Senate to tackle 11.3tn budget deficit

The Senate has disclosed that the 11.03tn deficit proposed for the N19.76tn 2023 budget will be tackled by the National Assembly through the required amendment of relevant provisions of the Finance Act.

This was made known by the Chairman, Senate Committee on General Services, Senator Sani Musa, who spoke on the amendment of the Finance Act by the National Assembly.

He said the act would dwell on areas of making the various revenue generating agencies double or triple targets earlier given to them towards reducing the size of the proposed budget deficit.

He said, “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 be able to 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 September 20 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 to receive the President and to present the 2023 budget.

“The 9th Senate has done very well, because this edifice since it was built, has never been rehabilitated, we are refurbishing it, and bringing it back to standard like any other parliament you see around the world.

The Federal Capital Territory 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.”

Commenting further on the general renovation going on at the National Assembly, Musa said it was an overdue project and very necessary in making the National Assembly, particularly the Hallow Chambers, meet up with the 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 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, use 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 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.

Then Chairman of the committee, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, had last week, told heads of revenue generating agencies at different times to think out of the box in making more revenues for the country in the coming fiscal year, to reduce proposed deficit.

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