Senator Samuel Anyawu, representing Imo East Senatorial District has described the Emergency powers bill being proposed by the executive as an attempt by some mischievous politicians to kill the institution of the National Assembly.
Anyawu, while speaking to newsmen yesterday, said that grating such proposal an approval would only go ahead to confer absolute powers on the president, a development which in turn, would enthrone full blown dictatorship.
According to the lawmaker who belongs to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, President Muhammadu Buhari, presently wields sufficient powers and does not require those associated with the functions and duties of the National Assembly to turn around the economic fortunes of the country.
He added that the President’s request amounts to an attempt to usurp the responsibility of the apex legislative body.
He said: Well, first I haven’t seen any bill to that effect, but let me say that I’m for any bill that will enhance the economy of the country. At the same time, any bill that will give absolute power to the president, which by the way he already has, because with the kind of democracy we practice in Nigeria, I believe he already wields enough powers to do what he is doing. So, he doesn’t need extra powers; extra powers to me would lead to dictatorship. I think we shouldn’t be talking about emergency powers for Mr. President.
“When you are talking of emergency powers, it means you are already taking the responsibilities and functions of the legislature, which of course I wouldn’t subscribe to, because what it means is that they want to kill this institution”.
Recall that the media was on Monday awash with reports of an impending move by the President to solicit emergency powers from the National Assembly, and contained in a bill entitled, “Emergency Economy Stabilisation Bill 2016”.
The bill which will be sent to the National Assembly by the president upon resumption from its annual recess, is seeking unfettered powers to set aside some extant laws and simultaneously be empowered to come up with an economic recovery initiative within the next one year.
Among others, the bill also seeks to empower Buhari to abridge the procurement process with a view to guaranteeing stimulus spending on critical sectors of the economy; make orders to favour local contractors/suppliers in contract awards; abridge the process of sale or lease of government assets to generate revenue; and allow virement of budgetary allocations to projects that are urgent, without recourse to the National Assembly.
The bill also seeks to amend laws such as the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Act, so that states that cannot access their cash trapped in the commission’s accounts as a result of their inability to meet the counterpart funding can do so.


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