Enhancing Nigeria’s Economic Growth: Areas for Legislative Intervention

Okungbowa, Osaretin G. (2021-03)


The recent Report by the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that Nigeria has exited a two-quarter (Q2-2020 to Q3-2020) economic recession. At the end of Q4-2020, a positive economic growth at 0.11%, holds promise for a steady economic growth path. However, a steady economic growth could be hindered if certain macroeconomic issues are not addressed. Thus, the economy may revert to negative trend in the face of prevailing socio-economic headwinds such as persistent rising inflation (16.47%), spiraling unemployment(27.1%), shrinking fiscal space, burgeoning external debt($32 billion) exchange rate volatility(N380:1$) worsening insecurity, amongst others. Arising from the Analysis, the following recommendations have been advanced to strengthen sustainable economic growth in Nigeria. 1. Political will to address the worsening insecurity is highly imperative and critical to achieving sustainable growth in Nigeria. To this end, the relevant Senate and House Committees on National Security, Defence, Police affairs amongst others may engage with the relevant Security Agencies with a view to finding a lasting solution to the security challenges in the country. 2. On strengthening revenue accretion, the National Assembly through its oversight function by relevant Senate and House Committees, (e.g. Senate Committees on National Planning, Agriculture, Finance, etc and House Committees on Commerce, Planning and Population, etc,) may ensure that all revenue generating agencies leverage on innovative and technologically-driven strategy such as IPPIS, Remitta, etc for their collections. In addition to this, the National Assembly through its oversight function may ensure that cost of governance is optimized by rationalizing its spending. 3. The National Assembly through its oversight function on the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies may ensure that the N4.37 trillion budgetary allocation to capital expenditure in the 2021 Appropriation Act is implemented. 4. The National Assembly may assist in reducing the cost of governance through the rationalization of government agencies in line with the recommendation of the Presidential Committee on the Rationalization and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies (Oronsaye Committee) are key steps in the direction of reducing the cost of governance. To this end, the National Assembly may wish to work with the Executive to address the legal framework for the exercise as some of the laws establishing the agencies need to be repealed or amended