Reps to probe skyrocket prices of goods, services nationwide

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to set up a special ad-hoc committee to investigate the factors responsible for the skyrocket prices of goods and services in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Rep Ibrahim Adekunle Isiaka(APC-Ogun) at the plenary session presided over by Speaker, Rep Femi Gbajabiami.

While moving the motion titled “Urgent Need To Investigate The Skyrocking Prices Of Commodities, Goods And Services Across The Nation With A View To Cushioning The Impact On The Citizens” Rep. Isiaka noted that “the common masses now find it difficult to afford food items, baby food and even the purchase of cooking gas among other basic needs to carter for themselves.”

According to him, “The House notes the prices of food items, commodities, goods and services have skyrocketed by as much as 100 per cent in many parts of Nigeria in the last one year attributed largely to monetary policy, border closures, COVID-19 containment measures, and insecurity, causing Nigeria’s inflation rate to rise geometric progression in August 2021.

“Also notes that Price Index in the past months has increased astronomically owing to many controllable and uncontrollable factors with inflation at a 48-month high, posing the challenge for increased spending on housing, shelter, medicals, clothes baby food and even cooking gas, because our nation’s local production still falls short of our local demand, minding the population, climate change, and hunger, a major future issue looms if, immediate remedial action is not taken care off soon, by this House.

“Cognizance about the World Bank’s report that Nigeria’s economy contracted by -1.8% in 2020, lower than the -3.2% loss the organization had predicted at the beginning of the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, this is still the lowest decline Nigeria’s economy has experienced since 1983. Bottom of form what does this mean for the average Nigerian?

“Not too farfetched, because Life has become increasingly difficult for many Nigerians, especially the low-income earners, unemployed youth, other vulnerable people, those on fixed incomes such as the pensioners and others. Quoting conspicuously from – Virginia Woolf. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.”

The lawmaker added that “Worried about all these problems bedevilling our economy, the House is spurred on a move to properly manage the situation before it spreads out of control owing to the impacts on the cost of living, the cost of doing business, and every other facet of the economy.”

He, therefore, urged the House to mandate the Leadership, to constitute a high powered Special Committee of the House to launch an investigative hearing with all critical stakeholders in the country and carry out the root cause analysis on the rising cost of living

He also urged the House to initiate policies needed for addressing the skyrocketing prices of goods and services in the country and the engagement with Captain of Industries, Trade Unions Associations, Board of Directors, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other promoters in the economic sectors, on ways for a drastic reduction in prices of goods and services in the country.

While contributing to the Motion, lawmakers like Ben Igbakpa (PDP-Delta) and Abejide Leke (APC-Kogi) pointed out that the reason for the skyrocketing prices of goods and services in the country were not far fetched considering the fact that the country relied on goods importation from foreign countries and the continuous borrowing of the fund by the Federal Government.

The motion however scaled through when put to a voice vote by the presiding officer, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.

The Special ad-hoc committee is being led by the Deputy Leader of the House, Rep. Peter Akpatason.

The House Committee on Legislative Compliance was directed to ensure compliance.

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