Says Nigeria in deep economic, social crisis
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Wednesday, kicked against the alleged shutdown of Federal Executive Council, FEC, National Assembly, NASS, over rampaging Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic in the country.
Speaking on the alleged shutdown of the executive and legislative arms of government with Vanguard via telephone chat, the Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, said the current situation demands both organs of government to be on ground working and meeting regularly to contain the spread of the virus instead of abandoning their responsibility.
According to Rafsanjani, what Nigerians are receiving from their government is hurriedly put together and not really addressing their situation.
He also accused President Muhammadu Buhari over appropriating and allocating N15 billion without approval of the National Assembly.
He said: “What we see is hurried process and it took the President two weeks after Nigerians have been calling him to address the nation and he took his time he came without changing hope.
“Federal Executive Council supposed to be meeting frequently to know the state of this situation but they have gone on holiday.
“Look at America, they have not shut down the government; the President and Congress are working day and night. The British Prime Minister and Parliament are working day and night to see how they can save their country, and how the budget is done.
“The National Assembly in Nigeria has gone on holiday. The government is announcing some money they have set aside, which about N15 billion, and they gave Lagos State N10 billion and N5 billion to Nigeria Centre Disease Control. Who appropriated and approved that money? This is where you known there is a problem in this country.
“The President cannot just wake up and allocate this money without the National Assembly’s approval. The National Assembly has decided to go on holiday in the midst of this crisis.
“So the National Assembly has created room for the President to do things without due process. The Parliament of Britain is still on, and what they are discussing is on palliative measures and to agree on the amount, the same thing with the United States Congress, and so why our own is upside down?”
Also the CISLAC boss asserted that the Nigerian economy and social services are in deep crisis and at the verge of collapse that sends a dangerous signal to the socio-economic lives of Nigerians.
He also added that Nigerians have lost hope and trust in government, because it does not fulfill promises and implement policies made which indicate serious problems.
“We are already in crisis. The economy is collapsing including social services, the trust between the people and government has been wharf out because they do not believe in government anymore, and once citizens lost confidence in their government that is a big problem.
“If we are talking about lockdown there are basic things the government do like food, portable drinking water, and power supply, access to health care services, testing kits, and other basic provisions.
“Prices of goods have skyrocketed and this is the time for the government to set up price control committee to stabilize prices of goods and services”, he added.