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National Assembly members return to Abuja amid insecurity, weak Naira, other issues

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Members of the National Assembly have returned to the Federal Capital Territory after a 30-day holiday.

Nigeria currently faces insecurity across the country with Plateau State being the centre of renewed killings. Meanwhile, the recent turbulence within the West African region, specifically the withdrawal of the trio of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, poses external security implications for the country.

On the economic front, the Naira is having a bearish run against major currencies as it currently trades at N1,450 against the dollar. This currency instability alongside other factors has contributed to high inflation. As they hold the first plenary session of the year, Nigerians are expecting some debates on these issues.

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Here are some of the issues waiting for the intervention of the National Assembly:

Insecurity

In the last few weeks, insecurity has once again dominated newspaper headlines across the country, notably in Plateau State, with the renewed ethnoreligious violence that has claimed many lives and displaced many from their homes.

In every other part of the country, armed robbery, kidnapping and other crimes have been on the increase, with constituencies of many of the lawmakers affected.

However, the intervention of the lawmakers may not elicit much optimism because in the last 10 years, hundreds of motions and resolutions from the two chambers have failed to deliver the needed reprieve from the wave of insecurity. Some months ago, the House of Representatives held a sectorial debate on insecurity, yet, killings and kidnapping persist.

Economy

The running inflation in Nigeria is causing severe economic hardship in homes, and despite promises by the Federal Government, Nigerians are yet to get the majority of the interventions, including the rollout of the CNG buses, N35,000 disbursement to civil servants and other promises by President Bola Tinubu.

Also, oil production remains very low, prompting the management of the Dangote Refinery to announce plans to import crude oil from the United States to meet production targets.

State Police and Constitution amendment

Akin Rotimi, the spokesperson of the House of Representatives, in a statement on Monday, said the lawmakers have four main issues to prioritize. They are security, constitution amendment, electoral reforms and legislative oversight.

DAILY POST reported how insecurity across the country is fueling the call for the creation of state police to tackle the menace.

Relocation of CBN departments, FAAN to Lagos

Another issue expected to be on the front burner for the lawmakers is the relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to Lagos State.

The northern Senate caucus has raised alarm over the move, warning of consequences.

The Northerners have also raised concern over what they described as a lopsided allocation of funds in the 2024 budget, calling on their representatives at the National Assembly to rise up against any move to undermine the Northern region.

The lawmakers adjourned the two chambers on 30 December after a special session where they passed the 2024 budget.

National Assembly members return to Abuja amid insecurity, weak Naira, other issues

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