The Senate has been mandated to direct its Committee on National Planning and Trade and Investment to conduct a review of the past economic plans, with a view of ascertaining their shortcomings.
This was contained in a motion, “Sustainable Economic Growth” sponsored by Sen. Gershom Bassey and co-sponsored by Sen. Mohammed Sani Musa and Sen. Stella Adaeze Oduah.
The sponsors of the motion argued that the country has never been short in ideas and policies but failed on an implementable roadmap to achieve the set goal.
They argued that Nigeria being Africa’s largest economy with an estimated nominal GDP of $448 billion, as of 2019 is still dependent on mono- product- crude oil export.
The over reliance on crude oil they stressed, has deprived the country of other means of revenue sources, and as well stunted economic development.
The sponsors of the motion also expressed worries that Nigeria has not successfully implemented a long-term vertical and horizontal diversification strategy to propel it away from its commodity-dependent economy.
They added that the dependence on oil revenues has in most cases left the economy extremely susceptible to volatile commodity price fluctuations and suffering economic and human capital development.
Senator Bassey who presented the motion on the floor of the Senate Chamber therefore said, “Accordingly, this Senate resolves to: Mandate the Senate Committees on National Planning and Trade and Investment to: conduct an urgent review of previous Economic Plans to ascertain why these plans, policies and legislation have fallen short of ensuring real and sustained economic growth.
“Engage relevant industry experts to investigate the current challenges to optimum production and value addition in the relevant sectors; and
“To articulate a framework for an evidence-based and implementable roadmap to achieve value-added diversification and sustainable economic growth through future economic plans and subsequent budgetary considerations.”
He added, “Certain that the Nigerian government should re-evaluate its laws and policies to ensure that the government articulates realistic, innovative and sustainable diversification strategies, through the provision of attractive fiscal incentives, improved infrastructure and sound education.
“This will seek to ensure that international quality and technical minimum standards are met, to attract foreign investment and participation. It will also provide an enabling business environment and access to high-value local content, to leverage our highly entrepreneurial, increasingly tech-savvy and rapidly growing young population.
“Convinced that the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary should commit to short- mid- and long-term evidence-based economic expansion in existing and emerging sectors, with value-addition at the heart of legislation and policy implementation.
“With that in mind, fiscal and developmental policies as well as the adoption of technology and innovation across systems, should be prioritized to propel the nation towards the fourth industrial revolution and true economic growth”, he said.