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Oil price crash: Senate constitutes joint c’ttee to engage executive on insulating economy

Senate

Concerned by the price fluctuations in the global oil market, the Senate yesterday made a move to protect the nation’s economy from the negative trend.

To that effect, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan announced the constitution of a joint committee to engage the executive arm of government on measures to be taken to insulate the Nigerian economy against the impact of the sudden crash of crude oil prices.

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The announcement was consequent upon a point of order raised by the Senate Leader, Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North), during Tuesday plenary over rising concerns on the spread of the dreaded coronavirus (COVID – 19) disease which has led to the crash of several markets, including the oil market across the world.

Consequently, the joint committee duly constituted include the Senate Committees on Finance, National Planning, Appropriation and Petroleum (Upstream).

Sen. Abdullahi had earlier prevailed on the Senate in view of the price crash of crude oil “to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Our committees should be prepared, so that whatever happens, we hope this crisis does not last for long, but if it does, we have to be prepared.”

He said that the joint committee should come up with workable strategies that will be harmonized with those of the executive arm of government with a view to stemming the impact of the oil price crash on the economy.

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that “the issue of the current situation affecting the entire world and the second we are suffering from today is the crash in the price of crude.

“We passed the Fiscal Strategy Paper and MTEF, and subsequently, the budget on the benchmark price of $57 per barrel. Today, that price has crashed to $31 or thereabout and we don’t know where this will stop.

“And of course, the economy of our country depends rightly on the export of crude. Now, this is a real situation that is starring us in the face.

As a parliament, we need to be proactive and up-to-date with the situation, so that we are also able to take a decision when it matters for us to do so.

“Therefore, I will suggest here that in order for this Senate to be proactive and to protect whatever will be the situation for Nigeria to implement the budget in a way and manner that will positively affect the lives of our citizens that we form a joint committee.

“This joint committee will continue to engage with people in government as well as people outside of government, so as to be abreast with all necessary information.

“The committee will engage with the Federal Ministry of Finance and National Planning, and any other ministries that you feel you need to have engagement with for you to have information.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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