September 24, 2023

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Senate to Amend Finance Act to Accommodate Budget Deficit, casts doubt on Resumption


CEM REPORT | To address the deficit in the proposed 2023 budget the National Assembly has said it would have to amend the Finance Act.

The amendment would target revenue generating agencies to double or triple earlier proposed targets to further reduce the N11.03 trillion deficit proposed for the 2023 national budget.

This is according to the Chairman, Senate Committee on General Services, Senator Sani Musa while speaking with journalists in Abuja Sunday.

The senator lamented the huge deficit in the proposed 2023 budget estimates and said it was not healthy for the nation’s economy.

“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.”

Musa expressed doubts about the possible resumption of plenary on Tuesday noting that the resumption would depend on how proper the temporary chamber being put in place was carried out before Tuesday.

“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 some little things 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 to receive Mr President and to present the 2023 Budget.

“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.“

Commenting further on the general renovation work going on at the National Assembly, the lawmaker said it was an overdue project and very necessary in making the National Assembly, particularly the hallow chambers, to meet up with global standards.

“It is a great achievement for us that we are renovating the National Assembly complex that has been built over 20 years.

“What we read from the newspapers that the National Assembly leadership has not done anything on the licking 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.”

CEM earlier reported that the Senate had, through its Committee on Finance during an 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.

[READ ALSO] Subsidy Spending Hits N13.7 Trillion, NNPC Defaults in Remittance

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Olamilekan Adeola had told heads of revenue-generating agencies at different times to come up with fresh strategies to improve the current revenues for the country in the coming fiscal year.

He said doing so would reduce the proposed deficit size and loan collections for budget financing.

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