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Your country needs you – Saraki tells Nigerians in diaspora

Saraki made a passionate appeal to Nigerians in diaspora to help the country by contributing their skills meaningfully to growth & dev’t of the country.

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has made a passionate appeal to Nigerians in the Diaspora to come to the aid of the country by contributing their skills meaningfully to the growth and development of the country.

Saraki made the appeal on Tuesday at an interactive forum organized at his instance with the Nigerian community in Switzerland.

Saraki said that he believes Nigerians living abroad have the competence and skills to pull Nigeria out of current economic recession.

He urged them to begin to market the country and draw investment opportunities to the country.

“Inflow of investments has dried up. 

We can only increase the level by marketing our country. We cannot do so when we run down the country. Your country is your investment”, he said.

On what the National Assembly is doing to tackle the issue of economic recession, Saraki said the focus is to create a better enabling environment through effective legislations that would attract greater private sector participation.

He however wants his compatriots outside of Nigeria to contribute their own quota.

To revitalize the economy, he disclosed that the Senate had passed the Procurement Act aimed at encouraging the purchase of made-in-Nigeria goods, a move he believes would shore up the value of Nigeria’s currency, {Naira} against the Dollar.

Saraki told his audience that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed  to deliver on the promise of “change”, which he said is in three layers,  fight against corruption and security both of which he said Nigeria is winning.

The other is the issue of the economy which he admits is currently in bad shape but not beyond repair.

To have it fixed, Saraki said Nigeria cannot continue to make the same old mistakes that landed it where it is today.

He said the country must cut down on importation and increase local production while stressing the need for peace in Nigeria’s oil rich Niger-Delta region.

For some time, the activities of militants in the region have reduced Nigeria’s daily oil production almost by 50%, making budget implementation for 2016 difficult.

During the question and answer session, Saraki responded to issues of Health Care for all, National Identity card scheme, the state of Nigeria’s refineries which he said should either be sold or concessioned.

He also took questions on child rights in Nigeria and the need to allow wider participation of youths in politics, high interest rates which he said would reduce as soon as Naira regains its strength based on current fiscal and monetary policies being put in place. 

Other issue raised was whether or not it was necessary to establish a commission for Northeast bearing in mind that similar arrangement in the Niger Delta  has not stopped militancy in the region.

Perhaps the toughest question was the one that wants the Senate scrapped to reduce the cost of governance.

Saraki rejects the proposal, arguing that the debate was uncalled for given that the total budget of the National Assembly for 2016 is a little more than 1% of the National budget.

Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn N’alla rose to defend the senate arguing that scrapping it runs contrary to the thinking of framers of the constitution who thought it “wise” to give equal representation to all the states in the Senate which is composed of citizens of high calibre and maturity

Earlier, Senators Kabiru Gaya from Kano State and Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf gave a rundown of bills and motions passed in the last 15 months in both chambers of the National Assembly with the Deputy Speaker emphasising the need for Nigeria to quickly start looking away from oil.

Other lawmakers present were Senator Duro Faseyi from Ekiti North and Dino Melaye from Kogi West and Senator Bayero Nafada

Nigeria has a sizeable number of citizens living in Switzerland; mostly technocrats in major international co-operations.

Saraki believed it’s time such expertise is repatriated back home.‎

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