As the National Assembly resumes from a two-month vacation today, the Senate will, as a matter of urgency, debate the current economic situation in the country with the aim to proffer the way out to the Executive arm of government.
The debate, which will last for two days, will be led by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who will deliver what insiders described as a “major speech”, which will seek to analyse the economy at plenary.
LEADERSHIP gathered that after Saraki’s speech, the Senate will enter into an executive session where a team of economic experts will brief the lawmakers and as well paint the real picture of the state of the nation’s economy for them.
Armed with expert information, Senators will thereafter take the floor one after the other to share their thoughts on the way forward and out of the current economic mess.
LEADERSHIP further learnt that earlier, the Senate leadership and party caucuses in the Senate had met separately yesterday in order to prepare the ground for today’s debate on the economy as it won’t be characterised by politics.
“The debate will not go along party lines and there won’t be any blame game. Everyone is expected to speak out his or her mind on the way out of this mess, that is all,” a source said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Baba Kaka Garbai (APC, Borno), has also given insights into the Senate activities on its resumption this morning.
Garbai, in a briefing with journalists in his office yesterday, said deliberations on the economy will continue for the next two months even as he confirmed that the Senate was yet to receive any communication from the Executive on the speculated Economic Stabilisation Bill to reflate the economy.
“We have also seen that people are actually going through a lot of hardship because of the various problems we are undergoing as a result of the economic recession in the country.
“The discussions, particularly within the next two months in the Senate will be dominated by issues relating to economy, especially how to rescue the economy out of the recession we are currently facing. This will dominate this legislative session.”
“We have several items in our Order Paper for today but the discussion on the recession will dominate our today’s session. And most part of the entire legislative session will be geared towards deliberations on how to bail out the economy from the current recession.
“As far as I am concerned, the issue of the President requesting for emergency powers (on the economy) is speculative because we have not received any communication to that effect. I just read it the way you read it in the newspapers. So, I cannot go into it because officially, we don’t know anything about it,” Garbai said.
Recall that the Senate had on Thursday, July 21, 2016 proceeded on an annual recess in order for lawmakers to fraternise with their constituents while Saraki on his part had on penultimate Monday in Ilorin, Kwara state, indicated that the Senate will urgently address the biting economic recession.
Saraki had said that the time for identifying the cause of the economic recession and those responsible was over even as he disclosed that the Red Chamber will make “tough” recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.