By Kauthar Anumba-Khaleel, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed the House’ commitment towards providing all needed legislative interventions and measures that will exit Nigeria permanently out of recession and return it to the path of economic growth and development.
Dogara who said this in his remarks at a summit on Legislative Framework for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development organised by the House of Representatives’ Adhoc Tactical Committee on Economic Recession in Abuja, observed that Nigerians have endured the economic downturn with grace as they try to dig their way out of a pit defined by unrelenting economic bleakness.
The Speaker maintained that in the face of the grim reality, no responsible and proactive Parliament or institution of democracy would fold its arms and look the other way as intense poverty and misery hold the knives out for the citizens.
He also argued that for citizens of democracy to defeat violence, they must first defeat extreme poverty stressing that Nigeria’s democracy cannot survive the 21st century, unless extreme poverty and violence are eliminated hence, the need to eliminate extreme poverty and expand economic opportunities for all Nigerians.
He said that the constitution of the adhoc committee on economic recession to amongst other things, monitor the various steps and policies of Government on the subject; interact with relevant stakeholders towards overcoming the challenges; and to help develop legislative responses to efforts by key actors designed to return our economy to the path of growth and stability, was part of efforts taken by the legislature to tackle the situation.
“It gladdens my heart that we are beginning to enjoy the fruits of those measures. In January 2017, President Muhammad Buhari GCFR, launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan targeted at improving agriculture, infrastructure, energy, transportation to serve as the needed foundation for industrialization and productivity,” he stated.
“For most of our families, the situation has been pathetic. They have endured the economic downturn with grace; suffering quietl y as they deal with recession by trying to dig their way out of a pit defined by unrelenting economic bleakness. The terminal date of a recession is usually no cheering news for families as the traumatic effects of a recession on families lasts far more than the duration of an economic downturn.”
“In the face of this grim reality, no responsible and proactive Parliament, indeed, no Institution of democracy should fold its hands and look the other way as intense poverty and misery hold the knives out for our citizens. Therefore, we have no alternative but to craft a viable legal framework upon which sustainable economic growth and progress can be built. We must reverse the nose-diving trend of the hope and opportunity curve of our dear country to stamp out the slide towards violence which is fast becoming the language of the despondent and hopeless”, Dogara said.
According to him, the fight against violence is the fight of the 21st Century. So many nations have lost their civilizations or have become failed states due to violence. Poverty and misery serve as fuel to violence. For citizens of democracy to defeat violence, they must first defeat extreme poverty. Our democracy cannot survive the 21st century, unless we eliminate extreme poverty and violence.
“Therefore, the most important work for democracy now is eliminating extreme poverty and expanding economic opportunities for all. This is a fight Government alone cannot win, in fact no Government has ever won this fight. It is the private sector that always wins the fight. Our citizens and indeed all democratic Institutions must stand up and be counted. For us in the Parliament, today’s event is expected to serve as our modest contribution to this noble fight for democracy and progress” he stated.
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