Jonathan misses 2014 Budget presentation

President Goodluck Jonathan made history on Tuesday as the only President that has missed two consecutive budget presentation appointments with the National Assembly.

It became glaring at 9:50am when 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.

Senators and House of Representatives members that spoke with The Nation expressed deep disappointment at the action of the President.

This is the second time the 2014 budget presentation would be shelved. The presentation which ought to have been made on November 12 was cancelled based on differences over the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), especially on the oil benchmark.

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While the Presidency fixed $74 for the benchmark, the Senate passed $76.5 while the House fixed $79 in the MTEF.

There had been insinuations that because of the disparity between the benchmark adopted by the Senate for the 2014 budget and the one adopted by the House the President will not be able to present the budget on Tuesday.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers immediately went into a closed door meeting which The Nation gathered was meant to discuss the aborted presentation and come up with a position on the implication of the president’s action.

However, The Nation learnt that the APC was not well disposed to the “drop-on-the-table” budget presentation style currently adopted by President Jonathan and may move against the presentation of the budget by any delegated authority safe the President.

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