Fred Itua, Abuja
Members of the Senate committee on Finance have set an agenda to block revenue leakages in public finance as a way of consolidating funds for needed social and infrastructure development, as well as reducing deficit in yearly budget.
Disclosing this over the weekend during the inaugural meeting of the committee, its chairman, Solomon Adeola, said the frequent lamentation of “no fund, no fund” for needed capital projects in budget should be minimised if the panel does its proper oversight work on all revenues accruing to the government from all sources beyond crude oil.
“As the nation approaches its 59th independence anniversary, we as members of a committee of the Senate are challenged to do the right thing to ensure that the government gets all its revenue for needed capital projects. We want to move away from the frequent complaints of “no fund, no fund”.
“The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and many other government agencies generates huge sums of money, but in most cases, the funds are not applied according to the Constitution and the Fiscal Responsibility Act” the senator stated.
Adeola told his committee members that the task ahead requires invitation of all revenue generating agencies to know the trends in their revenue generating efforts for the government over the years as a way of charting new heights and correcting anomalies of leakages where present.
He added that there is a need to look into such revenue heads as the pre-shipment inspection and how it is applied among other revenue sources of government beyond crude oil and taxes.
The senator said the finances of Nigeria will improve significantly through blocking leakages and seeking new revenues sources. He said the senate committee will explore the possibility of an annual international Finance Lecture to be addressed by successful ministers of Finance both at home and abroad and other financial experts on current trends as a way of addressing the challenges of finance in Nigeria.