Seek meaningful dialogue with militants to save oil assets

SENATE yesterday rejected recommendation seeking for sale of national assets to raise capital to shore up foreign reserves and by extension bail out the country from the current economic recession as earlier proposed by Senate President Bukola Saraki. The recommendation was contained in a report submitted by the six- man ad-hoc committee set up by the Senate last week for harmonisation of submissions made by senators during their general debate on the economic recession and possible way out. This was even as the Senate in line with recommendations to that effect called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency prepare an Economic Stimulus Bill containing all the fiscal stimulus packages, investments and incentives
designed to pull the country out of recession to the National Assembly for accelerated consideration and passage. The committee, in its recommendation on the proposed sale of national assets, said “being a sensitive issue should be approached from a commitment to protecting the common patrimony of Nigerians by preventing the assets from falling into the hands of sharks, assets strippers and cannibalises while also guarding against the fuelling of further inequities in the society and polity.” Other salient recommendations adopted by the Senate include urging the executive to ensure constant meeting of fiscal and monetary authorities for harmonisation of all policies, particularly lower interest rates for genuine investors in the real sector as well as medium and small-scale farmers and processors. It also recommended that the government must engage in meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the aggrieved Niger Delta militants to avoid escalation of the unrest in the region, and ensure protection of Nigeria’s oil and gas assets to facilitate increase in oil production and boost revenue therefrom. To this end, the recommendation added that the president should as a matter of urgency appoint a senior special assistant who should lead a team that coordinates the government’s engagement with all stakeholders in the region, specifying that the team should include senators from the zone. The upper chamber also adopted recommendation, urging the President to reconstitute the Board of Central Bank, CBN, and all other critical agencies in order that the operate in accordance with the enabling laws. To solve the age long problem associated with saving for the rainy day by the federal government, the Senate adopted recommendation seeking for amendment of section 162 of the constitution to make it possible for federal government to save money to that effect, etc.. In ensuring that the recommendations get to the President on time, the Senate also resolved that the report of all the 22-point recommendations should be personally delivered to the President by the Senate President. After adoption of the resolutions, the Senate Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye (APC Osun Central) rose through order 43 to emphasise that resolutions now adopted represents the Corporate Decision of the Senate as against individual submissions made by Senators last week, during the general debate.

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