The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday inaugurated a committee to monitor government’s response to Nigeria’s lingering economic crisis.
Mr. Dogara said the Ad-Hoc Tactical Committee on Economic Recession was the outcome of a January 26 resolution of the House on the need to address the crisis that has left many Nigerians groaning for several months.
The Speaker said the committee will include six professionals who will interface with government agencies, labour unions and civic groups in the course of their activities.
The committee members who have “vast experience in economics and sundry issues will help in crafting enduring legislative tools to be deployed in helping policy makers and implementors adhere to timelines in their drive to exit recession and return Nigeria to sustainable economic growth and prosperity,” Mr. Dogara said in a prepared speech while inaugurating the panel in the House Tuesday morning.
Nigeria’s economy slipped into recession after contracting for two consecutive quarters in 2016.
Mr. Dogara opened the parliament in 2017 promising to “take no prisoners” in pulling the economic out of recession.
“My honourable colleagues, the economy must be our central focus in 2017,” Mr. Dogara said. “Measures to exit Nigeria out of recession must be the critical aspect of our legislative activities.”
Mr. Dogara and his colleagues in the National Assembly have been criticised for earmarking humongous salaries and allowances to themselves despite the country’s ailing economy.
Towards the end of last year, the members began taking delivery of Peugeot 508 saloon cars at N10 million per unit, a spending spree that drew criticism of insensitivity from the public.
But Mr. Dogara said the parliament will display more transparency, accountabilit
y and discipline in passing the 2017 budget, hinting at a possible breakaway from the controversy that marred the 2016 budget.
Full list of the committee members is expected to be released soon.