Borrowing Isn’t Sustainable, Lawan Warns

According to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, the Upper Legislative Chamber will put pressure on different revenue-generating agencies to generate enough money to pay for the implementation of the N21.83tn 2023 budget.

This was announced by Lawan in Abuja at his 64th birthday party, when he made clear that the country’s different revenue-generating organisations would no longer operate as usual since the government could no longer borrow money to pay for the budget.

He added that in addition to the insecurity issue, which the government was tackling head-on at various levels, there was also the issue of inadequate funding for the implementation of national development programmes, which needed to be addressed seriously to break the cycle of deficit budgeting or persistent poverty.

Lawan said: “Government cannot continue to go borrowing on a yearly basis because it is not sustainable. We have to look inward and generate more money to execute landmark projects and fund infrastructures.

“In looking inward, the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly, will turn the heat on various revenue-generating agencies through relevant committees for optimal performance as far as revenue generation is concerned.

“The committees through oversight functions will ensure that each of the revenue generating agencies, remit every kobo generated into the national coffers.”

He also said that the administration would evaluate the procedures for giving concessions to investors and enterprises in the Federal Government, such as import duty waivers and corporation tax holidays.

“Enormous revenue being lost through tax waivers will also be looked into in terms of reviewing the policy or calling for its revocation.

“Most of what we do in terms of national development is in health, borders insecurity I think we have to work hard to improve revenue generation, and collection because it is not looking too sustainable that we tolerate people, some agencies of government to misapply or not even declare the revenue they collect.

“We can’t continue with that. So for us at the Senate, we have decided that for the remaining part, we will continue to engage revenue-generating agencies until we get better outcomes from them.

“We will review the waivers, where the waivers cannot be sustained any more such waivers should be reversed or renegotiated but definitely we need to work hard to improve on the revenue generation of the nation by the MDAS and other government agencies,” he said.

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