Asue Ighodalo, chairman of policy think tank, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), has urged the National Assembly to expedite actions on the passage of the Companies and Allied Matters Act and other bills that would facilitate ease of doing business in the country.
The NESG chairman who lauded the efforts of the legislature in the passage of various economic bills remarked that both the upper and the lower chambers should focus on the passage of various outstanding bills that would open up the country for various forms of businesses and economic advancement.
He welcomed the passage of the National Transport bill but said the summit is worried that the National Assembly is yet to hasten the passage of bills that would encourage private sector investments.
Some of the bulls in reference are the Companies and Allied Matters Act Amendment Bill, National Road Funds Bill; Nigeria Building Bils; Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill; and the Coastal and Inland Cabotage Bill.
“We strongly urge the NASS, in the spirit of our partnership, to pass these bills,” he said.
The senate in May passed the Companies and Allied Matters Act but it is awaiting the Federal House of Representatives to complete its own part of the legislative work for concurrent approval before onward transmission to President Buhari for assent.
Ighodalo also urged the federal government to ensure that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan remains the great document that would chart the pathway for Nigeria’s shared economic prosperity.
“In April 2017, the federal government launched the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan, ERGP, that seeks to reposition Nigeria on the path of shared economic growth, by tackling macro-economic stability, leveraging the power of the private sector, promoting national cohesion, and social inclusion, building a globally competitive economy, and ensuring the rule of law,” he recalled.
On charting a sustainable economic growth, he said, “The summit recommends that the government should develop a transparent approach, and which must be holistic and harmonised across various ministries, departments and agencies of the governments.”
He suggested that, “We therefore urge that the implementation process continues unabated, in the run off to the general election in 2019.There is no better time to keep our eyes on the ball, because no matter the outcomes of the general elections, the economy must not be under threat.”
Further, he said, “We have seen 5 successive quarters of growth buoyed by modest improvements in key economic indicators.”
“Our foreign reserve also hit 5 year high of $48 billion, and we noticed that giant strides amidst CBN’s effort to maintain currency stability,” he observed.
These improvements, in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking, moved us 24 places from 169th to 145th place out of 189 countries in the global rankings, said Ighodalo, adding that NESG expects Nigeria’s rankings to improve much better with the expected 2018 ranking coming towards the end of October.”
According to him, “Despite these improvements, our country remains vulnerable on multiple fronts ranging from social, economic and political. These are underscored by negative trends in various social indicators.”
He pointed out further that, “Latest reports from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS-Unemployment rates rose from 35.2% Q4 20216 to 40% in #3 2017.
“This is depressing news for us and we are making efforts to ensure that 87 million people are moved out of poverty” he added further.
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