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Reps panel: Agencies under-declaring revenue — FG needs money to finance budget

Reps panel: Agencies under-declaring revenue — FG needs money to finance budget
December 08
18:52 2023

The house of representatives committee on appropriations says government-owned enterprises (GEOs) are under-declaring their revenue.

Abubakar Bichi, chairman of the committee, spoke on Friday at an interactive session with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on the 2024 budget proposal.

The lawmaker said agencies must step up their revenue generation because the federal government needs money to fund the budget.

“N27 trillion (2024 budget) may look big but with inflation and exchange rate — N27 trillion of today is almost the same as N20 trillion of one year ago,” he said.

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“We really have to discuss with the GEOs, all these Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and Nigerian National Petroleum (NNPC) Limited.

“This is why we called the minister of petroleum and NUPRC. We need them here. We need them here to shed more light on their declarations.

“The declaration — we feel like it is not enough. We need to sit down with GEOs, they need to come up with more money so that we can support the president.”

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“Amidst concerns to address the infrastructural gap in the country, eliminate poverty, and generally achieve the 8-point renewed hope agenda, there is a need to ensure that all loose ends to revenue are tied, as this can have a gross impact on the government’s ability to implement the 2024 Appropriation Bill when passed.”

The lawmakers summoned the ministry of finance, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), NNPC, NPA, NIMASA, ministry of petroleum resources, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for ignoring its invitation.

The committee turned back representatives of the CBN, customs, and FIRS, insisting the heads of the government agencies must appear on Monday.

Atiku Bagudu, minister of budget and national planning, who appeared before the committee, said the federal government was able to propose the same of N27 trillion as budget estimates because of economic reforms, including the removal of petrol subsidy and liberalisation of the foreign exchange market.

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