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We’re broke and borrowing because past leaders wasted our resources – Lawan

SENATE President, Ahmad Lawan, has blamed past leaders for the country’s economic predicament.

Lawan, who addressed the Senators after the passage of the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), yesterday, said Nigerians are presently suffering because past governments failed to prioritise the provision of critical infrastructure in the country.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua (late), and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan are the country’s past civilian heads before President Buhari.

According to Lawan, these leaders (including the military dictators) wasted the country’s resources when they had enough money to provide the infrastructure.

He said: “When you don’t make hay while the sun shines, this is the kind of thing you face. When we had plenty of money we didn’t prioritise the construction of infrastructure in Nigeria.

“We wasted our resources when we had much. Today we realise we need to construct infrastructure because that is the only way to develop the country. Unfortunately, we don’t have the kind of resources we had before. Now our options are very limited because our revenues are limited.

“I agree with all my colleagues that said we have to reduce borrowing. The committee on Finance particularly has been doing a good job of ensuring that Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) particularly contribute to the national coffers than they normally do. And that is why we have more resources, more revenues in the independent revenue contribution.

“On the controversy trailing the Value Added Tax (VAT), let me advise that we shouldn’t confuse our system until there is a very clear-cut, definite judgment by the Supreme Court.

“We should go ahead with VAT as part of the resources available to us.”

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