By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The senate has urged fiscal authorities to drastically reduce the accumulation of domestic debt in order to free the market for better access by the private sector.
The Upper Chamber urged the fiscal and monetary authorities to come together and harmonise fiscal and monetary policies with a view to drastically reduce the high interest rate that has affected the borrowing for investment by the real sector of the economy.
It also urged CBN to revert to its traditional core mandate and responsibility as the Banker of the Federal Government, supervisor of the Banker industry, stabilizer (guardian) of the National currency and as the institution in-charge of our monetary policy and its institution.
This was sequel to a motion on “Stabilising and sustaining post-recession growth of the economy sponsored by Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi (APC-Kebbi) at the yesterday plenary.
Yahaya noted that in 2016, it was officially declared that Nigeria’s economy had fallen into recession as a result of successive two quarters of negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
” This event forced members of the Senate into a two-day session during which a wide range debate on the economy was undertaken.
“The debate culminated in the National Assembly’s recommendation of a copious array of economic policy measures that were recommended to the executive arm of government for implementations.”
He further said that one year later, it had been officially confirmed that the economy had come out of recession following two quarters of positive growth .
Yahaya noted that Nigeria’s exit from recession was largely made possible by the relative peace and stability in the Niger Delta region that facilitated increased volume of oil production.
Other factors the lawmaker said included favourable international oil prices that rose from a dismal 30 dollars per barrel to above 54 dollars per barrel.
The lawmaker who congratulated the national economic policy makers and managers for the great achievement, urged them not to rest on their oars.
Contributing, Sen. Biodun Olujimi (PDP- Ekiti) said “We are really not out of recession because Nigerians are still hungry.”
She urged the Federal Government to ensure peace in the country as without peace, the country would not progress.
“We have not seen the blueprint of government. Without the blueprint from the government, we are not going anywhere. Government must look at all sectors of the economy to improve it.
“There is still much more to be done for the average Nigerian to be out of recession,” Olujimi said.
Similarly, Minority Leader, God’swill Akpabio said that Nigeria “was not totally out of recession to the point that we should relax.”
He said that government must continue to do what it had been doing in order to stimulate the economy.
Also speaking, Sen. Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi) said there was the need to build confidence in the citizens.
He said for the country to exit from recession, government must engage in massive production of goods and services.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki said the work was not done yet.
“We are just moving in the right direction, ” he said.
Saraki called on his colleagues to fast tract the passage of the Economic Bills before the Senate.
He urged the government to look at other alternatives instead of borrowing in order to grow the economy.