The Organised Private Sector in Nigeria (OPSN) says invitations, summons and threats of arrest by ad-hoc committees of the National Assembly have the potential to further dampen the interest of foreign direct investors in the Nigerian economy.
OPSN is the umbrella body for key business associations like the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA); the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA); the Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industries (NASSI) and the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME).
Addressing a press conference on behalf of OPSN in Abuja Tuesday, the Director-General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, described probes by ad-hoc committees of the parliament as frivolous.
He said many businesses had relocated out of Nigeria; while many others were concluding their exit plans because of the inhospitable business environment.
- Alvarez helps Man City sweep past Red Star
- NNPCL directs more management staff to proceed on early retirement
He said members of OPSN had been inundated with several letters of invitations and summons for different investigative hearings by various committees of the National Assembly, premised on Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
He said this had been a notable challenge since 2012 with the committees imposing financial deficits, liabilities and penalties on many companies.
Ajayi-Kadir noted that the National Assembly does not have the jurisdiction to carry out oversight functions and investigations on private businesses.
“While we appreciate the efforts of the National Assembly and its various committees and ad-hoc committees to investigate and carry out oversight functions on ministries, departments and agencies of government, we’re of the view that Sections 88 and 89 of the constitution relied upon by the Committees of the National Assembly are not applicable to businesses in the private sector,” he said.
He said government agencies saddled with the responsibility to enforce compliance of provisions of laws by businesses in the private sector had been discharging their duties.
“Thus, they should be invited to give information and account for the levels of compliance as it relates to the provisions of their enabling laws, and not private businesses. In order words, the National Assembly should not be the lawmakers and enforcers/implementers of the same laws,” he said.