The Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said that he will recommend immediate removal from office ministers and other presidential aides who fail to measure up to the Federal Government’s efforts to exit the country from economic recession.
Saraki also said that the upper chamber would invite, on resumption next week, all those involved in the management of the economy to tell Nigerians what steps they were taking to rescue the economy from recession.
This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu.
Olaniyonu said that Saraki spoke during an interactive Town Hall Meeting on Sunday tagged ‘#AskSaraki’.
The Town Hall Meeting was organized for constituents of his Kwara Central Senatorial district, as part of the activities to mark the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
Saraki said: “Those of us that you have elected into office are aware of the difficult economic situation in our country.
“We know we have to find a solution as fast as possible. We have no option.
“Once the Senate resumes, we will invite all those involved in the management of the economy to explain to the people what they are doing to solve the problem.
“Whoever among them does not measure up to expectation in his or her explanation, we will recommend that he should be removed.
“This is time for co-operation and exchange of ideas.”
Saraki gave account of his stewardship as both Senator representing Kwara Central District and the Chairman of the 8th National Assembly.
He emphasized that a concerted legislative and policy thrust from both the National Assembly and the executive arms was needed to bring Nigeria out of recession.
“As things stand, I understand your concerns and feel your pains about the economy.
“I assure you that we will work together to bring about legislative and policy solutions to address the lingering economic situation,” Saraki said.
Saraki answered questions from citizens and community leaders representing various interests in the state, primarily about the economic recession, unemployment rates, and his legislative stewardship throughout the 8th Assembly.
He highlighted his advocacy and lawmaking activities which have brought about the passage of bills like the Public Procurement Act amendment.
The amendment aimed at giving local producers and service providers first-option priority in government procurement process and the championing of the Made in Nigeria campaign.
Saraki also noted: “What we have done with your mandate at the National Assembly is to push for bills and initiatives that will put more money in your pockets.
“With the amendment of the Public Procurement Act, more entrepreneurs from Kwara and across the country will be able to participate in the government’s procurement process.
“And the ‘Made in Nigeria’ campaign will boost the internally generated revenues of both our state and the Federal government.”
The Senate President further insisted that a concerted approach of both the legislature and the executive is needed to combat the lingering economic crisis, while underscoring the importance of seeing obstacles like the recession as opportunities to focus inwards to achieve economic diversification and better fiscal management.
He said, “I assure you, when the National Assembly resumes, we will all work together to achieve legislative and policy solutions to the lingering economic situation.
“We understand that no one branch of government can solve this crisis alone.”
The Senate President explained that he understood the impact of the economic crisis in the lives of the people.
He also said that he would work with other people in government to find quick solution to the problem.
He, therefore, called for patience and understanding from the people.
He said the current situation calls for urgent and constant dialogue between the people in government and the electorate as nobody is happy with the current situation.
He said, “I appreciate our people.
“I empathize with you and I am genuinely concerned and disturbed about what our people are going through.
“The situation is grim enough for you to ignore our invitation to this event. Let it be known that I will never take your support for granted.
“We will not disappoint you. The growth of the economy is my major pre-occupation and that of the Senate.”
Saraki also advocated that teacher’s salaries should be made an item in the capital expenditure in the budget of states and Federal Governments to ensure its prompt payment to beneficiaries.
The statement said that Saraki reiterated that he has always said that teacher’s salaries are one of the priorities that must not be neglected.
It said that the Senate President explained that due to the importance of prompt payment of teacher’s salaries, governments at state and federal levels should consider making it a line item in the national and state budgets into capital expenditures.
He noted that that will ensure that education is always a matter of greatest importance and teacher’s salaries are always promptly paid.
It said that Saraki added that it is useless to put building of classrooms and provision of laboratory equipment in capital expenditure when the teachers who will teach students are not paid and therefore not happy.
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