By Adekunle Ogbonnaiye, Ado-Ekiti
Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, has commenced the distribution of materials worth over N100 million for her constituents in Ekiti Central Senatorial District.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, said the empowerment materials is to facilitate self-reliance for the people of the area, nothing that obsolete policies and legislations in the country were responsible for the economic recession bedeviling the nation.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senator, however denied any frosty relationship between her and Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and also debunked the rumour that she is planning to dump the PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“My relationship with some APC senators was based on the fact that we don’t discuss parties in the Senate. We operate as one and we think of the interest of the nation. So, I remain in the PDP and I never thought of defecting”, she clarified.
Speaking with newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, Senator Raji-Rasaki said she decided to empower her constituents as a way of bringing the dividends of democracy to the grassroots and show appreciation to the people who voted for her to become a senator.
Materials to be distributed at the event slated for two days includes; a sum of N10 million cash for small and medium scale enterprises, five buses for NULGE , sewing machines, grinding machines, generators, freezers, among others.
She however blamed some politicians and national leaders, who were making derogatory comments about the country outside the shore of the nation as being responsible from the boycott of the country by intending investors.
“How do you expect our people to go outside the country and start calling us thieves, rogues and you expect foreign investors to bring their monies here? They have a bad perception about us. Even, the Senate Committee on Aviation are still appealing to Aviation companies relocating from Nigeria to Ghana to come back.
“The forex is no longer stable because the level of investment determines the stability of the monetary policy. The Senate has made useful recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari on how to attract investors and we expect him to act appropriately”.
Senator Raji-Rasaki noted that the committee she superintends over is interacting with Taiwanan and British governments on bilateral relations in terms of trade, policies and investments, describing this as the best way to strengthen the country’s debilitating economy.
The senator said aside from the relocation of investors from the country, she ascribed the poor economic state of the nation to outdated legislations and policies, which she said needed to “either be repealed or amended to strengthen the economy”.
“The Senate is looking into all these obsolete laws. Some of them were promulgated in the 50’s and 60’s. We are reviewing them and those we thought should be amended or repealed are being critically looked into”.
She added that she intends to sponsor a bill for the establishment of a commission to supervise all the three trade free zones in the country, both public and private to attract investors and fortify the economy, saying the bill has passed the second reading .
According to her, the low level of industrial development of Ekiti was responsible for the inability of its citizens to benefit from the Bank of Industry (BoI), saying the federal bank is devising ways to meet up with the people’s demands in this regard.