Analysts urge Senate to pass 2017 budget, address plight of Nigerians

3rd Anniversary: 8th Senate passes 213 Bills
United Bank for Africa

Some public affairs analysts on Monday urged the Senate to be more sensitive to the plight of Nigerians by passing the 2017 budget and enact laws that would move the country forward.

The analysts spoke with Newsverge in Lagos against the backdrop of some current happenings in the National Assembly.

The analyst said that the Senate’s plan to suspend Sen. Ali Ndume over “unparliamentary’’ utterances was not as important as the plight of Nigerians.

According to them, the Senate’s call for the resignation of the Controller-General of Nigeria Customs Service over the issue of uniform is also not important.

The analysts said that investigating the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over N298 million SUV cars and Sen. Dino Malaye’s alleged certificate forgery should not be prioritised over more important issues like the passing of the 2017 budget.

Mr Onyekachi Ubani, a lawyer, said: “The Senate has abandoned the 2017 Budget which can address the challenges we are facing in the country.

“In the last two weeks, there has not been any session on the 2017 budget and issues that can address critical national issues.

“There is need to know what is of national importance and concentrate on them,’’ he said.

Another analyst, Mr Charles Ideho, said that the Senate was pursuing the “politics of vendetta’’ instead of focusing on issues affecting the country.

“There are issues of importance such as the customs duty policy and confirmation of EFCC chairman to strengthen the fight against corruption.

“Also, issues like how to recover and what to do with our recovered looted funds and even the passage of the 2017 budget that could get us out of recession have been pushed aside.

“Issues that will benefit the people should not be trivialised because Nigerians are suffering; we voted these people there to protect our interest, they should not be insensitive to our plight.’’

He said: “The only way for us to rescue this nation as a people is to put aside politics of regional sentiments and vote wisely.

“We can do this by giving our mandate to leaders who will turn around our country for good,’’ Ideho said.

Also, Mr Dotun Ojon, a youth development strategist, urged the Senate to make laws in line with the “change’’ vision of the incumbent administration.

“The happenings in the Senate do not show the sensitivity of the senators to the plight of Nigerians.

“Our economy is in recession, people are committing suicide, even Nigerians who are working, cannot feed their families.

“We need to rise up as a nation to act the change we want and stop dreaming it.

“Our Senators need to live up to their calling,’’ he said.

For Mr Akeem Otubela, the current happenings in the nation show that democracy is not working for Nigeria.

“Our democracy is no longer working for us; we should look at what obtains in other advanced countries.

“Democracy did not build countries such as Dubai, Saudi Arabia and China; these countries are doing well.

“I think we should restructure and go back to regional governments like we had in the past, then I believe we will experience peace of mind and growth as a nation,’’ Otubela said.