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Senate to cut Nigeria’s borrowing level, says Lawan

Felix Oloyede

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Senate to cut Nigeria’s borrowing level, says Lawan

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said that the upper house will work with revenue-generating agencies to reduce the nation’s level of indebtedness.

Lawan made this known on Wednesday in Abuja, at an event to mark his 63rd birthday.

He said that the Senate would support and supervise the agencies and keep them alert “so that we have more income to reduce the level of indebtedness.”

“The upper house in the first quarter of this year will focus on addressing the challenges of income generation, collection and remittances to underpin the Federal Government’s profits.

“An improvement in the country’s income figures will reduce Nigeria‘s dependence on external loans for the implementation of capital projects included in the national budget.

“We still have a great responsibility and, in fact, it is something that we wanted to do last year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic we were unable to do it.

“This year, by the grace of God, we are going to resurrect that plan and it is to maintain and maintain the focus on generating income, collecting and sending remittances.

“Our income-to-GDP ratio is very low and economists will tell you that Nigeria’s problem is not debt, but income.

“So if that’s the case, it means that those of us in government should focus on meeting the challenges of income generation, revenue collection, and remittances.

“This year, we are going to have commitments with revenue generating agencies such as Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Customs, Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS), etc., on a quarterly basis, to set their targets. and we want you to come and report back to us on your performance every quarter.

“We hope to start the first meeting, which is a kind of exploratory meeting with them, either this month or early February.

“We want to see how we can make a positive difference in the area of ​​income generation.

“Nobody likes to take loans, go into debt or accumulate debt, whether as an individual, family, community or country.

“But what can you do when you can’t generate enough? We are as concerned as the others about our level of indebtedness, although we have not saturated it, but if we can do better, why not reduce it? The best way to reduce it is to get more income from especially independent sources.

“Government-owned companies are supposed to give us more money. In 2022, we expect maybe around a trillion, I’m not an economist, but I think we should expect maybe double or triple them ”.

Mr Lawan further said that the National Assembly this year will also focus on security through oversight of funds allocated in the budget for the armed forces and security agencies.

He explained that doing so would ensure transparency in the procurement process and ensure the well-being of military and security personnel tasked with restoring security across the country.

“Today, the security situation still requires more attention. We will pay close attention to the security situation.

“We have allocated around N1 trillion for our security agencies and armed forces, now it is up to the members of the National Assembly to ensure that the acquisition process by the armed forces is transparent and that all are held accountable.

“Of course, we must oversee the well-being of our soldiers and security personnel as much as possible. They need to be continually motivated, ”he said.

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