The Senate on Tuesday indicated that it will develop a strategy of engagement with revenue generating agencies on how to make them achieve their targets and generate more revenues in 2022 to narrow the margins of borrowing by Government
This was coming against the backdrop of incessant resort to borrowing to finance National Budget that has almost become a reoccurring decimal in recent times under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration,
The president of the Senate Ahmed Lawan spoke at the floor of the Senate in his address at resumption of the upper legislative chamber after their Yuletide/ New year break
Lawan said they will ensure that the revenue generating drive of the agencies are boosted with a view to reducing borrowing for development of the much needed infrastructure.
“This is a major challenge for our development and we need to treat as such.”
“Distinguished Colleagues, as we all know the oversight of the implementation of the Budget is a critical function of the National Assembly.
“We must therefore strategize on effective oversight of the implementation of the 2022 Budget. This is going to be the last budget that would be fully implemented for 12 months in the life of the Ninth Senate. We therefore, need to supervise very closely.
“Distinguished Colleagues, funding of the 2022 Budget is predicated on significant borrowing. Our country is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
“We have to construct and provide infrastructure, in all parts of our country because infrastructure is needed for our nation to develop.
“However, we do not generate enough revenues to fund the provision of such infrastructure. Until more revenues are generated, the country has to borrow and also resort to other sources of funding our infrastructural development.
“But we cannot continue to borrow endlessly. It is imperative that we need to improve on the revenue to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio. At about 8% Revenue to GDP ratio, our country is basically at 50% of what is required of the revenue to GDP of 15% for it to support any significant economic development.”
Northern Senators’ Forum elated as ECOWAS lifts sanctions against Niger
The Northern Senators Forum has commended the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS for lifting the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic as a result of military takeover on 26th July, 2023.
In a statement issued by the forum’s spokesperson, Senator Suleiman A Kawu Sumaila, the forum indicated that the principled and empathetic decision is a prove of the organization’s commitment to regional solidarity, cooperation, and respect for human rights.
“We are pleased to see that ECOWAS has responded to the progressive requests made by us individually and collectively on the subject matter, and we commend their prudent and compassionate approach in addressing these critical issues.
“We understand that this action will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the people of Niger Republic, as well as ensuring the restoration of stability and economic prosperity in our region.
“We are particularly grateful that ECOWAS leaders have considered our pleas to restore electricity, open borders, and lift the sanctions on Niger Republic.”
Senator Kawu expressed the optimism that the measures will not only have crucial humanitarian implications, but also foster regional integration, trade, and cooperation.
He is of the firm believe that the step taken by ECOWAS will positively impact the lives of the people of Niger Republic and Nigeria and facilitate the restoration of trust and harmony among all member states.
“As representatives of the people and advocates for justice and democracy, we commend ECOWAS for their responsiveness and understanding of the immense challenges faced by our fellow West African nation.
“The Northern Senators Forum stands in solidarity with ECOWAS in restoring democracy and rule of law in Niger Republic and other west African countries, and we are committed to working to promote stability, peace, and socio-economic development throughout the region.
The Forum also urged the government of Niger Republic and its people to seize this opportunity by fasttracking the process of returning to democratic governance to build a stronger and more prosperous nation, harnessing their resilient spirit and unwavering determination.
Furthermore, the statement urged all regional stakeholders to continue engaging in dialogue and pursuing peaceful solutions to address any remaining concern, fostering a harmonious environment for progress and development.
The Northern Senators Forum expressed its deep appreciation to ECOWAS leaders especially President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria for their proactive and benevolent intervention in lifting the sanctions imposed on Niger Republic.
“We are confident that this decision will leave an indelible mark on the collective consciousness of all West African nations and serve as a shining example for resolving differences through dialogue and diplomacy.”
Tinubu requests Senate to confirm Cardoso, 11 others as chairman, members of MPC
President Bola Tinubu has urged the Senate to confirm the appointment of Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as chairman of the monetary policy committee (MPC).
The president also requested the red chamber to confirm four deputy governors of the bank to include; Mohammed Abdullahi, Bala Bello, Emem Usoro, and Philip Ikeazor as members of the committee.
Other members of the MPC appointed by Tinubu are Lamido Yuguda, director-general of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Jibia Shehu, permanent secretary of the ministry of finance; Murtala Sabo; Uche Wogu; Maureen Agu; Mustapha Akinwumi; and Bamidele Omo.
Tinubu’s request was contained in a letter which was read by Senate President Godswill Akpabio during plenary on Wednesday.
The President in his letter said the request is in line with section 12 of the CBN Act (2007).
“In accordance with the provisions of section 12 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act of 2007, I am pleased to present for confirmation by the senate, the appointments of the underlisted 12 persons as chair and members of the monetary policy committee (MPC) of the CBN.
“While hoping that the request will receive the expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept the distinguished Senate President, the assurance of my highest regards” the letetr read.
Akpabio then referred the request to the senate committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions for further legislative input. The committee is to report back in one week.
Relocation of CBN, FAAN to Lagos: Karimi tackles Ndume over attack on Tinubu
**Says he spoke for himself
The Senator representing Kogi-West, Sen. Sunday Karimi has called out the Senate chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume over his comments on the relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from Abuja, back to Lagos for which he urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to discontinue the move.
He said that the Senator’s position was “personal and does not in any way represent a position taken by the Senate.”
This was contained in a statement made available to news men in Abuja on Wednesday which was personally signed by the Senator Who is also the Chairman Senate Services Committee
Recall that Senator Ndume, in a Channels Television interview on Tuesday, had warned President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that there would be political consequences for his action, claiming that the President was being misled by a cartel of ‘Lagos Boys.’
Senator Karimi, a Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress Party, (APC) declared that it was not necessary for Ndume to be attaching ethnic or other sentiments to the relocation of the offices, which was done for cohesion and better delivery of services.
According to him, “Leaders need to avoid utterances that will heat up the polity and cause division and disaffection amongst the federating units of the country.
“For example, the headquarters of 96 per cent of all banks in Nigeria are in Lagos. The staff of the Banking and Supervision Department of the Central Bank often travel to Lagos to check their books at the headquarters. it will therefore save cost to have that directorate in Lagos.
“Also, Lagos remains the hub of aviation in Nigeria; for operational efficiency, it is better to have FAAN in Lagos.
“What is important to our people in the North and Nigerians as a whole is how decisions of government will affect their lives positively and put food on their table at cheaper prices.
“They are not bothered by any ethnic sentiments on the relocation of offices of federal ministries and agencies.
“Senator Ndume’s position is personal and doesn’t represent the position of the Nigerian Senate.”
He stated that the Northern senators forum had not taken an official formal decision on the issue, preferring the option of an investigation.
“During the forum’s last meeting, where the issue raised, the members urged caution on taking a hasty position, calling for a full investigation to be conducted before any intervention, including legal processes, would be explored.
“When this issue was raised for discussion on the platform of northern senators forum, the Chairman of the Forum, Sen. Abdul Ningi, cautioned on the need to exercise restraints. That no one should jump into conclusion or read political meanings into the decision.
“There is the need for a proper investigation before taking a position.
“I want to believe that our President, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will not act in any way to undermine any section of the country, the decision would have been made for the cohesiveness of units within such organisations”, one member stated.
While speaking during the interview, Ndume alleged that a group of powerful persons (Lagos boys) around the seat of government was responsible for the President’s decision, warning of consequences the President might not be able to reverse whenever they began to unfold.
According to him “Some of them think that they know better than everybody. But, they don’t know anything.
“When you don’t know Nigeria, you only know Lagos, then you start doing things as if Nigeria is Lagos. Lagos is in Nigeria. That’s a wrong decision.”
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