Confab adopts Economy Committee’s report, recommends removal of immunity




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ABUJA –  The National Conference in Abuja has recommended the removal of the immunity clause in all cases from the 1999 Constitution to encourage accountability by those who manage the country’s economy.

The delegates to the conference resolved to have the clause removed as they adopted the amended report of the Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment.

The conference also resolved that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should be made to pay prevalent interest rates on duly delayed remittances to the federation account.

The delegates to the conference also adopted that government should release in its entirety, the N100 billion budgeted for cotton, textile and garment revival scheme through the Bank of Industry.

The conference also accepted that local textile manufacturing industries should be exempted from paying Value Added (VAT) for three years.

IT also agreed that imported textile products should attract not less than five per cent levy.

To attract patronage for Made-in-Nigeria products, the conference urged the National Assembly to enact a law that would prohibit government from going abroad to source for goods that were available in Nigeria.

It recommended that the Federal Government should send Anti-Trust Bill to the National Assembly for passage into law to prevent monopoly in the privatised sectors of the economy.

The conference also adopted that government should provide a special fund for interest-free loans to women farmers, marketers, traders, transporters and owners of rural cooperatives.

It was also agreed that all banks should establish gender desks to ease the stress of borrowing for women.

It however rejected a proposal for the establishment of a special Bank for Women.

The conference also recommended 50 per cent reduction in the cost of tuition, books, equipment and hostel for all female students in secondary and post-secondary institutions.

It also accepted that Nigeria should not enter into any partnership/trade agreements that could be detrimental to the current efforts at industrialising the country.

The delegates also recommended that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) bill be enacted into law.

The conference also accepted that government at all levels should invest more in agencies for mechanical and technical education to target out-of-school and unemployed youths.

The conference, however, rejected the recommendation that the National Planning Commission should be converted to Federal Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.

It also rejected recommendation for the establishment of National Fashion Council to facilitate the development the fashion industry and the National e-Commerce Council under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Commerce.

The conference accepted that government should formulate a policy of low tax on food and heavy tax on luxury goods.

It however rejected the recommendation for a certain percentage of pension funds to be dedicated to mass housing.

Following a motion moved by Mr Orok Duke, the delegates observed a minute silence as a tribute to M.K.O. Abiola and those killed during the crisis that followed the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Elections.

The conference is expected to commence deliberation on the report of its Committee on Energy when it resumes plenary on Monday, June 15.  (NAN)