Five key sectors Senate seeks to reform in 2020

THE Ninth Assembly having resumed its plenary on Tuesday has highlighted five key sectors for reformation in 2020. 

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan welcomed the lawmakers from its annual recess, stating that the Senate had achieved a lot in 2019, but much more needs to be done in 2020.

“My distinguished colleagues, as we resume today, we should remember that though we did well previously, there is still so much work to be done,” Lawan said.

According to Lawan, the security situation in the country had deteriorated in recent times and its negative impact on the economy requires a quick solution, including safe guiding the lives and property of the citizenry as enshrined in the constitution.

The Senate President emphasised an urgent need for a “paradigm shift and reform of the architecture and structure of our security systems, saying, “the Senate will engage the executive arm of government to discuss the implementation of the recently launched National Security Strategy (NSS) 2019.

He also said citizen participation and collaboration in providing security is key.

He disclosed the pursuit of the Senate on the implementation of community policing which was necessitated by the major consensus of stakeholders for its implementation in the country.

“To this end, the police authorities will be invited to brief and update the Senate on the progress made so far,” Lawan said.

In the oil and gas sector, the Senate said the Petroleum Industry Bill, when passed, will encourage investments into the sector.

“The International Oil Companies (IOCs) have deferred investments in the industry largely due to two decades of fiscal uncertainties occasioned by various failed attempts to deliver the petroleum industry legislation that practically subsisted since 1967 and disputes associated with fiscal clarity of the 1993 Production Sharing Contracts.



    “It is, therefore, imperative to speedily deliver on the reforms in the oil and gas sector to spur economic growth and prosperity for our people,” Lawan said.

    He said when the petroleum industry governance and fiscal laws are delivered, economic uncertainties will be eliminated and a conducive environment for exploration and production of oil and gas will be emplaced.

    The Senate has also planned to execute a series of amendments in the country’s electoral processes and procedures that posed some real challenges to free, fair and credible elections in our previous elections.

    In that regard, Lawan noted that the National Assembly will liaise with stakeholders to ensure that any legislative intervention reflects the necessary step to reforming the electoral environment.

    Speaking on the situation of the power sector in the country, Lawan said the sector cannot function optimally and thrive under its current circumstances.

    He said the “anticipated outcome of improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of the privatization process had not been achieved and doesn’t look feasible”.

    He said: “We have to take all necessary steps to salvage this indispensable sector. The ensuing debate on the report of the Roundtable Discussions will no doubt reveal the actions that the Federal Government will need to take”.

    Establishing the relegation of the solid mineral sector since the discovery of oil, the senate reiterated the need for a holistic look into the challenges of the sector.

    Lawan noted that although there had been attempts to revamp this sector it is yet to make any meaningful contribution to our economy.

    “Today, the solid minerals sector accounts for only about 0.3 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product… Presently, about 80 per cent of mining operators fall into the category of artisanal and small-scale miners. This deserves our attention, to ensure inclusion, effective and efficient operations by those involved,” Lawan said.

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