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Bill on Emergency Powers



The Nigerian Senate has officially received memo from President Muhammadu Buhari on emergency power to roll out an economic recovery package to save the country from the current economic recession.



The Brief has reliable gathered.
The President, in the bid to save the country’s dwindling economy had in August informed the Senate of the plan to seek emergency power from the National Assembly to save the economy from further recession.

The objectives of the action-plan on the economy, include raising the value of the naira, creation of more jobs, boosting of foreign reserves, reviving the manufacturing sector and improving power.

The bill titled “Emergency Economic Stabilisation Bill 2016” was based on recommendations from the economic team headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

A highly placed source told The Brief that from the memo sent by the President to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, two prominent emergency powers were requested from National Assembly of which one of them is the power to abridge the procurement process to support stimulus spending on critical sectors of the economy.

The Source said “So we have received a presidential memo on emergency powers. What is in it is requesting presidential fiat to do things the National Assembly has already approved. Such as the procurement act and extra spending” the source confirmed.

Other powers the President is seeking from the National Assembly are

. Power to make orders to favour local contractors/suppliers in contract awards;

. Power to abridge the process of sale or lease of government assets to generate revenue;

. Power to allow virement of budgetary allocation to projects that are urgent, without going back to the National Assembly.

. Amend certain laws, such as the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Act, so that states that cannot access their cash trapped in the accounts of the commission because they cannot meet the counterpart funding, can do so; and

. To embark on radical reforms in visa issuance at Nigeria’s consular offices and on arrival in the country and to compel some agencies of government like the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the National Agency for Foods Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others to improve on their turn around operation time for the benefit of business.

It was learnt that under the proposed new rule, physical entry into the country by foreign investors is to be made easier as Custom, Immigration, Department of State Services and all other government agencies at the airport would have their functions streamlined and carried out by a single official.

Also, the new legislation intends to amend is the Universal Basic Education Act (UBEC Act). Under the Act, state governments are to provide 50 per cent counterpart fund before they can access the fund for basic education.

The new legislation further seeks to reduce state’s counterpart fund to 10 percent. Many states currently facing challenges paying staff salaries, have not been able to provide the 50 per cent counterpart fund, a situation that has made over N58 billion idle at UBEC over the years.

Another aspect of the new bill is seeking to raise the mobilisation fee paid to contractors from 15 per cent to 50 per cent to enable them move to site immediately and carry out such contracts.

Credits: TheBreifNg.com

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