President Muhammadu Buhari has written the National Assembly asking for emergency powers to push a stimulus package to help improve Nigeria’s economy.
Nigeria’s economy has taken a bashing with government earnings reduced as a result of falling oil prices and the activities of militants. Inflation has also risen to a whopping 16.5% as the minister of finance has grudgingly admitted that Nigeria is in a recession. The Naira has fallen against most of the world’s currencies as successive government policies have failed to restore investor confidence.
The Executive bill sent to the National Assembly titled; “Emergency Economic Stabilisation Bill 2016” is to be presented to the National Assembly when the Senate and the House of Representatives resume from vacation on September 12.
The President is asking to be given wide-ranging powers to set aside some extant laws and use executive orders to roll out an economic recovery package within the next one year.
Buhari will be seeking 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.