Private sector urges NASS to strengthen business institutions

The Organised Private Sector in Nigeria (OPSN) has urged the National Assembly to strengthen the capacity of business institutions in the country to enable them thrive.

The OPSN is made up of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

Others are the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Nigeria Association of Small-Scale Industries (NASSI) and Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME).

Mr Segun Kadir, Director General of MAN, said this while addressing newsmen on behalf of OPSN on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the economy is undergoing major macroeconomic changes, with the fallout of recent economic reform measures.

“We urge the National Assembly to focus on strengthening the capacity of the Executive Agencies to effectively carry out their functions.

“To also refrain from carrying out any activity that would constitute a burden or destabilise law abiding businesses in the form of duplicated audit/regulations,” he said.

Kadir, however, alleged that NASS’s ‘incessant investigative hearings’ would have negative economic consequences for the country.

He said: “The National Assembly does not have the constitutional backing to continually interfere in the affairs of private business owners.”

Kadir added that there were agencies under the executive arms saddled with such responsibilities.

He said: “The numerous forced travels of business chief executives to attend the investigative sessions constituted avoidable distractions, loss of manhour and erosion of confidence in the system.

“Members of organised businesses have been inundated with several letters of invitations and summons for different investigative hearings by various Committees and Ad-hoc Committees of the National Assembly.

“That is the Senate and House of Representatives, premised on section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

“This has been a notable challenge since the 7th National Assembly, from 2012,” he said.

Kadir said that recently, several letters were received by member-companies from the Ad-hoc Committee on Non-Remittance to the National Housing Fund and Utilisation of the Fund from 2011 to date.

He urged that the Ad-hoc Committee should investigate the compliance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government and corporate bodies with the Industrial Training Fund Act, amongst others.

Kadir said: “We appreciate the efforts of the National Assembly and its various Committees and Ad-hoc Committees to investigate and carry out oversight functions on Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.

“We are of the view that sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution, relied upon by the Committees of the National Assembly are not applicable to businesses in the private sector.

“Some of the implications will be the closure of companies in the country and loss of employment by Nigerians, loss of revenue through taxes and levies from the companies, unrest and increase in insecurity, among others.

“The action creates a duplication of the regulatory functions and activities of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.

According to him, the National Assembly has also assume the roles, functions and responsibilities of the MDAs and the executive arm of government.

He added: “We are convinced that this is not the legacy that the 10th National Assembly would like to leave.” (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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