Sunday Aborisade in Abuja
The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has directed the Senate Committee on Finance to embark on aggressive oversight of revenue generating agencies with a view to curbing revenue leakages in the country.
Akpabio specifically directed the panel to scrutinise the remittances of the agencies and government-owned enterprises and make sure that all revenues they generate are properly deposited in the federation account.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Sani Musa, disclosed this in a statement obtained by THISDAY in Abuja on Sunday.
The senator, who is representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said his panel was asked to ensure that all remittances are done in accordance with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
He said: “The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has given the Finance Committee a marching order to, as a matter of national concern and interest, embark on serious legislative oversight of all revenue generating agencies.
“This is with a view to making sure that all revenue income are deposited in the federation account.
“The Senate President asked us to identify defaulting agencies and prescribe sanctions where necessary in line with extant legislation and also in accordance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”
Sani, who pledged that his committee would carry out the directive of the Senate President with diligence and all sense of responsibility, noted that the country cannot afford to lose any revenue at the moment.
According to him, “The recent removal of fuel subsidy, which decision was the best, has added to the burden felt by many citizens.
“This has underscore the urgency for a comprehensive measure that would not only stabilise the economy, but will also ensure equitable access to basic necessities and opportunities for all segments of society.
“The country is faced with dual challenges of rising debt and insufficient revenue which demand our immediate attention.
“The Senate Finance Committee under my leadership commitment will be to embark on a mission to amplify our revenue streams.
“We will assist in driving economic growth that is not only robust but also resilient through legislative means.
“We will provide legislative platform to manage our debt judiciously and explore avenues for favourable terms and sustainable repayment simultaneously.”
The senator congratulated the Minister of Finance and Coordinating MInister for the Economy, Mr. Olawale Edun, on his appointment.
He said his position carries with it a profound responsibility for shaping Nigeria’s economic trajectory.
“In my capacity as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, I am very much aware and in the know of the economic and developmental challenges our country is going through.
“These include the escalating debt burden, low revenue profile and fiscal irresponsibility by some MDAs.
“In this pursuit, I pledge to lead the committee with diligence, innovation and a steadfast focus on securing our nation’s economic prosperity.
“It is a known fact that the Nigerian economy stands at a critical juncture, navigating through a complex web of economic challenges that necessitate strategic and informed policy responses.
“Stringent oversight of revenue agencies will be entrenched as our responsibility extends to overseeing the activities of revenue-generating agencies.
“Through rigorous oversight, we will ensure their transparency, accountability and efficiency, thus maximising revenue collection for national development,” he said.