9 June 2016
Nigeria must “sit down’’ and discuss its economy in a pragmatic way, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce (PDP-Bayelsa East) said in Abuja on Thursday.
He was contributing to debate at a special plenary marking the first year of the 8th parliament.
“Eighteen thousand babies are born in Nigeria everyday, higher than the population of babies born in entire Europe put together; this is not taking account the number of children born by rape victims, so we must sit down and discuss seriously, the problem of population increase.
“It is also not right that about 75 per cent of the 2016 budget is to be spent on recurrent expenditure.
“If the entire population of civil servants are just 2.2 million people and we are spending 75 per cent of the national budget on this number of people. If you spend that percentage on payment of salaries and emoluments, how do we get money for capital projects in health, education and the other sectors”? he queried.
“I am troubled about the situation of the Nigerian economy. Everybody is complaining that the economy went down because oil prices went down. If the oil sector contributes only 15 per cent of the GDP, how can it affect the economy so much”? Murray-Bruce also queried.
Earlier, the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, had said government must abide by the Senate’s recommendation that 60 per cent of the 2016 budget be spent in the local economy to enhance the welfare of the people and take a good number of Nigerians away from poverty line.
He said the senate received 289 bill in the last one year, 285 of which were sponsored by members while four were bills from the executive arm of government.
“We are determined to pursue extensive engagement and consultation in the course of our legislative duties as Nigerians will judge our presence by our performance,” Saraki said.
Saraki also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for successfully battling Boko Haram terrorists.