Human Rights

Nigeria: Economy – Senate Worries, Summons Adeosun Today

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has decried the inability of the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, to appear before the Senate yesterday, saying she must do so today.

Adeosun was expected to brief the Senate yesterday on the monetary/fiscal policies adopted to salvage the economic situation in the country and the level of implementation of the 2016 budget.

But at the middle of yesterday’s plenary, the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, moved a motion for stepping down her appearance, saying that she was attending the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Seconding the motion, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, however, said: “I wonder why she did not remember that the FEC meeting would take place today (yesterday) when she assured the Senate on Tuesday of her appearance.”

It would be recalled that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Tuesday, further downgraded the growth projections of Nigeria’s economy to negative in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO).

The outlook projected that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would now grow at -1.8 percent from the 2.7 percent projected in April, 2016. The Fund said that the negative growth projection was necessary as the economy adjusted to foreign currency shortages as a result of lower oil receipts, low power generation and weak investor confidence.

With the new projection, Nigeria would now join the league of countries like Russia and Brazil who were already at negative growth due to facing similar challenges.

At the same time, rate of inflation climbed to 16.5 percent in June, the highest in the last 11 years.

Records indicated that many businesses suffered the effects of the FOREX scarcity with some closing.

In his remarks, the Senate president said that the comments made by the minority leader were apt

“The minister must unfailingly appear before us today (yesterday) or tomorrow (today) before we proceed on our long recess because the issue at stake centres on monetary and fiscal policies being adopted by the federal government to salvage the current economic situation,”Saraki said.

Source: Daily Trust.

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