The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila says Nigeria needs to scale back on the cost of governance in the country.
He made the statement in a forum organized by the House of Representatives Committee yesterday on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) revenue considerations with revenue-generating agencies.
And doubling down, he stressed that with the country facing a fiscal crisis coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to reduce the cost of governance to free up revenue for infrastructure development.
Drilling down he said, “we need to impose deep cuts in the cost of governance and improve internal revenue generation and collection so that we can free up resources that can then be deployed to fund policy initiatives that will enhance the lives of our people. We have a responsibility to act with urgent determination to build the infrastructure of opportunity that is required to lift millions of our fellow citizens out of poverty.”
While restating that revenue-generating agencies have a role to place in helping the country increase its revenue base, he acknowledged the limitation of depending solely on loans and outside financing, saying there is a “consistent failure to adhere to the revenue remittance agreements to which many of these agencies have committed.”
He also commented on the improper utilization of government funds, “We have credible reports that these desperately needed funds have in many cases, been diverted to finance unnecessary trivialities. At the same time, the Government is left scrambling for alternative sources to fund priority projects.”
He called on the legislature as an important arm of government in democracy to ensure the country’s resources are used judiciously for the betterment of the masses.