THE Senate will back President Muhammadu Buhari on his economic policies and in tackling security challenges, Senator Uba Sani said on Sunday.

He hailed the inauguration of the “highly competent” Economic Advisory Council (EAC), saying it was a clear indication that the President was committed to building a virile economy.

Sani, who chairs the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, said Buhari has the lawmakers’ full support.

The senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District spoke with journalists in Abuja.

He praised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for extending the cashless policy on deposits.

On the need to grow the economy, Sani said: “The president has just passed a strong message that we need to reinvigorate our economy. We need to grow our economy because economic growth means an increase in real GDP.

“Increase in real GDP means there will be an increase in the value of national output/expenditure.

“The benefits of economic growth are huge; they include a higher average income, which enables consumers, especially the poor, to enjoy more goods and services and enjoy better standards of living; it also means that there will be lower unemployment.

“And with advanced output and positive economic growth, firms will employ more workers, creating more employment.

“It also helps to reduce government borrowing and increase tax revenues. With this, the government can spend more on public services, such as health, education, good roads and others.”

Sani said Ahmed Lawan-led Senate would fast-track the 2020 Appropriation Bill once received and pass it within two months.

“The perennial delay in passing the annual budgets in the past gave a wrong impression that the legislature was either ignorant of its responsibility or intentionally frustrating the efforts of the Executive. We need to change the wrong perception,” he said.

Early passage of the budget, he said, will promote growth and development and help the private sector to plan better.

Sani said: “At macro level, prompt passage of the budget suggests speedy implementation of capital projects. This is critical to the growth of the economy because it has impact on growing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The legislature and executive, though independent, must work harmoniously to address myriad challenges confronting our country. We must synergise to give our people a good budget and see to its prompt and effective implementation.”

The Senator has no problem with the cashless policy.

He said: “The cashless policy all over the world helps in reducing the inflow of illicit money.

“Its major goal is to curb corruption, counterfeiting of notes, black/parallel economy, money laundering, funding of acts of terrorism and tax evasion. These are some of the illicit activities of the economy that a cashless economy can curb.

“Electronic payments can also easily be tracked and no transactions will thus go unnoticed. And, if the government does notice fraudulent financial behaviour, it can block or freeze accounts – stopping the activity in its tracks.”

On insecurity, Sani said the Senate would work closely with President Buhari to address the challenges.

“Security and a sound legal system are critical for sustainable development. Our country has been confronting insecurity challenges of different dimensions. They have definitely taken a toll on our people and our economy.

“We pay a huge price in confronting our insecurity challenges. The huge financial resources we have spent in fighting crimes in the past few years would have helped bolster our social services.

“The Senate is committed and ever ready to support President Buhari in his current determination to strengthen security and the legal order, as well as addressing the socio-economic challenges confronting the country.”

He called for patience as the Federal Government addresses the challenges.

<<The Nation>>