Senate seeks low interest regime, free medicare for depressed Nigerians

Nigeria’s senate president Bukola Saraki


Faults Malami’s absence at anti-corruption panel meeting

The Senate is working out solutions that will end the rising interest rates in the banking sector and return profit and viability to Nigerian enterprises.Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, disclosed this yesterday during a stakeholders’ roundtable to address the increasing interest rate in Nigeria.

He said the solution was needful if the country must build a virile private sector that will meet its developmental needs as a 25-30 per cent interest rate regime is a yoke too hard to bear for any real sector business.

Saraki further explained that the public hearing is an indication of the visions of the 8th Senate for a more sustainable interest rate regime, saying that economic issues are legislative priority.

However, Chairman, Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, said that the current regime of interest rate has continued to be a major burden on businesses​ in the country and therefore requires very urgent solution.

Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday resolved to ensure a free and accessible mental health care for the unhappy and depressed Nigerians under various stages of hardship.
It also urged the Ministry of Health both at the federal and state levels to embark on mental health sensitization and awareness campaign.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing the Lagos Central senatorial district, the sponsor, said the motion has become imperative following the economic difficulty, rising rate of crimes, suicides and suicide attempts in the country, which she said, ‘are sufficient to send anyone over the edge.’

She said Nigeria was ranked 78th happiest nation in the world and 4th in Africa in the 2017 World happiness report and in March this year, the report again rated Nigeria 95th happiest nation out of 155 countries.

Senator Shehu Sanni said the social problems are happening against the backdrop of turbulent politics, social and economic inequality in the country. He reminded governments at all levels of their obligation to perform their basic functions to include but not limited to ensuring the wellbeing of her citizens.

The Senate has also expressed disappointment about what it called unimpressive attitude of the Attorney–General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami, towards the anti- corruption war particularly in the area of collaboration with the National Assembly.

The upper legislative chamber’s anger against the AGF was expressed by its joint committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Anti Corruption and Financial Crimes during a public hearing on two critical bills meant for fortification of the anti- corruption war.

Trouble started for the AGF when an officer from his office, Mr. Anthony Odu Abah introduced himself as his representative and informed the committee that the AGF couldn’t attend the session on account of other pressing official engagements he had for the day.

Abah who went further to inform the committee that the AGF’s office had no written memorandum on its position on the two bills told them that an executive bill proposal combining the two would soon be forwarded to the National Assembly for legislation.Irked by the submission, the Committee Chairman, David Umaru, said his submission was unfair and unacceptable.



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