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FG ignoring governors’ advice on economy, NGF must take action to prevent recession —Falana

  Femi Falana, human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has accused the federal government of ignoring the advice of the na...

 


Femi Falana, human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has accused the federal government of ignoring the advice of the national economic council (NEC) — which includes all governors — on better management of the economy.

 

He said this in a paper, titled ‘Good Governance or Misgovernance: The Contract Called Democracy’, which was delivered at the recent 50th anniversary interactive session of the Abeokuta Club.

 

Falana, who said the federal government has instead chosen to rely on foreign policies that have pushed Nigeria into poverty, added that governors must take action to prevent Nigeria from entering another recession.

 

“Notwithstanding the establishment of the NEC by the constitution, successive regimes have ignored its advice. They prefer to rely on the advice of the presidential economic council on the one hand and the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on the other. As a matter of fact, the Government has swallowed hook, line and sinker the neoliberal economic policies dictated by the Bretton Wood institutions,” he said.

 

 “Even though such policies have turned Nigeria into the headquarters of global poverty, the federal government has not plucked up the courage to abandon them in the interest of the national economy.

 

“I wish to submit without any fear of contradiction that the economic policies of the government are in conflict with section 16 (3)(d) of the Constitution, which provides that the State shall ensure that ‘suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens’.

 

“To guarantee adequate resources to meet the basic responsibilities of the government, the Constitution has prohibited the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of a few people or of a group.

 

 “It is crystal clear that the economy will soon enter into another recession due to unprecedented importation of fuel and other goods from western countries and China, grand corruption, dollarisation of the economy, and implementation of neoliberal economic policies the Nigerian economy.”

 

In his recommendations, Falana asked the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) to demand a review of the Petroleum Industry Act to ensure joint management of the natural resources of the nation.

 

He further advised the governors and local governments to push for joint management of the NNPC and other parastatals which were established with funds from the federation account.

 

The senior lawyer described as it as indisputable that the monetary policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the watch of Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, have “ruined the economy”.

 

 “In order to prevent another economic recession, both NGF and ALGON should demand for the immediate removal of the CBN Governor, Mr. Emefiele,” Falana said.

 

“The CBN should be run by professionals of integrity and supervised by a board constituted by the representatives of the federal, state and local governments.

 

“To achieve the objective the CBN Act should be amended to protect the interests of the states and local governments. In particular, the board of the CBN should be constituted by the accredited representatives of the three tiers of government.”

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