House of Representatives has resolved to interface with Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and National Planning Commission (NPC) with a view to ascertaining the state of the nation’s economy.
The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Bede Eke (PDP-Imo). Speaker Yakubu Dogara mandated its Committee on Finance (when constituted) to invite the MDAs and report back within three weeks.
In his lead debate, Eke ex-pressed concern over conflicting pronouncements by past and present officials of government on the state of Nigeria’s economy and the negative impression and confusion the matter was creating both within and outside the country.
The lawmaker, who stressed the need to interface with the regulatory MDAs, said government functionaries must clarify issues on the allegations that the country was broke as well as the N804.7 billion approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to state governments.
In a related development, the House mandated its Committee on Privatization and Commercialization (when constituted) to investigate the delay over the implementation of the Supreme Court order which had stalled the revitalization and re-opening of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) and report back within two weeks.
The resolution was passed following the adoption of the motion sponsored by Francis Charles Uduyok (PDP-Akwa Ibom State).Uduyok in the motion had noted that the ALSCON which was established in 1997 was one of the largest Aluminium companies in Africa with great economic potentials for Nigeria.
According to him, the company was privatized by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) but had not been running for some time due to lingering litigation.
He said “the litigation ended on July 6, 2012 when the Supreme Court delivered judgment in the case in favour of BFIG, ordering the Bureau of Public Enterprises, which is the Secretariat of the National Council on Privatisation to prepare the company for handing over to BFIG, the rightful owner.”
Eke said that the conflicting reports and the consequent , Abuja confusion and uncertainty such reports had created about the true state of the nation’s economy were detrimental to the quest to attract investors to the country.
The lawmaker alleged that the BPE had refused to comply with the valid and subsisting judgement of the Supreme Court without any reason, adding that that had led to the company lying moribund with weeds over growing its prem-ises.
Uduyok claimed that the refusal to hand over the company to BFIG to commence production had led to loses of millions of naira in revenue to the country and of jobs, thereby leaving many Nigerians particularly the people of Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom State to wallow in economic hardship.