Buhari sets up committee to raise revenue
President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted a Cabinet Committee to raise additional revenues from oil and other sectors to support the funding of the 2017 budget.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning , Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, made this known at the public presentation of the 2017 budget proposal in Abuja on Monday.
He stated that the report of the committee would be ready in time for the National Assembly to take into account while considering the budget, next year.
He said, “We should not allow ourselves to be discouraged by those who say we can’t find the money to fund the spending required to implement this budget.
“We must, and we can, find the resources.
“We will challenge our revenue generating agencies, particularly the FIRS and Customs to improve their efficiencies and broaden their reach so as to achieve the targets set for them in the 2017 budget.
“Indeed, a Cabinet Committee has been set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to come up with innovative and creative ways to raise additional revenues from the oil sector, and other sectors, to support the funding of the 2017 budget.
“The president is determined that we must find the resources; we must fund this budget; we must implement this budget; we must exist recession and we must move back on the path of growth.
“The report of that committee will be ready in time for the National Assembly to take this into account in considering the budget in the New Year, when they return from their Christmas recess.”
The minister revealed that government would issue new guidelines and templates for computing the operating surpluses of the various government agencies to achieve the targets set for independent revenues.
Udoma stated that government would continue to introduce creative measures to improve on the efficiency in the oil and gas sector so as to increase the government take.
He added, “Most importantly, we must maximize the revenues we can generate from the oil and gas sector.
“We cannot determine the price of crude oil but we can engage more extensively with the communities and people of the Niger Delta to minimise disruptions to oil production.”
On foreign exchange, the minister said the country must find ways of solving its foreign exchange shortages, noting that “95 per cent of foreign exchange comes from the oil sector’’.
He was optimistic that government’s efforts to improve the level of the oil sector receipts would certainly help.
“We must reduce the demand for foreign exchange by producing as much as possible of what we need in Nigeria.
“From refined petroleum products to textiles, clothing and most of our food items.