…Gbajabiamila also expresses concern
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday lamented that the generation and collection of revenues have remained Nigeria’s major challenges as well as the massive loss of revenue through oil theft, saying it is “debilitating and threatening to throw the nation’s economy into a coma”.
Lawan, who made the observation in his opening speech while welcoming his colleagues from the long annual recess, noted that “revelations about the scale of oil theft shows that until the Government take decisive actions, Nigeria could soon lose any such revenue from that sector”. He, therefore, charged his colleagues to “ensure that everything is done to curtail this theft”.
The Senate President stressed the need for the National Assembly and the Executive to continually seek for better responses to the economic situation. Specifically, he said their focus must remain on ensuring a secured and safe country as well as an economy that works for all citizens.
Lawan also informed that the confirmation of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN), Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, work on 2023-2025 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and fiscal strategic paper, (MTEF/FSP), 2022 Budget and working to support the nation’s defence and security forces, among others, would largely be the focus of the upper legislative chamber in the next three months. According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present the 2023 Budget estimates to the joint session of the National Assembly in the first week of October.
Similarly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, also yesterday, expressed concern over Nigeria’s ability to meet her long-term debt repayment obligations.
Gbajabiamila, who stated this yesterday, while welcoming members back from their annual vacation, expressed discomfort that the spate of crude oil theft and other acts of economic sabotage have led to massive decline of government revenue. Giving assurance that though there are mechanisms in place to curb economic sabotage, the Speaker stressed that the measures in place are inadequate, noting that there is a need for a review.
Gbajabiamila again stressed that it is also of particular importance that the perpetrators of these crimes against the State are identified, prosecuted and subjected to the stiffest penalties the law allows.