The National Assembly is set to tackle the N11.03 trillion deficit proposed for the N19.76 trillion 2023 budget through the amendment of some relevant sections of the Finance Act.
The chairman, Senate Committee on General Services, Sani Musa (APC Niger East) said the amendment of the Finance Act by the National Assembly would aim to double or triple the targets earlier set for the various revenue generating agencies targets towards reducing the size of the proposed budget deficit.
Senator Musa, who stated this to journalists on Friday at the frontage of the temporary chamber being set up for senators in view of ongoing renovation work at the main chamber, said Tuesday resumption will depend on how proper the temporary chamber is put in place before then.
“The budget of this country has been in deficit and the only thing we can do is to amend so many things in the Finance Act, so that we can generate more revenues from other sources rather than depending on oil alone and, by extension , reduce the size of the proposed budget deficit.
“By now the temporary chambers should have been ready knowing that we are resuming. Initially, we are supposed to resume on the 20th of this month but there are some little things that need to be done before then.
“But I can assure the general public that this will be done in the shortest time and we are going to resume and receive Mr President who will present the 2023 budget.”
Commenting on the general renovation work going on at the National Assembly, Senator Musa said it was an overdue project and very necessary in making the National Assembly, particularly the Hallowed Chambers, meet global standards.
“You will recall that the 9th Senate has done very well, because this edifice, since it was built, has never been rehabilitated. We are refurbishing it, bringing it back to standard like any other parliament you see around the world.
“The FCT that is doing this job has been up and doing, but we need to push; they need to do more so that we will be able to resume as quickly as possible.”
“It is a great achievement for us that we are renovating the National Assembly complex built over 20 years. What we read from the newspapers, that NASS leadership has not done anything on the leaking roof, is not true.
“This edifice is supposed to be managed and taken care of by the FCT, because it is their property, but now we have taken it as a responsibility on us to make sure we renovate it.
“I’m sure that by the time the renovation of the National Assembly chambers is completed, other African countries will come to see and make Nigeria as a case study and see how we have improved on parliamentary infrastructure,” he added.
The Senate had through its committee on Finance during the interface with the minister of Finance , Budget and National Planning , Mrs Zainab Ahmed , kicked against the proposed N11.03 trillion deficit in the proposed N19.76 trillion 2023 budget.
Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Lagos West), who chairs the committee, told heads of revenue generating agencies at different times to think out of the box in raising more revenues for the country in the coming fiscal year, for the purposes of reducing prosed deficit size and loan collections for budget financing.