President Buhari will be seeking emergency powers (through a bill) from the National Assembly to push his planned stimulus for the economy.
The bill does not state whether the extra powers the president is seeking will be temporary or permanent.
In the bill, President Buhari wants the constitutionally approved laws to be set aside so he can perform.
Here is the bill in brief:
- Amend laws so that government can mobilize contractors with 50% of funds instead of 15% approved by the constitution.
- Amend the UBEC Act so that states that cannot access their cash trapped in the accounts of the commission because they cannot meet the counterpart funding, can do so;
- Abridge the procurement process to support stimulus spending on critical sectors of the economy.
- Make orders to favor local contractors/suppliers in contract awards.
- Consular offices to be able to grant visas to tourists within 48 hours.
- Abridge the process of sale or lease of government assets to generate revenue.
- Allow an administrative transfer of funds from one part of a budget to another without seeking approval from the National Assembly.
- To be able to control Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the National Agency for Foods Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others.
The President quickly accepted the offer to take on more powers when the idea was muted by vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the economic team.
Government sources said the economic team reviewed the various policies so far introduced and how they have affected the economy.
The economic team accepted the bitter truth the economy was in recession and it “May be longer than expected.”
According to the president, the bill will enable the president to boost naira’s value, create more jobs boost foreign reserves, improve power and revive the manufacturing sector.
Truth is: the president does not need to arrogate more powers to himself to accomplish these.
Previous presidents worked under the present constitution and bettered the lives of Nigerians.
Arrogating extra powers to an already powerful Aso Villa is tantamount to near dictatorship.