***As senate may shift resumption over chamber renovation
In its bid to contain the debacle of N11.03tr deficit in the N19.76trillion proposed 2023 budget the senate has muted the plan to amend some relevant provisions of the Finance Act.
Chairman, Senate Committee on General Services, Senator Sani Musa (APC) Niger East), made the disclosure on Friday.
According to him the amendment of the Finance Act by the National Assembly will make the various revenue generating agencies to double or triple targets earlier given them towards reducing the size of proposed budget deficit .
Senator Musa who spoke to journalists on Friday at the frontage of temporary chamber being put in place for Senators in view of ongoing renovation work at the main Chambers implied the Tuesday resumption will depend on how proper the temporary chamber is put in place.
“The budget of this country, have 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 solely on oil and by extension, reduce the size of proposed budget deficit.
“By now the temporary chambers should have been ready knowing that we are resuming, initially we were billed to resume on the 20th of this month but there are some little things that needs 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 to present the 2023 Budget.
“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, have been up and doing, but we need to push, they need to do more so that we will be able to resume as quick as possible”.
Commenting further on the general renovation work going on at the National Assembly, Senator Musa said it was an over due project and very necessary in making the National Assembly particularly the Hallow Chambers, to meet up with global standard.
“It is a great achievement for us that we are renovating the National Assembly complex that has been built over 20 years.
“That we read from the newspapers that NASS leadership has not done anything on the licking roof, is not true.
“This edifice is suppose 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 interface with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, kicked against the proposed N11.03trillion deficit in the proposed N19.76trillion 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 generating more revenue for the country in the coming fiscal year, for the purposes of reducing proposed deficit size and loan collections for budget financing .