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Friday, September 30, 2016
EXCLUSIVE: Buhari seeks Emergency Powers to Sell National Assets [TheCable]
The senate is now in possession of a memo on the proposed emergency powers bill from President Muhammadu Buhari — and an important component of the bill is to abridge the process of sale or lease of government assets to generate revenue.
The bill, which is intended to steer the country out of the economic recession, and is titled ‘Emergency Economic Stabilisation Bill 2016′, seeks to raise the value of the naira, create more jobs, boost the country’s foreign reserves, improve power supply and revive the manufacturing sector.
A source at the senate confirmed to TheCable that the upper chamber had received the memo, saying Buhari sought “to abridge the procurement process to support stimulus spending on critical sectors of the economy”.
According to the bill, the president is also seeking powers to make orders to favour local contractors/suppliers in contract awards, to abridge the process of sale or lease of government assets to generate revenue and to allow virement of budgetary allocation to projects that are urgent, without going back to the national assembly.
Other powers sought are powers to 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 also to embark on radical reforms in visa issuance at Nigeria’s consular offices and on arrival in the country.
Buhari is also seeking to compel some agencies of government, such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others to improve on their turnaround operation time for the benefit of business.
“We have received a presidential memo on emergency powers,” said the source. “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.”