Senator Bukola Saraki has said that as Nigeria emerge from recession, the economic recovery must be felt on the individual level by all Nigerians.
He said there is the need to take a second look at the relationship between oil and Nigeria’s economy, noting that despite the economic recovery, Nigerian youths are still unemployed.
Saraki, speaking during the presentation of 2018 Budget Proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly, said made-in-Nigeria goods must also be anchored on in the process of implementation of the 2018 Budget.
“The implementation of the 2018 budget must anchor on the #MadeInNigeria project. This should be reflected in government procurements in 2018. We must see to the implementation of the Procurement law, with particular relevance to the part that has to do with support for #MadeInNigeria goods.’
“We must remember that the real gains must be felt on a personal level by the individual, for economic recovery to have meaning. People are seeking to get back to work but cannot find jobs.
“The question on the lips of many Nigerians has been, “How does the recovery translate into tangible economic benefits for me?” We must remember that the real gains must be felt on a personal level by the individual, for economic recovery to have a meaning,” he said.
Saraki also advised president Buhari to review projects signed with private sector service providers that do not favour Nigerians.
“There is the need to review agreements that government has signed with some private sector service providers. Many of these agreements are biased and clearly not in the interest of the country,” he said.
The Senate President said the government should continue to create the enabling environment for private sector businesses to thrive through its policies and spending priorities, adding that it would be in vain if bureaucracy is not eliminated.
“As we strive to start implementing the budget from January, all would be in vain if we do not eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and speed up the procurement process.’’
Saraki said the implementation of the 2018 Budget will be a defining element of this administration and therefore, all must together to steady the ship of Nigeria’s economic recovery.
“As the country gradually recovers, it is important to reset the fundamentals that drive our economy, so we do not slide back into recession.”
He also commended the efforts of the Buhari-led administration in tackling unemployment saying, immediate steps must be taken to make the 2018 budget an employment-oriented one.
“While I commend your current efforts at tackling unemployment – especially among the youth through Federal Youth Programmes such as #YouWin, #NPower, and YES-Programme deliberate steps must be taken to make the 2018 budget a jobs-oriented one.
“Looking around today, we see that many of our undergraduates are apprehensive about their graduation day; and our National Youth Corps members are not looking forward to the end of the service year, for fear of being tagged ‘unemployed’.”