• Tuesday, December 05, 2023
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NASS to reduce budget deficit via Finance Act amendment – Senate

Senate steps down consideration of NACA 2023 budget

The N11.03 trillion deficit proposed in the N19.76 trillion 2023 budget as indicated in 2023-2025 MTEF and FSP will be tackled by the National Assembly via necessary amendments to the relevant provisions of the Finance Act.

Chairman, Senate committee on general services, Sani Musa (APC Niger-East) made the discourse while speaking with newsmen in Abuja.

The Senate had, through its committee on finance at an interactive session with the minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed on 2023-2025 MTEF and FSP, decried the proposed deficit as proposed in the N19.76 trillion 2023 budget .

Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos) and chairman Senate committee on finance, had told heads of revenue-generating agencies to evolve other sources of revenue generation to reduce borrowing and ultimately the deficit in the nation’s budget.

Musa, however, said there was an urgent need to look into other areas beyond crude oil, to generate revenue to fund the budget and ultimately reduce the deficit in the budgetary provision.

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.

According to him, this would enable the generation of more revenues from other sources rather than depending on oil alone and by extension, reduce the size proposed budget deficit.

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Musa said the ninth Senate had done creditably, given the laudable bills passed to improve the economy, adding that the renovation of the National Assembly complex was also a steering achievement of the ninth Assembly.

He said given the renovation, a temporal chamber for plenary was being put in place for senators ahead of its resumption on Sept. 20.

“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 to receive Mr President and to present the 2023 budget.

“You will recall that the ninth 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.”

Commenting further on the general renovation work going on at the National Assembly, Musa said it was an overdue project and necessary in making the NASS, particularly the hallowed chambers, to meet up with the global standard.

“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 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.”