Senate Summons Buhari Over Economy Collapse
Nigerian parliament has summoned the president to explain the steps he is taking to save the economy, which is tottering on the brink of collapse following heavy dips in oil prices and devaluation of local currency.
The senate on Thursday passed a resolution demanding that Muhammadu Buhari appear before it in concurrence with an earlier resolution of the House of Representatives passed on Sept. 22.
“The Senate concurs with the report of the House of Representatives to invite the Nigerian President Buhari to address a joint session of the National Assembly to intimate it on plans to get the country out of the recession to enable the House take further legislative action,” it said in a statement.
It is unusual for the Nigerian parliament to summon the president, although it often invites ministers and bureaucracy heads.
Buhari has repeatedly incurred the wrath of the lawmakers; first with the ongoing corruption trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki, a member of Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress, which the parliamentarians claimed was an attempt to stifle their independence. In another suit, the government is also trying Saraki and deputy senate president for alleged forgery of the standing rule used in inaugurating the senate last year.
Besides, Buhari’s attempt to bring government expenditure under close scrutiny has angered lawmakers, who have refused to subject their spending to the so-called treasury single account, or the TSA.
Many Nigerians have condemned the lawmakers for their alleged support for graft.
Buhari is by law mandated to respond to the summons, but he could also delegate his finance minister to appear on his behalf, a step likely to anger legislators.
Nigeria entered recession in August after its Gross Domestic Product slipped consecutively across two quarters. Blaming corruption and impunity of the past as well as fall in the price of crude oil, the president acknowledged the hardship in the country during his independence day speech last weekend and said his administration was working to address the crisis.