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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

NASS Orders Government Agencies To Generate N3 Trillion Annually

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By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi

The National Assembly has tasked the revenue-generating agencies of the government in Nigeria to produce N3 trillion annually.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, revealed this on Monday in Abuja in an interactive session between the Senate leadership, members of the Senate Committee on Finance and revenue-generating agencies of government.

Lawan, during the opening of a session, hammered on the need to improve internally generated revenue of the Federal Government. He said the Senate will be stiff on generating more and more revenue in order to reduce borrowing.

The senate president said these agencies are capable of generating N3 trillion annually if there are efforts to ensure prudent spending.

“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.

“But that does not mean in any way that it is going to be some kind of investigation on what you do, but an encouragement to what you need to do.

“In this meeting and subsequent ones, there should be no holds barred on discussions.”

The senate president urged agencies who can’t meet up with the target to reach the Senate in order to get solutions that will enable them meet targets.

“Where an agency feels it is encumbered in any way from achieving its target, it should say so, so that we are able to prescribe the right solutions for it to perform.”

“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,” The senate president said.

“This committee is modified because the leaders of the Senate believe that we can do far better and we have seen signs when last year some of the agencies performed beyond expectation.

“So, it is an opportunity for us to save and enhance our economy and, of course, make Nigeria achieve more infrastructural development which is the goal of this administration and every Nigerian.

“We believe that when you (revenue agencies) generate the money, we (National Assembly) appropriate it.

“Prudence is of essence here, when we spend our money. And when we borrow, like the National Assembly has always tried to do, we borrow to treat specific projects and programmes of the government,” he added.

Sen. Solomon Adeola, The Chairman of the Committee on Finance lamented that funds for implementation of the projects captured in the 2022 budget are not sufficient.

“There is an urgent need for all hands to be on deck on revenue generation for government, and prevent misuse and leakages of such revenue for frivolous purposes not sanctioned by the laws of the National Assembly.”

He urged the Federal Government to make efforts to minimize borrowing but to fund projects in Nigeria.

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