Friday, September 30, 2022

NASS to reduce budget deficit through Finance Act

Mr Musa said there was an urgent need to look into other areas beyond crude oil to generate revenue to fund the budget.

• September 18, 2022
Nigerian Senate
Nigerian Senate floor used to illustrate the story (Credit: Twitter)

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 of relevant provisions of the Finance Act.

Chairman, Senate Committee on General Services, Sani Musa ( APC Niger-East), disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Abuja.

Mr Musa 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.

“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,” he said.

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

The Senate had, through its finance committee, at an interactive session with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, 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.

Mr 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 temporary chamber for the plenary assembly was being put in place for senators ahead of its resumption on September 20.

“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.”

Commenting further on the general renovation work going on at the National Assembly, Mr Musa said it was an overdue project and very necessary in making the NASS, particularly the hallowed Chambers, meet up with 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 and make Nigeria as a case study and see how we have improved on parliamentary infrastructure.”

(NAN)

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