Femi Gbajabiamila , Speaker of the House of Representatives has raised an alarm over the continous divertion of revenue by government agencies.
The speaker who said this at the commencement of the dialogue session on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) organized by the committee on Finance, vowed that the House of Representatives will stop ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government who divert revenues they are supposed to remit to the Federation Account.
Gbajabiamila also accused these agencies of pushing the federal government into seeking loans to finance infrastructural development.
“All of us in the House of Representatives recognise that the challenges we now face will not abate in the medium term. Yet, we are 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.
“We recognise that we cannot accomplish these objectives using loans and outside financing alone. Therefore, 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.
“The revenue-generating agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria have a vital role to play in this regard. There has thus far been a consistent failure to adhere to the revenue remittance agreements to which many of these agencies have committed. 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 cannot afford this dynamic, and we will not tolerate it anymore.
"The legislature remains the keeper of the public purse, with broad constitutional authority to act on behalf of the Nigerian people, to ensure that our collective resources are efficiently administered in service of the public good. Let no one be in doubt, the House of Representatives will not hesitate to act on our constitutional authority notwithstanding whatever objections may arise.”