…Warns that crude oil theft may drive economy into coma

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday, expressed the willingness of the National Assembly to ensure transparent and credible elections next year at the polls.

Lawan made this known in his speech to welcome lawmakers back from the two-month recess.

According to him, 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 elections in 2023.

Speaking, the Senate President said, “Distinguished Colleagues, 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.”

Lawan, while underscoring the need for an improvement to the country’s revenue earnings, warned that unless prompt action is taken to stop crude oil theft, same may stagnate the economy and drive it into coma.

“Distinguished Colleagues, the Economy of our Country is still challenged. The Senate 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 loose 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 on the Security situation in the country and had two engagements with the Office of the National Security Adviser, Chief of Defense 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 disclosed that the meeting which held on the 5th of August and 12th September, 2022, was to ensure that the Nigeria’s defense 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 observed.

He added that the Senate would continue to engage defense and security agencies through its appropriate Committees, to ensure that the follow-up engagements are sustained.