The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has observed that diversion of funds by government agencies was largely responsible for Nigeria’s worsening debt portfolio.
Gbajabiamila, noted that the Federal Government resorted to borrowing to finance projects; because revenue generating agencies were diverting funds for trivial expenditure.
The Speaker made the disclosure while declaring open the dialogue session on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) organized by the House Committee on Finance Thursday, August 13, 2020.
The session had in attendance the Comptroller General of Customs, Hamid Ali; as well as Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Idris Ahmed, among others.
The Speaker, in his speech, criticized revenue generating agencies for alleged remittances failures; noting that there is a consistent failure to adhere to the revenue remittance agreements; to which many of them committed.
He blamed the agencies for making government resort to loans to finance infrastructural development warning that loans will not be sufficient to finance capital component of the budget.
“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.
“We recognise that we cannot accomplish these objectives using loans and outside financing alone.”
Gbajabiamila added that the House is “committed to using the appropriations process as a tool for accomplishing our nation’s most pressing development objectives. 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.”