The Senate will on Wednesday begins debate on ways to move the country out of the current economic recession. This was disclosed the Senate leader Ali Ndume while briefing journalists on programmes of the upper legislative chamber in the new session of the 8th Assembly on Tuesday.
The Senate leader said the National Assembly will debate on ways that can help the government to get out of the recession. He said the Senate support the executives in whatever way they can to ensure that the country move out of the economic recession.
“As National Assembly and Representative of the people, we have the responsibility to debate on what will help the government to get out of the economic recession. The Senate will support the executive in whatever way we can to help the government achieve this aim”, Ndume said.
He further stated that the economic recession is a blessing in disguise as it will help to diversify the country economy.
The Senate leader also welcomes contributions from Nigerians on ways to take the country out of the economic problem. He said at the end of the debate, the recommendation will be forward to the executive for implementation.
Earlier in his welcoming address, the Senate President Bukola Saraki, challenged the lawmaker to focus their debate on how to tame the widespread hunger in the land.
“Distinguished colleagues, the simple question for our debate must be; how do we tame the widespread hunger in the land, how do we save our businesses from collapse and how do we save jobs for the majority and create even a lot more”, Saraki said
He recalled that only a few months ago, the naira was exchanging to the dollar at 200 but it is now approaching 500.
“Only a few months ago, Naira was exchanging to the dollar at 200; today it is approaching 500. How do we arrest this drift so that our businesses can compete and our children can go to school wherever they may find opportunities? These and many more are questions in desperate need for answers. Unfortunately, the answers to all these questions are not easy.
But we must ask them all the same. Because these are the questions Nigerians are asking and, they need us to justify our leadership by providing answers to them”, Saraki added.
The Senate President further stated that Nigerians did not care about the political affiliation of the leaders but concern about the way out of the crisis and deliver on the promises that made to them.
Even as desperate as our people may be for solution, I did not feel that what they expect from us is a miracle. I believe what they want to see is that as leaders, all our hands are on the deck. They don’t care about our politics; they don’t care about our political affiliations; they don’t care if we are APC OR PDP; north or south. What they want is for us to lead the way out of this crisis and deliver on the promises that we made to them”, he said.
He said as parliament, they will work together with the Executive to get the economy out of recession and called on his colleagues not to hide under the cloak of partisan solidarity to abdicate their constitutional responsibility under the principles of checks and balances.
“As a parliament we are in this together with the Executive and the Judiciary, we cannot afford to fail Nigerians. My expectation is that by the time we are done with our debate we should make key actionable recommendations to the Executive on what this chamber sees as the way forward in the immediate, mid term and long term solutions to this economic situation. And as representatives of our people we must follow up through regular oversight and pressure on the Executive to ensure that they deliver on our recommendations. On our path however, we are ready to pass the legislative measures that will facilitate our quick exit from this recession.
“We will work in concert, not at cross-purposes. Our goal is clear; to work together with the Executive to get our economy out of recession. We will proffer our solutions on policy issues, and where necessary enact necessary legislation to ensure that investor confidence returns to the market.
“We shall not hide under the cloak of partisan solidarity to abdicate our constitutional responsibility under the principles of checks and balances. We shall make critical interventions whenever they become necessary and undertake emergency actions whenever they are required, within the confines of the constitution. The task at hand requires us to take tough decisions and do all that is necessary to dig our economy out of this recession. This imperative must take precedence over partisan loyalty. This is what the people expect of us and it is the only way we can continue to justify our presence here”, Saraki said.