The senator representing the largest senatorial district in Nigeria, Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West, APC) has warned that the nation may slip into economic depression if urgent measures are not taken to get the nation out of the present economic recession that the nation is going through.
Contributing to the debate on the state of the economy during plenary on the floor of the Senate, the senator said “we need to ask the question if we are serious about exiting recession or preparing to go into depression” stressing that at this point that the economic team of the Federal Government should be presenting the Legislature with policies to get us out of recession, they are giving out contradictory monetary and fiscal policies as reflected in the disagreement between the CBN Governor and the Minister of Finance.
Senator Adeola who argued that hunger in the land is automatic with a minimum wage of N18, 000 at the exchange rate of a dollar to over N400 when the minimum wage was determined when dollar was about N150 adding policies should come out as palliatives to the downtrodden of Nigerians going through excruciating period.
The Senator supported the sale of some assets of the nation to raise finance, particularly those that are moribund like refineries and still consume resources of the country adding that this could be done with the option of a buy back in the future.
“Our economy should be private sector driven. As it is, it is predominantly public sector driven as reflected in the outcome of the TSA policy which is giving the banking sector major challenges and by extension the private sector. I suggest the CBN assist the banking sector in buying back some bad loans of the commercial banks so that the banks can be free to boost private sector financing” Senator Adeola argued.
He said for a long time we had paid lip service to diversification of our economy from its reliance on a single product stressing that the government should as a matter of urgency devote at least 1% of funds for oil exploration to other minerals like gold, copper and others that are in commercial quantities in Nigeria.
Senator Adeola called on the Senate to take its oversight responsibilities seriously as many MDAs of government that generate funds are not being properly monitored to ensure that they generate funds for government adding that much funds generated by these agencies goes unaccounted for.