Written by on January 18, 2022

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has expressed grievous concern over funding for Nigeria’s 2022 budget in the face of dwindling revenue especially as the shortfall will affect funding for critical infrastructure.

The President of the Senate expressed the concern in the welcome speech he delivered to his colleague as senators returned to work at the end of their 4 weeks Christmas and New Year holiday on Tuesday.

Lawan said as long as Nigeria is not generating enough revenue, the country will continue to find itself in a hard place, “between the devil and the deep blue sea”, regarding fundings for critical infrastructure.

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.

Lawan however warned that Nigeria should not continue to borrow endlessly; arguing that it has become imperative for the country to increase its revenue ratio if Nigeria hopes to achieve any meaningful development.

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.

Lawan however noted that as it stands, Nigeria has a little option not to continue to borrow.

Until more revenues are generated, the country has to borrow and also resort to other sources of funding our infrastructural development.

He said the Senate will continue to assist through legislative interventions for the revenue-generating agencies to achieve their revenue target.

The Senate will develop a strategy of engagement with revenue-generating agencies on how to make them achieve their targets and generate more revenues in 2022.

The Senate will ensure that we boost their revenue-generating drive with a view to reducing borrowing for the development of our much-needed infrastructure. This is a major challenge for our development and we need to treat it as such.

Editor: Paul Akhagbemhe

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