Buhari reveals greatest threat to Nigeria's fiscal viability


President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday revealed the greatest threat to Nigeria’s fiscal viability, while addressing the nation’s legislators.
The president, in his budget presentation to the National Assembly said revenue shortfalls remained the greatest threat to the nation’s fiscal viability.
He, however, said the government had therefore accelerated efforts towards ensuring that all taxable Nigerians declared income from all sources and pay taxes due to the appropriate authorities.
“We are also monitoring the internally generated revenues of MDAs to ensure they are appropriately accounted for and remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
“The 50 percent cost-to-income ratio in the Finance Act 2020 has significantly improved operating surplus remittances by Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs).
“I therefore solicit the continuing cooperation of the National Assembly in enforcing the legal provision and other prudential guidelines imposed on the GOEs during the consideration of the budget proposals of the GOEs,” he stated.
The president said he was happy to report that the revenue collection and expenditure management reforms his administration was implementing were yielding positive results, with recent significant improvements in non-oil revenue performance.
“However, while we continue to implement revenue administration reforms and improve our collection efficiency, we urgently need to find new ways of generating revenue.
“As we seek to grow our government revenues, we must also focus on the efficiency of utilization of our limited resources. Critical steps we are taking include immediate implementation of additional measures towards reducing the cost of governance and the discontinuation of fuel subsidy in 2023 as announced earlier.
“We are however mindful of the fact that reducing government spending too drastically can be socially destabilizing, and so will continue to implement programmes to support the more vulnerable segments of society,” he added.
Buhari also said petrol subsidy had been a recurring and controversial public policy issue in the country since the early eighties.
“However, its current fiscal impact has clearly shown that the policy is unsustainable. As a country, we must now confront this issue taking cognizance of the need to provide safety nets to cushion the attendant effects on some segments of society,” he said.
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