Nigeria News
Senate flays low OPS participation in legislative matters
David Mark

David Mark

The Senate President, Senator David Mark, has decried the low participation of the Organised Private Sector, OPS, in legislative matters, especially on issues affecting the economy.

The OPS is made up of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, NACCIMA, Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists, NASSI, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA and National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, NASME.

Mark made this remark during a forum on Credible Democratic Transition and the economy organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI.

“Representation of the private sector at our public hearings is often very low both in terms of number and quality.The National Assembly needs to be guided by the private sector on the kind of policies that are necessary to improve private sector productivity and capacity to create jobs. I therefore invite you to be more active in promoting this partnership between the private sector and the legislature. Indeed it is our desire to encourage participatory democracy” he said.

He said there is need for the private sector to work closely with the National Assembly to ensure the creation of an enabling environment for businesses to continue to thrive and the current level of interest by the private sector in legislative activities is not encouraging.

Fielding questions on when the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed, he assured that the Bill would be passed before his exit as a Senate President.
Senator Mark said that the quick passage of the bill  will ensure a Win-Win position for the Nigerian economy and the oil firms.

He said the National Assembly fully appreciates that the role of government in an economy is to provide a conducive environment for the business to flourish but that government has no business in managing enterprises that the private sector is better equipped to run.

”Nigeria Airways, NITEL,M-TEL, NIPOST. The emphasis of government should be on the provision of public goods, social services, security and some vital infrastructure as well as the creation of quality and stable democratic institutions. In this regard, we are providing all necessary support to the executive to ensure continuity in policies and to maximize the delivery of democratic dividends to our people” he said.

According to him, the National Assembly’s priority now is to ensure further diversification of the economy and as a legislature; they are not comfortable with the current level of reliance on a mono-economy.

”It renders the economy vulnerable, fragile and in a world in which renewable sources of energy are ever more important, our reliance on a mono-economy is largely unsustainable. I am pleased to report that within the framework of the current transformation agenda, the bottlenecks to diversification have largely been addressed” he noted.

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