President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that for the deficit in the country’s budget to be drastically reduced, concerted effort must be made by the Executive and Legislature to explore alternative sources of funding to reduce borrowing.
The Senate President explained that such sources of funding can come by way of Public-Private Partnerships on infrastructural projects, as well as compulsory remittances of generated revenues by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.
Lawan made this known on Thursday in a speech delivered during the presentation of the 2022 budget to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He, therefore, insisted that the policy of zero allocation for MDAs that fail to remit revenues for the 2022 Appropriation must be sustained for positive results to be achieved.
Lawan said, “Your Excellency, generating and collecting revenues have remained major challenges in our quest for development.
“The recent efforts by the National Assembly as well as the Executive to challenge the revenue generating agencies is a step in the right direction.
“Equally important is the recent position taken by the Legislature and the Executive to insist on zero allocation for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that fail to remit/upload their revenues for the 2022 Appropriation.
“This saw an increase in the contribution of the MDAs by over N400 Billion.
“It is my view that MDAs can contribute to the Federation account much more than that. This policy should be expanded and deepen to cover more MDAs.”
Speaking further, he said, “Mr President, the need to enhance revenue generation and collection cannot be overemphasized.
“The level of budget deficit is high, and both the Legislature and the Executive should work to reduce this deficit through the availability of more revenues.
“I must commend the Senate and House Committees on Finance and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning for working together to improve the level of revenues for the government.”
“Mr President, we understand that due to paucity of revenue, the Federal Government has to resort to raising funds from foreign and domestic sources to provide infrastructure across the country. That is why, the National Assembly approved the requests for borrowing.
“The Commitment of the Federal Government in providing infrastructure across the country means that the funds must be raised one way or the other.
“Government should also explore other sources of funding its projects in order to reduce borrowing”, the Senate President advised.
On the timely consideration of the 2022 budget, Lawan said that the Ninth Assembly remains committed to sustaining the January to December budget timeline hitherto reverted to after its inauguration.
He recalled that the early passage of the 2020 and 2021 budget helped Nigeria to deal with the economic recession it faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baring his thoughts on the security situation in the country, Lawan advocated for adequate funding of security agencies in the 2022 budget.
“Mr. President, the security of lives and property of Nigerians is still a challenge.
“The National Assembly is ever willing to work with the Executive arm of Government to continue to work for better security for our citizens.
“The recent changes in the leadership of the armed forces is a clear testimony of the collaboration between the Legislature and the Executive to overhaul the security architecture for better outcomes in our fight against the myriads of security challenges.
“Mr President, the recent passage of the supplementary budget 2021 that appropriated over eight hundred billion naira to our security agencies is a commendable step in the right direction.
“Federal Government should therefore continue to provide more resources to our security agencies to sustain the gains made so far.”
The Senate President assured that the National Assembly would pass the 2022 Appropriation Bill before the end of this year.
Senate Confirms Appointment Of Cardoso, Others As CBN Governor And Deputies
The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of Yemi Cardoso as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor and four others as Deputy Governors of the apex bank.
They were confirmed on Tuesday following a screening by the upper legislative body.
The deputy governors who were confirmed are Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello.
“The nomination of Olayemi Cardoso is hereby confirmed as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” Senate President Godswill Akpabio said.
Before their confirmation, the nominees had answered questions on matters related to economic and other policies.
During the screening, Cardoso promised to embrace compliance, assuring that under his leadership, the apex bank would remain apolitical.
“I believe that the Central Bank under our watch will have no choice but to embrace a culture of compliance,” he said.
“We will not wait for oversight to come and tell us what to do. We will ensure that by the time the system is passing through us, we catch it and we deal with it,” said Cardoso who promised zero tolerance for abuse of compliance.
“That is a cultural shift, a change in mindset, but we will make sure it happens,” the former Citibank Nigeria chairman assured.
Cardoso’s confirmation comes weeks after President Bola Tinubu nominated him as the acting CBN governor and four others as deputies.
He assumed office last week, replacing the then-acting governor of the CBN Folashodun Shonubi.
The recent appointments followed the suspension and resignation of Godwin Emefiele as the apex bank boss. The Delta-born began his reign in 2014 but got backlash owing to the naira redesign policy.
Emefiele, who was later arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) but released on bail, is being tried on an alleged N6.9b fraud.
Senate Screens CBN Governor, Deputies Today – Bamidele
The Senate will on Tuesday screen former Chairman of the Board of Citi Bank Nigeria, Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso for the position of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The senate will also screen four nominees for the positions of CBN Deputy Governors, who will join forces with Cardoso to steer affairs of the apex bank in the next five years.
In a statement by the Media Office of the Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, the senate will screen all the nominees following its resumption from its annual recess.
The statement said: “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will resume plenary on Tuesday, September 26. We will consider the screening of Dr. Cardoso at the Committee of the whole.
“Dr. Cardoso will be screened alongside four deputy governors namely Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.
“Besides, the Senate has scheduled to screen the ministerial nominees – Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim and Mr. Ayodele Olawande, respectively designated as Minister of Youth and Minister of State for Youth on October 3.”
On September 15, President Tinubu approved the nomination of Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He also approved the nomination of four deputy governors for a term of five years each at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
CBN Confirms Emefiele’s Resignation As Cardoso Assumes Office
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the resignation of Mr Godwin Emefiele as its governor, three months after being suspended from office by President Bola Tinubu.
Emefiele was thereafter quizzed by officials of the Department of State Service (DSS) who later charged him to court.
Following his suspension, the Federal Government appointed Mr Folashodun Shonubi, the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), to oversee the affairs of the apex bank.
In a statement by the Director of Information at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, the government said Emefiele’s suspension from office was due to an ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the economy’s financial sector.
However, on September 15, Tinubu nominated Olayemi Cardoso as the new CBN Governor, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate.
“President Bola Tinubu has approved the nomination of Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate,” presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said in a statement.
Corroborating this, the apex bank issued a statement on Friday, announcing the assumption of office by the acting governor.
The bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, said Cardoso will act as governor pending his confirmation by the parliament.
“Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso, recently nominated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has on Friday, September 22, 2023, formally assumed duty, in an acting capacity, as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), pending his confirmation by the Senate. This follows the resignation of Mr. Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” the statement said.
The bank also said that the “Deputy-Governors-Designate have also assumed duty, in acting capacities, sequel to the formal resignation of Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu, and Dr. Kingsley Obiora as Deputy Governors of the CBN.”
Cardoso was the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria. He is a distinguished leader in the financial and development sectors with over 30 years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit organisations.
With diverse corporate governance experience, Mr Cardoso has also sat on the boards of Nigerian subsidiaries of Texaco and Chevron and chaired the board of EFInA, a financial sector development organisation supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
He served in government as Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State, where he championed the financial reform process which led to the state’s development of independent tax revenues.
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