Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday, hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari will in the first week of October present the proposed N19.76 trillion Appropriation Bill for the 2023 fiscal year before the National Assembly, barring any last minute change.
The Medium Term Expenditures Framework (MTEF) earlier presented to the National Assembly indicates that the Federal Government plans to spend N19.76trillion in 2023.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this in Abuja while inspecting the ongoing renovation of the National Assembly complex ahead of the delivery deadline of August 2023.
He called for speedy completion of the project, warning that the quality of work must not be compromised.
The Speaker said 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.
The Speaker, who spoke with newsmen at the end of the inspection, said the changes introduced were “impressive” and would greatly assist the lawmakers in their legislative duties in line with global standard.
He said, “This work started in August, a few weeks behind schedule, but for a good reason. So far between August and now, giant strides have been made; you can see the whole chamber has been ripped apart, and the innovations are going to be state-of-the-art.
“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.”
While the renovation, which is being carried out by Visible Construction Limited, is ongoing, members will reconvene from their annual break next week to hold plenary sittings in a temporary chamber already prepared at Hearing Room 028.
Speaking further on the renovation of the chamber, Gbajabiamila said, “So far so good, we are happy and this temporary site where we will be sitting for the next 9-10 months, is obviously a far cry from where we used to be.”
He said the 10th Assembly would most likely be inaugurated in the temporary chamber, except the project managers would be able to complete the renovation of the main chamber months before the scheduled deadline.