Federal Government can borrow but – Senate Leader

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Senate Leader Senator, Abdullahi Yahaya Abubakar, Kebbi North has revealed that the Federal Government has an expected income of about N8.36 trillion for the year 2021.He said these monies are projected to come from Customs Services, Federal Inland Revenue Services, Petroleum Sector and other taxes.

Senator Yahaya who spoke to journalists at his office, said that the Senate came about these figures following delibration between the Committees of Finance, Petroleum and works of both chambers of the Assembly. The Senate leader added that members of House of Representatives also came about with similar figures following their own independent findings and thereafter it was harmonised.

The Senator then revealed that despite the N8.36 trillion revenue expected by the Federal Government, over N3 trillion have already been earmarked for debt services for previous loans obtained.

“The Federal Government in addition to the N3 trillion debt servicing, is expected to spend over N10 trillion for construction of road, provision of critical infrastructures and payment of salaries .

“Thus the Federal Government is in deficit of over N14 trillion compared to the N8.36 trillion income , he said

Furthermore, the law maker explained that the over N3 trillion debt servicing is not as a result of the loans obtained by the Buhari administration but an accrual from debts obtained by previous administrations.

He Futher explained that it is imperative that the Federal Government obtains another loan of N4.7 trillion in order to offset the financial deficit .
The lawmaker nonetheless, warned that the Senate had agreed to approve that Federal Government should borrow but on the assurance that loans must be tied to capital projects such as roads, railway, waterways and others .

Senator Yahaya went on to explain that the executive arm of the government has already provided list of projects that the said loans would be tied to.
He added that the Federal Government would continue to service previous loans and get new loans .

On the Mambilla Hydro Electricity Power project, ” the engineers have done the survey and are about to commence the enumeration of what and what we should do. Nonetheless, work is in progress,” he added.

The Senator said solar energy is more tasking and would cost more than Hydro Electricity Power projects .
“We shall eventually commence the use of solar energy but we will need to be well prepared”,he explained.

On the contention between the Federal Government and State Governments over who collects the Value Added Tax, Adamu said he would prefer to allow the judiciary to determine who has the right to collect the tax but added that if care is not taken, it could lead each state imposing its kind of tax on citizens .

“I would therefore say we should exercise caution and restrain”, said the lawmaker.

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