The leadership of the National Assembly, on Thursday, met with the two ministers in the Finance Ministry and top officials of the ministry preparatory to the presentation of the 2023 Budget proposals by the President, Major general Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The National Assembly leadership was led by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, and Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clement Agba, led their team of officials of the finance ministry to the meeting.
The meeting, which was held at the Senate wing of the National Assembly, was behind closed doors.
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The meeting was a follow-up to the previous ones held to fine-tune the preparation of the budget ahead of its presentation to a special joint session of the National Assembly by the President next month.
The finance minister and the Senate had had altercations at an interactive session held penultimate Tuesday when she informed the committee that the proposed N19.76tn budget for 2023 would have a deficit of N12.43trillion as a result of projected N6tn tax and import duty waivers as well as fuel subsidy of over N6tn if retained for the whole year.
The Senate, chairman on Finance, Solomon Adeola, had disagreed with Ahmed, as well as heads of revenue-generating agencies in the country on the proposed 2023 – 2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (and Fiscal Strategy Paper).
Adeola had told the minister that both the projected N12.43tn budget deficit and N6tn tax and import duty waivers should be critically reviewed downwards before sending the proposals to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.