Senate summons Finance, Budget ministers

The Senate has summoned the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and her Budget and National Planning counterpart, Sen. Udo Udoma, to brief Nigerians on the state of the economy.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi, made this known when he briefed newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

Abdullahi said that the invitation of the ministers was to get assurances on measures being put in place to prop-up and continuously support the economy to forestall relapse to recession.

He recalled that it was on the floor of the Senate that Nigeria was declared to be technically in recession.

According to him, we had cause to discuss the issue of recession that came up last year.

“We are glad that we have at least exited recession by virtue of the 0.55 per cent marginal growth we have recorded.”

Abdullahi, however, said that there was need for managers of the economy to explain its state to citizens, especially with the issues of recession.

He urged the economy managers to step-up their jobs in order to consolidate current gains and avert any relapse to recession.

The Senate also on Tuesday urged the Ministry of Communication to provide broadband facilities to cover e-learning in schools in Nigeria.

It also called on the Federal Government to adopt the policy of education technology in promoting e-learning, especially at the basic education level.

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The Senate also mandated its committees on Basic and Secondary Education, TetFund, Tertiary Institutions and Communication to conduct public hearing on innovations in educational technology and report back in four weeks.

This followed a motion by Sen. Rose Oko (PDP-Cross River) at plenary.

Presenting the motion, Oko said that developments globally and in Nigeria particularly, had shown that oil alone could not propel Nigeria economically into world prominence.

She said that Nigeria, the largest economy in Sub-Sahara Africa, must capitalise on its huge human capital and employ recent innovations to improve skills of its workforce, including teachers and service sector workers.

”With the advent of the Internet and large number of users in Nigeria, education and skills development can now be delivered in smartphones, tablets and laptops.

”The decay in education in Nigeria arising from multiple factors is worrisome,’ ‘she said.

Lawmakers present at plenary supported the motion.

They said that it was time Nigeria keyed into e-learning in view of its relevance to national development.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said Nigeria had come a long way to be left behind in the use of technology.

He commended the sponsor of the motion, saying it would go a long way in improving educational standard in the country.

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