Presidency confirms plans to request emergency powers from National Assembly
Posted by News Express | 23 August 2016 | 1,424 times
The Presidency late Monday, confirmed plans by the Nigeria’s Economic Management Team to request to seek for emergency powers from the National Assembly to enable President Muhammadu Buhari push polices that would revitalise the economy.
A terse statement from Office of the Vice President signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, confirmed the move but said the decision is yet to be passed to the President.
“The Economic Management Team has indeed been considering several policy options and measures to urgently reform and revitalise the economy. Some of these measures may well require legislative amendments and presidential orders that will enable the Executive arm of government move quickly in implementing the economic reform plans.
“As far as I know, this has not been passed on to the President, the Federal Executive Council or the Legislative arm of government. So at this point, there are no further details to share.”
Earlier, reports had disclosed plans by the Economic Management Team chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to seek emergency powers for the President. The team, it was gathered reviewed the various policies that has so far been introduced during the lifespan of administration and how they have affected the economy.
The economic team was said to have also gauge the mood of the polity and decided that unless there is an urgency which some of the extant laws may not permit, “the recession may be longer than expected and Nigerians will not get the desired respite, which is the goal of this government.”
The team had therefore proposed an executive bill titled “Emergency Economic Stabilisation Bill 2016” which is to be presented to the National Assembly when the Senate and the House of Representatives resumes from recess on September 12. The bill, it was gathered will be asking for the President to be given sweeping powers to set aside some extant laws and use executive orders to roll out an economic recovery packages within the next one year.
According to earlier reports in some Nigerian dailies, Buhari through the bill will be seeking for powers to: abridge the procurement process to support stimulus spending on critical sectors of the economy; make orders to favour local contractors/suppliers in contract awards; abridge the process of sale or lease of government assets to generate revenue; allow virement of budgetary allocation to projects that are urgent, without going back to the National Assembly; amend certain laws, such as the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Act, so that states that cannot access their cash trapped in the accounts of the commission because they cannot meet the counterpart funding, can do so; and to embark on radical reforms in visa issuance at Nigeria’s consular offices and on arrival in the country and to compel some agencies of government like the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the National Agency for Foods Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others to improve on their turn around operation time for the benefit of business. (BD)
•Source: BusinessDay Nigeria. Photo shows Vice President Osinbajo.