Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Friends in the Gap Advocacy Initiative, FGAI, has called on senators to hit the ground running and proffer solutions to the recession which the country is currently experiencing immediately they resume from their recess tomorrow.
The group in a statement signed by its Executive Director, George Orji, said they are glad to welcome members of the National Assembly back from their annual long vacation.
While the lawmakers were away, Nigeria progressed from being in technical recession to a full blown recession.
According to them, ‘’The federal government on its part has assured Nigerians that it is putting measures and policies in place to ensure that the country exits this unwholesome economic situation soonest.’’
Therefore, FGAI urged the lawmakers to promptly put together a blueprint of how to support government to exit this precarious economic situation in no time. This demand they said is premised on the fact that members of the National Assembly are not just critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, they are indeed an integral part of government. Among them are seasoned professionals with requisite training and expertise as financial experts, bankers, economists, accountants, lawyers, etc.
‘’It is our position that this emergency economic situation requires all hands to be on deck to achieve a positive result. The response of the lawmakers should be collaborative and not confrontational. On this critical economic situation, the executive and parliament must work in synergy and not at cross purpose. This is not a time to play to the gallery by engaging in all manners of summons. Indeed, if the executive must be summoned by the lawmakers, it is our position that such a parley should be for information-sharing on how to achieve deliverable results and not to answer queries. Summons in the past by the legislature as a strategy had yielded little results in problem solving. Lawmakers must refrain from actions that suggest that they are working at cross purpose with the federal government.
‘‘As a further mark of the seriousness of the economic challenges currently facing our country and in line with their constitutional responsibility of providing policy support to government, FGAI urges the lawmakers as they resume tomorrow, to promptly convene a one-day economic emergency retreat to articulate appropriate economic strategies; comprising short term, medium and long term approaches to tackle the difficulties imposed by this recession.
‘‘Again, it is our position that the current economic emergency situation demands joint and collaborative efforts of all tiers of government to overcome. It is not a time to apportion blames. The parliament in particular must seize this moment to its advantage. Lawmakers must act now to redeem its battered public perception. Having been away for a while now, all eyes are on them to see what they will do differently. If they act in a manner that their actions impact positively to redeem the economic recess challenges, they would have written their names in gold.’’


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