By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE two chambers of the National Assembly have told President Muhammadu Buhari to engage in meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the aggrieved Niger Delta militants to avoid an escalation of the militancy in the region.
The House, in a motion by the Deputy House Leader, Buba Jibrin, concurred with the resolution of the Senate the government to ensure the protection of the nation’s oil and gas assets to facilitate increase in oil production and boost revenue therefrom.
The House, in the motion, also adopted the 25 point resolutions of the Senate Adhoc Committee on the ‘state of economy’ on September 27, 2016.
The House in concurring with Senate resolutions said: “Government must engage in meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the aggrieved Niger Delta militants to avoid an escalation of the unrest in the region and ensure protection of our nation’s oil and gas assets to facilitate increase in oil production and boost revenue therefrom.
“To this end, we advise Mr. President to, as a matter of urgency, raise a team that should coordinate the government’s engagement with all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region and the team should include the elected representatives from the zone.”
According to the resolutions, the National Assembly urged the fiscal and monetary authorities to meet a view to “harmonising all policies that lower interest rates for genuine investors in the real sector as well as medium and small scale farmers and processors.
“In order to shore up our foreign reserves, government should explore every avenue to restore the oil production target of 2.2 million barrels per day. Peaceful means should be immediately crafted and adopted to stop the vandalisation of petroleum and gas assets in the Niger Delta region.
“In order to avoid flooding the market with excess liquidity, release of low interest funding under the stimulus package (Special Intervention Funds) should be calibrated, targeted and monitored in favour of specific industries and projects that add immediate value to the economy by way of job creation, cost reduction and import substitution.”