By Adedayo Akinwale
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the federal government does not have the resources to deliver on development ambitions and the infrastructural projects it had committed to as a result of the economic downturn.
Gbajabiamila stated this on Monday at the opening of an investigative hearing by the House Joint Committee on Finance, Banking and Currency to identify and plug revenue leakages that cost the federal government in excess of $30 billion annually.
He lamented that the country is facing significant revenue challenges because of the global collapse in the price of crude oil, brought about by a severe and ongoing contraction in the global economy and the consequent reduction in demand for fossil fuels.
Gbajabiamila stated: “Here at home, we have not escaped the global economic downturn which means that even local tax receipts have fallen precipitously.
“The sum of all these, is that we do not have the resources we need to deliver on our development ambitions and the infrastructure projects we have committed to. Under these circumstances, it is unconscionable that we are still losing vast sums of money to avoidable leakages in the system.
“The House of Representatives has resolved to identify the sources of these leakages, and the systemic failures that have either created them, or caused them to persist.”
The Speaker noted that the House would follow on from that by taking necessary action to propose and implement solutions that would ensure that the country no longer loses these huge sums it desperately needs to build infrastructure and support enterprise that creates jobs for our people.
Gbajabiamila stressed that for the joint committee to deliver on the mandate of the House in this instance, there is need to work with the ministries, departments, and agencies of the government.
He said that this effort by the House is in fulfilment of its constitutional obligations, noting that the lower chamber intends to act always with integrity and diligence in the best interest of the nation.