Senate to lessen N12 trillion 2023 budget deficit through Finance Act amendment

The house of Senate has revealed plans to tackle budget deficit proposal which was rejected by the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, last week.

This was revealed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on General Services, Sen. Sani Musa (APC Niger-East) on Sunday in Abuja, Nairametrics reports.

The chairman said the Federal Government needs to urgently seek alternative funding for the budget away from hydrocarbons.

According to the Senator, Nigeria needs to look into other areas beyond crude oil, so as 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 remarked that this would allow 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.

He added that 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.

Nexus News gathered that last week, the Senate opposed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and heads of some revenue generating agencies under the ministry on the 2023–2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) which proposed a N12.43 trillion deficit and N6 trillion tax and import duty waivers in the N19.76 trillion budget.

Speaking to the committee, Ahmed said the proposed N19.76 trillion budget for 2023 would have a deficit of N12.43 trillion as a result of projected N6 trillion tax credit and import duty waivers as well as fuel subsidy of over N6 trillion if retained for the whole year.

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