The National Assembly would have to amend the Finance Act again in order to address the N11.03 trillion deficit proposed for the 2023 national budget. The total budget size is N19.76trn.
Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger East), Chairman of the Senate Committee on General Services, gave the indication to journalists in Abuja on Sunday.
He stated that the amendments would focus on requiring the various revenue-generating agencies to double or triple their previous targets.
He claimed that doing so would significantly reduce the size of the proposed budget deficit.
Musa also hinted that the renovation work being done in the National Assembly’s main chambers might affect the possible resumption of plenary on Tuesday.
The senator lamented the huge deficit in the proposed 2023 budget estimates and said it was not healthy for the nation’s economy..
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 generate more revenues from other sources rather than depending on oil alone and by extension, reduce the size of the proposed budget deficit.”
He expressed doubts about the possible resumption of plenary on Tuesday.
According to him, “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 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 quick as possible.”
Commenting further on the general renovation work going on at the National Assembly, the lawmaker 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.
“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 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 N11.03 trillion deficit in the proposed N19.76 trillion 2023 Budget.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Olamilekan Adeola ( APC Lagos West), 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.