By Olugbenga Salami
Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday said that generation and collection of revenues have remained Nigeria’s major challenges as well as the massive loss of revenue through oil theft which is “debilitating and threatening to throw the economy into a coma.”
Lawan, while welcoming his colleagues from the long annual recess, lamented that “revelations about the scale of oil theft shows that, until the government takes decisive actions, Nigeria could soon lose any revenue from that sector.”
He, therefore, charged his colleagues to “ensure that everything is done to curtail this theft.”
According to him, the nation’s economy “is still challenged” and 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 and an economy that works for all citizens.
“In the next nine months, our attention and devotion should bring improvement to the current situations. This Senate is a Senate that will continue to work for all Nigerians at all times,” he said.
The Senate President announced 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.
“The ninth Senate has established the practice of processing the annual Appropriation Bill of each year between October and December. I commend distinguished Senators for this achievement and a legacy that has changed the annual budgetary cycle of the federal government,” he said.
The Senate President, however, reminded his colleagues that they have resumed continuing with the very good work they have done in the last three years.