National Assembly’ll focus on economy in 2017, says Saraki

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The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Friday said the National Assembly would in 2017 focus on the nation’s economy which is currently in recession.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki
Senate President, Bukola Saraki

He said since the economy has remained a major issue for the country, federal lawmakers would ensure that some of the pending economic bills are passed in the New Year.

Saraki spoke with State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari and joining him to observe the Jumat prayers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Describing 2017 as very important to Nigeria, Saraki said the National Assembly would continue to support the Executive arm of government to ensure that the right things are done.

He said, “As we have started in 2016, in 2017 our attention will be on the economy because that is really a major issue for us as a country.

“We want to see some of the economic bills put forward passed, to see that there is greater improvement in the process of the budget process in 2017 and to see that the government implements the budget early.

“Also, one of our pet projects is ‘Made in Nigeria’ products. We want to see that the government continues to support Nigerians in this area so that we can begin to see the cushioning of the difficult times Nigerians are going through.

“So next year is very important to us and I think on the part of the National Assembly, we will continue to give our support to ensure that the right things are done.”

Saraki also described the recent capture of the stronghold of the Boko Haram sect, Sambisa Forest, by the nation’s troops as a great achievement.

He said the development showed what could be achieved by the country when there was commitment and purposeful leadership.

“That was a great progress from where we are before. If you look at where we were a year and half ago, the challenges we had in that area for us to recapture the place, I think is a great feat.

“It shows what we can do as a country when we have the commitment, purpose and the leadership required to do that.

“As we have done that in the North-East, I believe the other issue before us is the fight against corruption, the economy, providing jobs, peace in the Niger Delta.”

Saraki also said Nigerians would see more bills being signed into law in the New Year.

He said, “There are many more bills to come and the President is also responding to it.

“You are going to see more of that in 2017, there are a lot of bills lined up.

“For us in the Senate for example, in the last session just this last three months, we did much more than what we did in the entire year. The National Assembly is settling down and as such you will see much more bill passed for the President to sign.”

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