Presentation of the proposed N19.76 trillion 2023 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari to the joint session of the National Assembly next month is not certain due to ongoing renovation of chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The uncertainty was confirmed yesterday to journalists by the president of the senate, Ahmad Lawan after 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 the president for presentation of the 2023 budget estimates in the first week of October, but the renovation work going on is creating a challenge of where to host him.
“The Green Chamber of the House of Representatives normally used for such a 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 assignments 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 a request to that effect got it from Mr President a day preceding the long recess”, he explained.
He said further issues of national security which have 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 a 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 sacrifices that should be made are being made by us to pave the way for Hollow Chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, renovated to global standard “, he added .