President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the much anticipated emergency economic powers bill to the Senate, with a request to the upper legislative chamber to fast-track the sale and lease of national assets to generate revenue for government.
The bill, which is intended to steer the country out of the economic recession, and is titled ‘Emergency Economic Stabilisation Bill 2016′, seeks to raise the value of the naira, create more jobs, boost the country’s foreign reserves, improve power supply and revive the manufacturing sector.
The President is also seeking for powers to abridge the procurement process to support stimulus spending on critical sectors of the economy. He is also seeking powers to make orders to favour local contractors/suppliers in contract awards, to abridge the process of sale or lease of government assets to generate revenue and to allow virement of budgetary allocation to projects that are urgent, without going back to the national assembly.
Other powers sought are powers to 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 also to embark on radical reforms in visa issuance at Nigeria’s consular offices and on arrival in the country.
Buhari is also seeking to compel some agencies of government, such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the National Agency for Foods Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others to improve on their turnaround operation time for the benefit of business.