OrderPaperToday – In order to reduce borrowing and budget deficit, the Senate has charged revenue generating agencies of the federal government to generate and remit N3 trillion annually.
The Senate noted that this is achievable that if efforts are made to cut down on wasteful spending.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, while declaring open an interactive session on the ‘need to improve internally generated revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria and revenue projections of the agencies as contained in the appropriation Act 2022’, stated that the purpose of the meeting was to explore means of increasing government revenues.
The interactive session was between the Senate leadership, members of the Committee on Finance and the revenue generating agencies of the federal government.
Lawan noted that the National Assembly will be rigid on increased revenue to cut down on the country’s budget deficit and borrowings, as well as prevent wasteful expenditures by agencies of government.
He also assured the agencies that the upper chamber would provide the needed support through legislation to ensure that the performance of revenue generating agencies surpass their targets.
“In 2022, the National Assembly assumed and rightly so, that our government-owned enterprises can generate up to N3 trillion if we are of the mindset that we can achieve that and, of course, ensure that we oversight to stall any possibility of unwarranted expenditures by agencies of government.
“As a National Assembly, let me say that the Senate particularly will be stiff on generating more and more revenue. We will be rigid; we will continue to insist, because we believe that this is one sure and guaranteed way of reducing our deficit and borrowing. This drive for more revenues to the coffers of government would enhance the economy and facilitate infrastructural development.”
The Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos), lamented that there was insufficient funds for the implementation of policies and projects captured in the 2022 budget of the federal government.
In his words, the funds were derived partly from the revenue generated by the government-owned enterprises and other independent revenues sources of the federal government.
“There is an urgent need for all hands to be on deck on revenue generation for government, as well as prevent misuse and leakages of such revenue for frivolous purposes not sanctioned by the laws of the National Assembly,” he said, adding:
“For government to reduce and eliminate deficit budgeting associated with the nation’s budget over the years, effort must be made to minimise borrowing to fund projects”.
Revenue agencies in attendance at the interactive session included the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, Nigerian Postal Service, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, and Nigeria Customs Service.
Others were the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Prisons Service, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS).
Also present were the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria.