the budget had been scheduled for November 12. However, it had been shifted because of the differences over the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), especially on the oil benchmark. While the Presidency fixed $74 for the benchmark, the Senate passed $76.5 while the House fixed $79 in the MTEF.
Source: Channels TV