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NASS Renovation: Uncertainty over Buhari’s physical presentation of 2023 Budget

By Haruna Salami

There is uncertainty over physical presentation of proposed  N19.76 trillion 2023 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari to joint session of the National Assembly next month due to ongoing renovation of  Hollow Chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives.

This was confirmed Friday to journalists  by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan after an inspection of Room 022 being put in shape as temporary chamber for the Senate on resumption Tuesday next week.

Lawan, while fielding  questions from journalists said though the National Assembly is expecting Mr. President for presentation of the 2023 budget estimates in the first week of October, but the renovation work going on is creating challenge of where to host Mr. President.

“The Green Chamber of the  House of   Representatives normally used for such very important event is also being renovated, calling for urgent action from the leadership of both Chambers on resumption , on how to address the challenge”, he said.

He disclosed that one of the urgent legislative assignment that would be carried out by the Senate on resumption next week, is confirmation of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

“Confirmation of Justice Ariwoola’s  appointment by Senate on resumption next week is very necessary to beat the three months period of acting in that capacity.

“The Senate would have confirmed his appointment before proceeding on recess in July but request to that effect got it from Mr President  a day preceding the long recess”, he explained.

He further said that issues of national  security which has improved  and consideration of the 2023 – 2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), will also be accorded legislative priority on resumption.

On the temporary Chamber to be used, the Senate President said arrangements put on ground are to large extent , manageable since it will only be used for some months.

“Any temporary arrangement made or being made,  cannot be compared to a permanent one. Whatever sacrifice that should be made are being made by us to pave way for Hallow Chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, renovated to global standard”, he added.

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