Bamidele maintained that members of the National Assembly are obligated to stem the Naira devaluation and promote economic stability.
The Leader of the Senate, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) has tasked lawmakers to draw up creative legislative frameworks and offer strong oversight support that would ensure the appreciation and stability of the Naira.
He also recommended regular meetings between lawmakers and all members of the Federal Executive Council as a measure to integrate the eight-point agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu with the programmes of the 10th National Assembly.
Bamidele gave the charge on Friday, at an ongoing retreat themed ‘Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms in Nigeria’ in Ikot-Ekpene.
The retreat, organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), is designed to build the capacity of the Senators to enact pro-people legislations that could promote enduring peace, guarantee sustainable development, and deepen peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
He said, “Both chambers of the National Assembly are under obligation to stem the recurring decimal of Naira devaluation and promote economic stability. This entails appropriate legislative framework and oversight support for the implementation of responsive fiscal and monetary policy measures.
“Henceforth, developing appropriate legislative frameworks is central to ensuring macroeconomic stability with a focus on managing inflation, addressing high-interest rates as well as foreign exchange deficit,” he added.
The leader also highlighted solutions to socio-economic challenges currently confronting the country, recommending an urgent review of the Land Use Act, 1979 to redress the current land tenure system and grant Nigerians more access to arable farmland nationwide.
He further noted that since most Nigerians, especially those in rural areas, were primarily farmers, enabling greater access to fertile lands would significantly boost agricultural production and ensure food security countrywide.
The lawmaker, who stressed the need to prioritise the Small Towns and Village Recovery and Development Bill in order to restore economic fairness to the rural communities in the scheme of national revenue allocations as well as the provision of rural infrastructure, equally explained that effective implementation of the poverty alleviation programme “is fundamental to promoting peace, harmony and sustainable democracy in Nigeria where over 70 percent of the nation’s population is reportedly living below the poverty line.
“To reduce the increasing inequality between the poor and rich, we urgently need to strengthen the National Directorate of Employment by amendment of relevant legislations that will create limitless opportunities for our teeming jobless populations.
We are also under obligations not just to overhaul our National Poverty Eradication Programme and National Economic Reform Plan, but also back them up with adequate funding to provide social safety nets for the poor and the vulnerable across the federation.”
Further, he bemoaned the alarming rate of corruption in the public space and warned the government to prepare for mass action from the downtrodden, which might manifest in the form of protests.
While he tasked the National Assembly to work out preventive measures to address corrupt practices rather than emphasising antidotes to cure them, Bamidele also challenged the federal government to discourage selective treatment, executive lawlessness, high-handedness, and political persecution of perceived enemies in the fight against corruption.