National Assembly moves to curb waste, leakage in Presidency, MDAs
• Experts Map Ways To End Economic Recession
The drifting economy and drive to get it back on track is the subject matter of legislative packages to be unveiled in the National Assembly next week.
The leadership of the two Houses had resolved to dedicate the entire second session, which ends June 2017, to exposing corruption and checking abuse, leakage and waste in the executive arm of government, to facilitate early exit from the current economic recession.
Meanwhile, experts have enjoined the Federal Government to collaborate with all stakeholders in order to salvage the economy.
The call was made in Lagos during the 35th Colloquium of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) at the weekend.
Tagged: Public Life and Reforming the Economy and Society, the convener, Professor of Political Economy and Management expert, Pat Utomi, regretted that Nigeria’s leadership did not carry the people along, even as investment banker, Adetilewa Adebanjo, urged the government to be inclusive, saying that with a clear vision, the masses would support the administration. The chairman, Phillips Consulting Group, Foluso Phillips, said the private sector “must be the drivers of our economy and government should learn to work with them.”
It was learnt that shortly before resumption of the two chambers of the National Assembly from their eight-week recess, key principal officers rose from a meeting in Abuja and resolved that to revive the economy, there was need to use their legislative powers to direct attention to priority areas.
The lawmakers, upon resumption, bought into the resolution because of series of reports about abuse in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
According to sources close to the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives, sectors that would attract the searchlight include oil and gas, communication, transportation, marine, and aviation. Others include health, agriculture, education and security.
The lawmakers will also embark on special investigation to find out how the 2016 budget has been implemented.
“We made huge provisions in the 2016 budget to take care of projects in the health, education and many other sectors. We are going to allow Nigerians to know through our oversight functions. Yes, we are in a recession but some money has come in through regular revenue sources, which ought to have been utilised for some of these projects. We will also let Nigerians know what happened to looted money, said to have been recovered. This is certainly going to be a very busy session for us in the National Assembly,” a lawmaker hinted
The Guardian also found out that the two Houses have already scheduled motions on problematic areas of the economy in their Notice Order Papers for debate.
The Senate has scheduled for debate, a motion seeking to investigate the deteriorating state of affairs in the aviation sector.
Sponsored by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East), the motion, which will be debated Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to intervene in the downturn affecting airline operators, with a view to granting them bailouts.
It also urged the Senate to mandate the Federal Ministry of Transport to commence rehabilitation of major highways and the rail system to serve as alternative to air transport.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.