Sunday, February 28, 2016 6:33 pm
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has promised that the eighth Senate would work with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the policies and programmes of the administration aimed at reviving the economy are sustained on a long term basis.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja on Sunday, Saraki stated this when he received the national executive of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), led by its President, Professor Olugbenga Okunola.
The Senate President, according to the statement, said the senate was on a mission to ensure that the country harnesses her non-oil resources and achieve full diversification of the economy.
In his words: “For us in the 8th Senate we have said it that our focus is to continue to give support to those sectors of our economy that will provide employment, increase the earnings of government and the growth of the economy in general.
“And if you are talking about the growth of the economy, you have to give particular consideration to the mining sector. And what do we need to do to get that done? I want to assure you that the message I will like you to take away is that the 8th Senate is ready to give all the support in ensuring that we truly begin to harness the hitherto the unexplored and neglected potentials that we have.
“We have been talking about these potentials for a long time. It is time to talk about realising the potentials and translating them to economic power. how to bring. That is our own vision and mission.
“We have all seen the downside of being a mono-product economy. We are all suffering from it now. When you see what is happening to our revenues, our foreign exchange inflows and particularly what is happening to even the foreign exchange rate due to our over dependence on crude oil.
“The projections that it is going to be down for a couple of years means that any serious minded country needs to look at the options available. And some of the things we are seeing now is because there is a lot of speculation out there.
“A lot of the speculators believe that we don’t have the political will to see through some of the policies and programmes aimed at diversifying the economy and that is why you see a lot of them are betting against the Naira.
“That is why you see all of a sudden, the Naira is rebounding because they are beginning to see that it appears that this government is committed on its policy.
“I want to assure you that we are committed. The political will is there. We are very determined to see that we diversify. All these things you are talking about are well known to a lot of us.
“The frustration has een that we have not been able to see it through. I want to assure you that this Senate is committed to ensure that we support the executive in sustaining these long term polices. This is important and that is where we must start from,” Saraki said.
Earlier, Professor Gbenga Okunola, said the Society visited the Senate President to among others appreciate what the 8th Senate has been doing.
“We have been talking about diversification of the nation’s economy over the years….I think as a society, as professionals, this is what we have been clamouring for over the years that we are sitting on buried riches and that the government is now saying that they want to take this serious gladdens us.
“That is why we are here to appreciate this government for what they are doing and we are ready to offer our professional help – we are not talking in terms of financial reward – but this is one thing we want to offer our country,” he added.