President Muhammadu Buhari will present the 2023 budget estimate to a joint session of the National Assembly in the first week of October, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said on Wednesday.
The Speaker, who was responding to questions from newsmen after inspecting ongoing renovation works in the House as well as the temporary Chamber was however silent on the modality the budget presentation will take.
Renovation work inside the chamber of the House which is usually used for the joint session was still at the preliminary stage on Wednesday without any indication that it will be ready in the next six months.
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Gbajabiamila however called for the speedy completion of the ongoing renovation ahead of the delivery deadline of August 2023, while confirming that the Chamber may also not be ready for the inauguration of the 10th Assembly in June 2023.
He said that speedy completion of the work must however not compromise the quality of the work to be delivered, adding that though the renovation, which began last month, had progressed well, he would still ask the project managers to speed up the pace and beat the deadline.
At the chamber, Gbajabiamila was briefed on the details of the upgrade and the adjustments to be made to the sitting areas of lawmakers, the chamber staff, the presiding officers, the press gallery, the roof and the adjoining rooms to the chamber.
“We will be proud to have a chamber that matches the best standard all over the world; so I am quite impressed with the work so far. I would encourage them to double the pace because, as it is, this is not for the benefit of the 9th Assembly but for the benefit of the 10th Assembly.”
“The whole chamber isn’t going to be ready until sometime in August next year; so we are talking close to a year, and that tells you the level of work that is going on.”
The Nation report that while renovation work is ongoing inside the chamber, members will reconvene from their annual break next week to hold plenary sittings in a temporary chamber already prepared at Hearing Room 028 and 231 which has been redesigned to accommodate members.