The House also said the legislature should ensure that excess crude account was embedded in the constitution, while government intensified efforts to fight insecurity and insurgency in the country. The need to review the existing monetary policy in the country to develop sustainable lending rates was part of the resolution on the motion, entitled Urgent Need to Address the Economic Downturn in Nigeria, sponsored by Mukaila Kazim. Moving the motion during the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, Kazim said the review of the nation’s monetary policy was imperative to foster real sector growth and enhance economic development. According to him, there is need for the Federal Government to take urgent steps to resuscitate comatose government-owned industries in order to create employment, provide raw materials for local producers and preserve scarce foreign exchange. Kazim noted that the fall in crude oil prices from over $120 to about $45 dollars per barrel had impacted negatively on revenues available to finance expenditure. He said the current bank lending rate of 14 percent was discouraging to borrowers, especially the Medium, Small and Micro-Enterprises from making any meaningful economic growth. Contributing to the motion, Tajudeen Yusuf (PDP-Kogi), said there was need to reconcile dollar rates in the country, adding that restrictions on forex crippled the ability of manufacturers to pay for materials to boost local manufacturing. The Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, described the recession as a blessing in disguise, noting that it was time to look at the constitution on mineral resources placed on the exclusive list. Ogor lamented that the Federal Government also contributed to the woes in the country by de- marketing the country, branding citizens as rogues. He stressed that government should endeavour to market the country positively before the international community. He said: “We have been paying lip service to the concept of diversification. Our ministers came here, nobody was able to look at the challenges in line with the volume of mineral resources we have as a nation. “We have mineral resources in every part of the country but nobody is looking at them because there is lack of specialisation. I think the Federal Government has carried responsibility that it should not carry.’’ Ogor said there was need for the National Assembly to review the exclusive legislative list and devolve some of the powers to the states and local governments to address issues of diversification. He said the current economic crisis was man-made, adding that lack of clear cut policies dragged the country into recession. In his contribution, Mark Gbillah, APC, Benue, said the National Assembly had established a tradition where it always talked on topical issues in the country but noted that the executive paid lip service to decisions reached. “We should not sit down and allow a budget that is not sensitive to the plight of the people to be passed in the National Assembly. Nigerians have lost confidence in the Federal Government’s economic team,” he said. He also said the President and his economic team must, as a matter of urgency, come and address the representatives of the people so as to find a common ground to tackle the problems. Also contributing, Wale Oke said the country could get out of recession within a month, if it was determined, explaining that the recession was a result of inadequate revenue from the oil sector, which is the economic mainstay of the economy. Henry Nwawuba, who represents Mbaitolu/Ikeduru Federal Constituency of Imo State, said the country had been in recession since 2012, adding that what was needed was economic plan to come out of the recession. In his contribution, Haruna Goni (Yobe-APC) outlined the return to agriculture as mainstay of economy, review of land policies and lending rate to boost agriculture as a way out of the recession. He said: “There is also need for timely supply of agricultural materials like seeds, fertilizers and equipment, if diversification into agriculture will be actualized.
Recession: Reps tell CBN, FG to review fiscal policy – Vanguard News