Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday said barring any last minute change, President Muhammadu Buhari will in the first week of October present the proposed N19.76 trillion budget for 2023 fiscal year before the National Assembly.
The Federal Government plans to spend N19.76 trillion in 2023, according to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) earlier presented to the National Assembly.
Gbajabiamila, who disclosed this in Abuja, when he inspected the ongoing renovation of the National Assembly complex ahead of the delivery deadline of August 2023, called for speedy completion of the project.
The speaker, however, warned that the quality of work must not be compromised. He said though the renovation, which began last month, had progressed well, he would still ask the project managers to speed up the pace and beat the deadline.
At the chamber, Gbajabiamila was briefed on the details of the upgrade and the adjustments to be made to the sitting areas of lawmakers, the chamber staff, the presiding officers, the press gallery, the roof and the adjoining rooms to the chamber.
Speaking with House of Representatives correspondents after the inspection, Gbajabiamila said the changes introduced were “impressive” and would greatly assist the lawmakers in their legislative duties in line with global standard.
“This work started in August, a few weeks behind schedule, but for a good reason.
So far between August and now, giant strides have been made; you can see the whole chamber has been ripped apart, and the innovations are going to be state-of-the-art.
“We will be proud to have a chamber that matches the best standard all over the world; so I am quite impressed with the work so far.
“I would encourage them to double the pace because, as it is, this is not for the benefit of the 9th Assembly but for the benefit of the 10th Assembly.
The whole chamber isn’t going to be ready until sometime in August next year; so we are talking close to a year, and that tells you the level of work that is going on”, he said.
While the renovation, which is being carried out by Visible Construction Limited, is ongoing, members will reconvene from their annual break next week to hold plenary sittings in a temporary chamber already prepared at Hearing Room 028.
Giving his impression of the temporary chamber, Gbajabiamila said, “So far so good, we are happy and this temporary site where we will be sitting for the next 9-10 months, is obviously a far cry from where we used to be.”
The speaker said the 10th Assembly would most likely be inaugurated in the temporary chamber, except the project managers would be able to complete the renovation of the main chamber months before the scheduled deadline.