Nans Supports President Buhari’s "Emergency Economic Stabilization Bill 2016"
Law was made for man and not man for the law. If the law designed to help man maintain orderliness becomes a challenge to the development of man, it no longer fulfills its purpose but rather serves as a hindrance to rapid development of man and his immediate society.
Following the Global Economic trends, the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Bill 2016” seem to be a masterstroke breaking the itchy bone that had kept the Dignity, Strength and Fertility of the Federal Republic of Nigeria represented by the Horse, Eagle and Black Shield respectively in our Coat of Arms at a recess, hence, as we yearn for a rapid Economic Revolution in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which will in-turn, drive us out of recession into progression, we submit our solidarity to the wonderful output of the Economic Team led by the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo.
We are quite aware that the IMF amongst other Global Economic Analyst have predicted the looming recession on the economy of our Beloved Country if fast and rapid actions are not taken. The response of His Excellency, President Muhamadu Buhari is awesome following the inauguration of the “Economic Team”, which we have demanded in time past.
This action had birthed a bill which called for a quick review of the extant law which might not favour the expediency of Economic Recovery Process needed to save us from the looming economic Crisis.
The Bill, which request the following powers for the Presidency:
1) Abridging of the Procurement Process to support Stimulus Spending on critical Sector of the Economy:
This becomes necessary owing to the existing law on procurement, which prohibits the award of contract earlier than six (6) months of their decision. The six (6) months also includes a compulsory 6 weeks for the Advertisement of Contract. On a clear consideration, the need to alter this process becomes essential due to the current emergency status as following this processes, the current economic situation might persist longer than it ought to. We currently do not have time to waste 6 months between conception and acceptance of a project to the time it will be awarded for execution.
2) On award of such contract, the Contractors are being mobilized with a paltry sum as low as 15%. The percentage is quite too small and has a great effect on the delivery of jobs. The Presidency has suggested a mobilization of 50% of total Contract Sum which is a fair percentage for the quick delivery of any contract to meet up with our current Economic Demand.
3) Make Orders to favour Local Contractors in awarding of Contracts: Our Local Content is essential and needed to be protected in order to create more employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed populace, most especially graduates of tertiary institutions in the country. We cannot afford to zone our insufficient job opportunities to expatriates while our own populace remain unemployed.
4) Reduce the Protocols involved in the Sales/Lease of Government Asset:
From the revelation of the Economic Team, we have over nine (9) properties which can be sold/leased to generate $50Billion. This large sum can offer an unprecedented boost to our Foreign Reserve, which inturn strengthens the Naira against the Dollar in the Global Market. If Naira gains strength in the Global Market to a reasonable extent, other Economic Establishments which depends on exchange rate would have a fair chance to compete globally.
5) Amending the UBEC act to reduce State counterpart funding from 50% to 10%: It is evident that a lot of State still have challenges paying their staffs’ salaries. Requesting for a counterpart funding of 50% is outrageous and unrealistic for many states in today Nigeria. As a result of the act, the Economic Team revealed that over #58 Billion Naira are lying fallow within the coffers of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, because of the inability of the state to meet up with this requirement while the essence of the fund (i.e. Basic Education) rots due to poor/inadequate funding. The amendment of this bill will no doubt bring about a rapid improvement in Basic Education, while job opportunities for the teeming unemployed populace will equally be created from the contract Awards.
Specifically, we have a special interest on this act as it directly affects the welfare of Basic Education in the affected States and the country at large. The need to improve the present status of our Basic Education cannot be neglected at the mercies of “Counterpart Funding”
6) Embark on Radical Reforms in Visa Issuance at Nigeria Consula Offices and on arrival into the Country:
A very strong move to destroy the unnecessary protocols and delay at the issuance offices which sometimes arises from the negligence of duties by officials in these offices is a welcomed development. From the recommendation of the Economic Team, visa issuance should not exceed 48 Hours of application. This will further encourage Foreign Investors as protocols involved in getting visa would not add up to the challenges of Foreign Investment.
7) Compel agencies like NAFDAC, Corperate Affair Commission, CAC, to improve on their turn-around operation time for the benefit of businesses:
NANS has overtime frowned at the unnecessary delay experienced in getting CAC approval for businesses and products. This unnecessary procedures and delays are enough to kill the strive of an upcoming entrepreneur as it regards the registration of their businesses and products. A further improvement in the efficiency of these agencies would boost the economy by encouraging entrepreneur to explore more into the ideas they have without the fear of being termed “illegal”
NANS call on the National Assembly to take swift actions on this bill immediately they resume session on Monday, 12th of September, 2016 because it is towards the overall turn around and development of the rapidly recessing economy. While urging members to close rank as patriotic Nigerians and Statesmen, irrespective of political affiliation and get the bill passed into law for the overall interest of the country.
We also call on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Bill 2016” by sensitizing and fully explaining the positive implications of the bill to the Nigerian populace and discourage every jittery and apprehension of the intent of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In thesame vain, NANS call on Presidential aides, heads of parastatals and government officials not to hide under this bill to carry out activities outside the law, urging them to be patriotic more than ever for a greater Nigeria, while reinstating our commitment to a Restructured Nigeria that will birth True Federalism as the only panacea to the Nigeria of our dreams.
Obi C. Pedro,
NANS Zone B (South South and South East)