President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan has raised the alarm that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration was at the moment, facing very serious paucity of funds.
Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja while declaring open a-five-day interactive session organised by the Senator Olamilekan Adeola, All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos West led the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning Stakeholders on the details of the 2021 and 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) forwarded last month by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President of the Senate called for Public-Private Partnership, PPP to build critical infrastructure in the country.
According to Lawan, the dwindling scares resources in the country has made it “inevitable for Nigeria to continue to borrow to build critical infrastructure. The administration is facing Paucity of Funds, the time has come for PPP, this is inevitable, people in the private sector should come and invest; people can come and build our roads once the conditions are favourable.”
Lawan who noted that the government has shown the willingness as well as the capacity to build infrastructure stressed that finding the required resources has been a major challenge.
He said, “COVID-19 pandemic had negatively impacted on the Nigerian economy; crashing crude oil prices as low as $20 per barrel in the first quarter of 2020.”
According to him, with the projection that oil prices will remain low in 2020, there was the urgent need for Nigeria to open up new revenue sources, adding that the dwindling revenue sources have made it also inevitable for Nigeria to take another look at the prospects of Public-Private Partnership(PPP) and other models like the Build, Operate Transfer(BoT).
He said there is the urgent need for the legislature and the executive arms of government to work out proposals that will encourage Private Partnership to help build Nigeria’s infrastructure.
Speaking earlier, Co-Chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning, Senator Adeola said that the event will enable the Senate look at the MTEF/ FSP document very critically with regard to the benchmark exchange rate and revenue sources.