Senate President calls for inclusive economy

Hajia Sani, Ugo Okoro, Abuja

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has called for an inclusive economy where wealth is equitably distributed to every section of society.

He was speaking in Abuja at the First Chevening Alumni Leadership Summit, on Friday.

“At the 8th Senate, we saw very early on that the major challenge before us was the economy. We are convinced that the only economy that can serve Nigeria at this point in our history is that which is inclusive and is able to protect the weakest among us.

Our economy is in recession. For the first time in more than two decades, inflation is at a decade-high of close to 18%. Oil production is down and there is a severe foreign currency shortage; resulting in a slumping currency and subsequent job losses.

Our approach therefore is to create the legislative framework for inclusive economic prosperity to all our citizens. We believe that the kind of economy we must build as we face the grim prospect of a post-oil world; is that which is able to tap on the best of our human capital, the creative energy of our youth and the diverse resources of our land.”

Senator Saraki suggested that “as we continue to grapple with the challenge of how best to manage our natural resources, here yet is another dimension. We must urgently begin to develop a system that puts our human assets to best use. We must urgently begin to create a system that enables us to put our best brains and minds in positions that they can contribute effectively to the development of our country.

Institutional challenges

He, however, noted that as the country tried to embrace a new way of thinking, there were  institutional challenges.

“This is why one of the first legislative initiatives we undertook as early as 6 months from resumption of office was to review all the laws that have made it difficult for people to do business in our country and frustrated investors willing to come into our economy.

Among the first set of bills that have emerged from the review are the Public Procurement Act Amendment bill;  Custom and Excise Bill;  National Roads Fund Bill; National Development Bank Bill … Petroleum Industry Governance Bill. 40 of these bills have been passed in the Senate while 82 are nearing the end of their legislative cycle.”

He told his audience that the “8th Senate is confident that these bills, once passed into law, would lay a solid legislative and policy foundation for the broad-based reforms that are so urgently needed to set our country on the path of inclusive economic growth.”

The Chevening scholarship is awarded annually to exceptional individuals who have outstanding leadership potentials, to enable them pursue a one-year master’s degree programme in any university in the United Kingdom.