The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has challenged the Federal Government on the need to frontally tackle the burgeoning social, political and economic challenges in the country as a step towards improving the nation’s security and welfare of the people.
The civil society group in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, (Rafsanjani) on the state of the country bemoaned the current state of anomie in all facets of the country, particularly the lingering fuel scarcity, unemployment, insecurity of lives and property, among others.
Specifically, the group expressed its concern on the on-going endless fuel scarcity rocking the nation and crippling economic activities triggered by lack of sufficient reserve, the high level of youth unemployment now at 33.10 percent, backlog of unpaid salaries, epileptic power supply and the poor level of budget implementation of the 2017 budget.
The CISLAC boss called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency activate machinery for engaging the state governments and other relevant actors with the mandate of preferring and implementing plausible and proven long lasting solutions to the problems of insecurity in the country.
He harped on the need for the government to become more alert and sensitive to addressing not just the current threats and violence in Benue state, but across the entire country.
While condemning in totality the recent herders/farmers conflicts currently ongoing in certain parts of the country, the CSO also charged the government to ensure that all perpetrators of violence in the country, especially the Benue mayhem are made to face the full wrath of the law.
“We call on the Federal Government to not just caution, but also be seen to be neutral, unbiased and impartial in dealing with opinion leaders, religious leaders, other leaders of thought and the media at both at the Federal and community levels ensuring that provocative and inciting statements and comments which are mainly used in stirring violence and reprisals are at the initial instance nipped at their very roots”, Rafsanjani stated.
On the economic challenges, CISLAC advocated immediate and holistic action by relevant authority to address discrepancy in the issue of petroleum products pricing, including landing cost and cost of petroleum product must be expedited.
The group canvassed the overhaul of the nation’s budget making process to make it more open, transparent and result-oriented, including the option of the adoption of open budget, open data and open contracting, as committed to in our Open Government Partnership Action Plan.
Similarly, it urged the government to device constructive means and come up with policies that would turn around the economy and make it create opportunities for citizens and enhance their welfare.
It stated further: “We call on National Assembly to treat the 2018 budget with a sense of urgency. They should scrutinize it vigorously to eliminate all frivolous and wasteful allocations in the budget and expedite the process of passage to allow for implementation to commence as soon as possible
“The National Assembly should follow through with the confirmation of all outstanding executive appointments by carrying out constructive and objective scrutiny of appointees without prejudice and political sentiments or selfish interest. This is to ensure that institutions are able to function optimally.
“They should ensure effective oversight of the MDAs to avoid wastages, leakages, abuse of office and misuse of public funds for any purposes other than serving the interest of Nigerians”, CISLAC added.