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Ahmad Lawan harps on improvement of revenue generation

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Senate President, Ahmed Lawan on Thursday underscored the urgent need for the federal government to improve on revenue generation in order to deal with the debt burden and improve the economy.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) in its latest release said the total public debt stock of Nigeria comprises domestic debt of N26.92 trillion and external debt of N17.5 trillion, totaling N44.6 trillion.

The World Bank, in its recent International Debt Report, IDR, also said Nigeria spent $9.6 billion to service foreign debts in 12 years, from 2010 to 2021, adding that the nation’s debt stock was not reflected in the economy.

Lawan, who delivered an address to mark the celebration of his birthday in Abuja on Thursday, said most of the infrastructural developments in the country were facilitated through loans.

The Senate President harped on the need for the government to ensure strategic ways of improving and sustaining revenue generation.

Lawan said: “One other challenge is the lack of sufficient revenues for government to undertake its numerous laudable and noble national development projects across the country.

“Most of what we do in terms of national development is to borrow funds for us to execute those projects.

“I think we have to work hard to improve our revenue generation and collection because it is not looking too sustainable that we tolerate people and some agencies of government, to misapply or not even declare the revenues they collect. We can’t continue with that.

“So, for us in the Senate, we have decided that for the remaining part, we will continue to engage with our revenue-generating agencies until we get better outcomes from them. This is possible and has become imperative.

“Also, the concessions and waiver that the government has given, we need to review that. Now every kobo counts because we are in a very difficult situation.

“Where a waiver cannot be justified anymore because of our present circumstance, then such waiver should be reversed or renegotiated. But definitely, we need to work hard to improve the revenue generation and collection by the MDAs and other government agencies.”.

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