Cheta Nwanze: Our National Assembly are mad

First, a disclaimer. This is a rant. It is not a superbly constructed whatever that you can reference in an academic discourse. I am pissed. I got more pissed when I saw pictures of some members of the House of Reps with scarves around their necks printed “Dogara”. I got most pissed when I read that our resident idiot on the floor of the Senate mounted another attack on MTN. During a recession. That was the tipping point for an anger that has been welling since I read that shit yesterday about a “14-point roadmap to turn around the economy” which was given by our slightly overpaid jesters.

On what planet does anyone who gets into a recession not only not get back to work immediately, but actually takes an extended holiday because of a religious festival? The action by the National Assembly, and Dino Melaye’s lunacy today not only firmly deliver the message home that Nigeria is not open for business, but that we are probably even permanently closed. Would the last person leaving Compound Nigeria please turn off the gen?

Let us look for a brief moment at the trash that our National Assembly is calling an agenda to end the recession.

The executive must immediately put in place leadership-level engagement platform with the private sector.

This one displays that these geezers are clearly living on another planet. I think the Executive arm of the FG have been more than negligent in their duties during the time that led up to the recession. I think that since the recession started, they have made more than a few missteps that have not helped. However, one cannot accuse the Executive arm of lack of effort. And that effort includes meeting various private sector players to put heads together on just how to get us the f**k out of this. That the NASS is calling for that is not only a display of utter cluelessness, but is also an insult to our sensibilities.

Government must raise capital from asset sales and other sources to shore up foreign reserves.

Ever since this idea was mooted, I called it bulls**t. We do not need to sell assets. Twelve years ago, Nigeria embarked on a round of privatisations of key national assets. Tell me which of them have been profitable since then? On the other hand, in earlier history, we saw the way to go. Rather than just stone NITEL as the BPE thing ended up doing with NEPA, ALSCON, Daily Times, et al, the government liberalised the telecoms sector. We are all living witnesses to the success of that move. You really want to change the conversation? Then do your fucking jobs and open up Nigeria’s environment to competition. Don’t just sell and create private monopolies which will be just as inefficient, give serious people a chance to set up their own from scratch and watch us reach for the sky. Sadly, this won’t happen because the National Assembly, all 400+ of them, do not understand their f***ing jobs.

Consider tweaking the pension funds policy within international best practice safeguards to accommodate investment in infrastructure and mortgages.

This one has me screaming. Ever since the DG of PENCOM announced last year that the money saved in various PFAs under the PRA had topped ₦5 trillion, so many political actors have reached for their cutlery. They can no longer think straight, they just want a piece of that pension pie. Amadioha fire all of una. Go and find the money somewhere else, I don’t want to have to f***ing queue under a tree in my old age. Ndi oshi!

The federal government and CBN must agree on a policy of monetary easing to stimulate the economy and harmonise monetary and fiscal policies until economic recovery is attained.

If you had been reading the papers, you’d have realised that they’ve actually been making such efforts, even though in my opinion, flawed. Not like you guys that are just sitting on your fat arses and expecting constituency money to land so you can go to Aminu Kano and pick up hos.

Let’s breeze through the rest jor, I have an important meeting in less than thirty minutes.

Re-tool its export promotion policy scheme with incentives such as the resumption of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG), and introduce export-financing initiatives.

Engage in meaningful dialogue with those aggrieved in the Niger Delta and avoid an escalation of the conflict in the region.

Consider the immediate release of funds to ensure the implementation of the budget for the near short term to inject money into the economy.

Similarly, the agricultural sector and agro-allied businesses should be directly supported to boost value addition and jobs creation.

While government works on the medium to long-term plans, immediate strategies must be devised that would ease the suffering of the ordinary people across the country.

The legislature and executive must co-operate to ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law as soon as possible to stimulate new investment and boost oil revenue.

Accelerate bills aimed at reforming the mortgage sub-sector for growth and accessibility in a manner that deepens people’s access to housing, jobs and economic activities.

Work on the National Development Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2015 which will provide long term cheaper source of funds to the private sector.

Quickly commence work on the amendment of the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Act (Amendment) Bill 2016; National Road Fund (Establishment, etc); National Transport Commission Act 2001; Warehouse Receipts Act Bill 2016; Review of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), Investment and Securities Act (ISA) and Customs and Excise Management Act; Federal Competition Bill 2016; and the National Road Authority. These bills and some of the other economic reform bills will be considered in the coming days.

Explore the possibility of backing certain key government policies with legislations that have time limitations. This will help give confidence to investors to go into certain areas of the economy and invest without the fear that such policies will suffer reversals and loss of investment.

This PIB own really got me mad. Can someone kindly explain to these geezers that the PIB is firmly on their table for them to work on and get it over and done with? And no, we need them to work on it in honesty and with the understanding that the days of uniformity are over even if many don’t see it yet. This “host communities” clause that was removed from the PIB renders the entire thing redundant, and this kind of rubbish applies to all of the things quoted above. A lot of the work mentioned is purely legislative, and telling us that they are part of a 14-point agenda is an abdication of responsibility, especially when today’s session at the National Assembly was full of a lot of motion and no movement.

For the record, for a Senate that is so concerned about the recession, the following Bills were discussed today — Quantity Surveyors Registration, Builder Registration, Town Planners Registration, SME Development Agency, UniAbuja Amendment. This after the whole “State of the Economy” plenary was adjourned to today, from yesterday. Are these people serious?

Finally, they resumed talking about the economy, and it was a show of total lack of concern. A Senator called Sola Adeyeye, who claims to be the Chief Whip, said, on the floor of the Senate, that it’s time to stop over-burdening the FG as ‘we can not kill the goose that lays the golden egg’. The fact that that statement originated from somewhere between his ears, was processed, and made it all the way to his mouth, shows the clear lack of understanding of what his jobs is.

What happened to pruning the Exclusive Legislative List? What happened to reducing their budget? Heck what happened to opening that budget for scrutiny? Why have they not asked about the current state of implementation of the 2016 Federal Budget that they passed?

Oh, to Senator Mustapha Bukar, the FG doesn’t need to restructure our laws, it’s your job. Get to it.


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

This article was first published HERE

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