Edwin Akwueh, Abuja
Nigerian Senate has commended President Buhari for his vision and commitment to entrench the culture of import substitution in the country, as reflected in the Appropriation Bill.
Senate spokesman, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye gave the commendation in an interview with Correspondent Edwin Akwueh, as he shares his thought on the budget proposal now being considered by the Lawmakers.
“One area that I am most impressed about this budget by Mr. President is that of import substitution. And if the government can sustain it for as long as ten to twenty years, that would be fantastic.
“Have you ever imagined what Nigeria’s economy would have been if all those factories that operated in the 60s, and 70s, up to the 80s, were still in existence before the structural adjustment programme led to their abandonment,” he quizzed.
He believes that Nigeria cannot continue to import goods or products of any type and at the same time expect to be economically viable to sustain it’s enormous population.
Senator Adeyeye also gave insight into the 2020 budget of National Assembly which is put at a hundred and twenty five billion naira, the same figure as that of the outgoing year 2019.
According to Senator Adeyeye, “The National Assembly has a lot of staff to take care of in both chambers. The number of committees is large too because of the volume of work. So, there is no way we can operate with a small budget.”
“The bulk of this money is spent on issues that promote legislative operations. Unfortunately, many people believe that legislators take the largest chunk of the money. Our salaries are open for public scrutiny,” Adeyeye said.
“The truth is: it is either we want to have a working and effective National Assembly that is properly funded or we do not. Running the system in the National Assembly is very expensive.”
Besides the running cost of the parliament, Senator Adeyeye also argues that other affiliate Agencies like the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, account for the so called huge budgetary allocation of the National Assembly.