Posted by News Express | 21 September 2022 | 249 times
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has raised the alarm that the massive crude oil theft in the oil-rich Niger Delta region is gradually pushing the nation’s economy into a coma.
Lawan stated this at the Senate plenary Tuesday while welcoming his colleagues back from their two-month annual recess.
He stressed the need for an improvement in the country’s revenue earnings.
He warned that unless prompt action was taken to stop crude oil theft, the development may stagnate the economy and drive it into a coma.
Lawan said: “The economy of our country is still challenged. The Senate is working with the House of Representatives and the Executive needs to continually seek for better responses to the economic situation.
“Generation and collection of revenues have remained major challenges. Also, the massive loss of revenue through oil theft is debilitating and threatening to throw the economy into a coma.
“Revelations about the scale of oil theft shows that until government takes decisive actions, Nigeria could soon lose any revenue from that sector. We must therefore work to ensure that everything is done to curtail this theft,” he said.
He recalled that the Senate during the recess showed serious concerns about the security situation in the country.
He recalled that the red chamber had two engagements with the National Security Adviser, Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Director General of Department of State Services, Director General of Nigerian Intelligence Agency and other heads of security agencies.
He added that the meeting, which held on the 5th of August and 12th September, 2022, was to ensure that Nigeria’s defence and security agencies improve on their operational strategies to secure citizens and indeed our country.
“From the assessment of the prevailing situation our security agencies are recording more successes and the situation seems to be improving,” he stated.
He noted that the Senate would continue to engage defence and security agencies through its appropriate committees, to ensure that the follow-up engagements are sustained.
On the 2023 general election, the Senate President expressed the willingness of the National Assembly to ensure transparent and credible elections next year at the polls.
He noted that the innovative amendment to the Electoral Act by the National Assembly has provided the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with the wherewithal to deliver on a successful general election in 2023.
According to Lawan, “The year 2023 is a momentous period for Nigeria, as elections will be held, across the country. Nigerians are expected to exercise their franchise.
“Therefore, the Senate, indeed the National Assembly will work with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure very successful, transparent and credible elections.
“We are ready to support INEC in all possible ways as a legislature. Already, the timely amendment of the Electoral Act 2022 has provided very important innovations in ensuring better electoral climate,” he emphasised. (THISDAY)
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