Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
An advocacy group, Friends in the Gap Advocacy Initiative (FGAI), has warned the National Assembly against employing the tool of confrontation in its consideration of the current economic situation, saying doing so will be counter-productive.
The group, in a statement by its Executive Director, George Oji, said what is expected of the lawmakers as they resume tomorrow is a legislative blueprint capable of assisting the federal government in resolving the crisis and not engaging in unnecessary summons of government officials which it said would not yield any result.
Furthermore, Oji advised the National Assembly to immediately deploy the expertise of its members towards addressing the economic crisis and adequately co-operate with the federal government, pointing out that this is not the time to apportion blame but jointly pull resources together with the federal government with a view to nipping the matter in the bud.
“Therefore, FGAI calls on the lawmakers to promptly put together a blue print of how to support the government to exit this precarious economic situation in no time. This demand is premised on the fact that members of the National Assembly are not just critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, they are indeed, an integral part of the government. Among the lawmakers are seasoned professionals with requisite training and expertise as financial experts, bankers, economists, accountants, lawyers, et cet era.
“It is our position that this emergency economic situation requires all hands to be on deck to achieve positive result. The response of the lawmakers should be collaborative and not confrontational. On this critical economic situation, the executive and the parliament must work in synergy and not at cross-purposes. This is not a time of playing to the gallery by engaging in all manners of summons.
“Indeed, if the executive must be summoned by the lawmakers, it is our position that such a parley should be for information-sharing on how to achieve deliverable results and not to answer queries. Summons in the past by the legislature as a strategy had yielded little results in problems solving. The lawmakers must refrain from actions that suggest that they are working at cross purpose with the federal government.
“As further mark of the seriousness of the economic challenges currently facing our country, and in line with their constitutional responsibility of providing policy support to the government, FGAI urges the lawmakers as they resume yesterday, to promptly convene a one-day economic emergency retreat to articulate appropriate economic strategies; comprising short term, medium and long term approaches to tackle the difficulties imposed by this economic recess.
“Again, it is our position that the current economic emergency situation in the country demands joint and collaborative efforts of all the tiers of government to overcome. It is not a time to apportion blames. The parliament in particular must seize this moment to its advantage. The lawmakers must act now to redeem its battered public perception. Having been away for a while now, all eyes are on the lawmakers to see what they will do differently. If the lawmakers act in a manner that their actions impact positively to redeem the economic recess challenges, they would have written their names in gold,” the statement said.