By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—SENATE President, Bukola Saraki, disclosed yesterday that the National Assembly would host a round table session on the economy today.
According to Saraki, the inaugural National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable, NASSBER, would hold in Abuja with key stakeholders drawn from the executive, legislature and the private sector to seek workable solutions to the nation’s economic problems.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the session would deliberate on the recommendations of the Business Environment Legislation Review Report which was submitted by a team of experts on February 29.
He said: “As part of the activities leading up to the inaugural NASSBER, a Business Environment Legislative Review was conducted and the final peer-reviewed report was submitted to the National Assembly on February 29, 2016; which identified institutional, regulatory and legal instruments currently constraining and impeding business activity in Nigeria.”
The findings and recommendations of the Business Environment Legislative Review Report, according to him, “provides a framework for the assessment and improvement of legislation and policy affecting businesses in Nigeria and will direct the deliberations at the first NASSBER event.”
“The discussions will cover competition; doing business; infrastructure (Public-Private Partnerships, Rail, Maritime and Roads); finance and investment; intellectual property and e-business; and taxation, among others.’’
Saraki, who further explained that the aim of the NASSBER would be to ensure that the private sector played an active and effective role in the formulation of public policy, said: “The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable is a platform designed to ensure that through research and advocacy, the private sector, legislature and executive engage to promote relevant and sound public policy.
“The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable hopes to achieve a number of specific objectives, including: Legislative reform as it pertains to improving the business environment in Nigeria; Strengthening the foundation of the Nigerian Economy by ensuring smart and effective regulation.
“Increasing competitiveness and private sector investment; Opening and expanding markets through infrastructure development; and, Creating Engagement, Advocacy and Consultation across key stakeholders.”
He said the roundtable would play host to top government and business leaders, adding that the keynote addresses would be presented by him and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
He added that the roundtable event would be the first in a series of similar events aimed at driving forward the reforms in the national economy.
“The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER) is the platform that will lead to the engagement of the private sector, legislature and executive to promote relevant and sound public policy.
‘’Through research, the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable would convene to advocate and promote policies that strengthen the Nigerian economy and guarantee private sector investment,” the senate president said.