GOVERANCE

NASS Moves To Reduce Budget Deficit, Sets N3trllion Revenue Target For MDAs

 

The National Assembly has said that revenue-generating agencies of the Federal Government were capable of generating N3 trillion annually if the resources are prudently spent.

This was disclosed by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday, while declaring open an interactive session on the need to improve internally generated revenue of the Federal Government and Revenue Projections of the agencies as stipulated in the Appropriation Act 2022.

Lawan said the purpose of the meeting which was between the Senate leadership, members of the Senate Committee on Finance and revenue-generating agencies of government, was to explore means of increasing government revenues.

He said the National Assembly would be strict on increased revenue, cut down on the country’s budget deficits and borrowings, and prevent wasteful expenditures by agencies of government, adding that the Senate would provide the needed support via legislation to ensure that revenue agencies meet and surpass their targets.

The Senate President said, “In 2022, 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 of what you need to do.

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

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“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.’’

Lawan explained that the move by the senate was to ensure that more revenue is generated for the federal government, which would enhance the economy and facilitate infrastructure development.

He 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 government.’’

Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, decried insufficient funds for implementation of projects captured in the 2022 budget of the Federal Government.

The increase in revenue generation by the federal government agencies would help to reduce the budget deficit as well as the level of borrowings.

This will also ensure fiscal responsibility by these agencies and more judicious use of resources.

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