Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has bemoaned the worsening economic indices brought about by economic recession, which he said are indicative of the anguish which Nigerians are dealing with.
This is as he inaugurated the House of Representatives Tactical Committee on the Economic Recession with the mandate to interface with government ministries, agencies, and departments, as well as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Labour Congress, Civil societies organisations, and other relevant bodies.
Speaking at the inauguration yesterday, Dogara said the several policies formulated to tackle the recession would yield no results if not properly implemented.
“The double quarters of negative growth, high levels of inflation, worsening purchasing power of the naira and the increasing levels of unemployment are all strong indicators that all is not well. Today, some of our people can no longer afford to feed. Some school children are dropping out of school due to inability of parents to pay school fees. Transportation, power, healthcare are difficult for the ordinary citizen. There is general anguish on the faces of Nigerians due to poverty and hunger,” Dogara said.
The Speaker said Nigerians cannot however to lament, but to proffer and implement solutions to the challenges, which are well known.
“As a parliament, we are committed to ensuring that the sufferings experienced by ordinary Nigerians are alleviated. These challenges may appear too difficult to surmount but the good news is that they are surmountable. Other nations have surmounted greater economic challenges in the past and Nigeria’s case cannot be different,” the Speaker added.
The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Bode Ayorinde, said the recommendations of the committee would be implemented as they are being agreed on.
“If we have an interaction with the Central Bank of Nigeian (CBN) Governor for instance, on how to arrest the free fall of the naira, as we leave here, he starts implementation,” he said.
Fielding questions yesterday, Ayorinde said the National Assembly cannot be held responsible for the recession as it carried out its oversight functions effectively.
“It is not the responsibility of the House to execute the budget, but we can rub minds, and interface on how to tackle these negative tendencies,” he said.
He added that the committee would suggest short-term strategies to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians, and long term measures to help the country exit recession.