Senate Finalises Work on Passage of Six Economic Recovery Bills

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Senate President Bukola Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki
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(Last Updated On: 2016-12-05)

Nahimat Adekoga

 

The Nigerian Senate on Sunday said that it will commence public hearing on six out of 11 bills aimed to reform and improve the country’s economy.

According to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the 11 bills were part of the economic strategy unveiled two months ago.

These he said was as part of the Senate’s contribution to assist President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to restore investor confidence and recover the Nigerian economy.

Saraki explained that the hearing is to allow adequate contribution from stakeholders in the sector which the bills affect will hold between Monday and Thursday.

He stated that on the first day, December 5, two bills, National Development Bank of Nigeria and Federal Roads Authority Acts, will be available for stakeholders to contribute their quota in the bills.

Saraki explained that the bill to reform National Development Bank of Nigeria would allow it to provide short, medium and long term financing to participating financial institutions for loans to small, medium and industrial enterprises in agro allied businesses, manufacturing, mining.

The senate president added that the bill on National Road Fund Act to fund the rehabilitation and maintenance of the national road system will also be heard.

On Federal Roads Authority Act, he stated that the bill is meant to ensure that the federal roads network were managed in order to reduce travel time with a view toward meeting the socio-economic demands of the country.

Saraki added that the bill on Customs and Excise Reform Act which seeks to reform the administration and management of the Customs Service for greater accountability and revenue generation will hold same day.

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He stated that on next day, Land and Marine Transport Committee will hold public hearing on the National Transport Commission Act, saying the legislation establishes a National Transport Commission as an effective, independent and impartial authority that would help sanitize the transport sector.

For the two days left, the senate president disclosed that the Committee on Upstream Petroleum will hold public hearings on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIB).

“This long awaited legislation will establish a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit driven petroleum entities that ensures value addition and the internationalization of the petroleum industry.

“Procedurally, legislation is referred to the committee with the appropriate jurisdiction for it to hold public hearing after the bill has passed the first and second reading during the Senate plenary session. Once the committee submits the public hearing report to the full Senate, the legislation is subject to a third reading or final passage by members sitting at plenary as a committee of whole,” Saraki added.

The senate president described the busy week awaiting the Senate as an important week that required the lawmakers to ensure Nigeria’s economic improve.

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“We have moved beyond partisanship and we have moved beyond rhetoric. We are now in the realm where we have really worked to deliver something meaningful to the people of Nigeria.”

The chairman Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, stated that the senate has been on a steady march to complete passage of the bills which forms the lawmakers’ economic growth package before the end of the year.

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“We have maintained all along that we would not rest until we did our part to end the recession, spur economic growth and bring relief to the people.”

“People should really pay attention to the work the Senate has produced. The economic crisis provided the opportunity to work for long overdue reforms in government administration and accountability. The Senate seized upon the opening and now the country is on the verge of truly benefitting from the work of the NASS”, he added.

 

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