IF the decision taken yesterday by delegates at the on-going National Conference sails through, the President of the country, the governors and all elected officers will no longer enjoy immunity, as it was unanimously agreed that the immunity clause be removed from the constitution.
Adopting the report of the Hajiya Bola Shagaya-led Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment, delegates in a voice votes, said, “there shall be no immunity for all elected government officials”.
The Committee had recommended thus,”the immunity clause should be removed if the offences attract criminal charges to encourage accountability by those managing the economy.”
The clause, which has attracted unfavorable comments at every National or Constitutional Conferences, currently protects the President, Vice President; and state governors and their deputies from prosecution as long as they remain office. However, except otherwise decided, by the resolution of the National Conference on Thursday, both the President and their deputies can now be dragged to court over criminal and civil cases.
Also yesterday, delegates agreed that government should divest public fund from commercial bank as against the present system where state government lodge government fund in a particular commercial bank.
Delegates also rejected the proposed of establishment of special banks for women in the country, just as recommendation that women should rise to becoming the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN was thrown out by the delegates at the conference.
Delegates agreed that Government should formulate low tax on food and high tax on luxury goods was accepted as well as a Medium and Short term poverty eradication programme for the aged, elderly as that would help in skill acquisition and job creation.
The recommendation that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, should be made to pay prevailing interest rate in delaying remitting to the federation account was accepted, just as the recommendation for a percentage of pension fund be dedicated to mass housing was rejected and delegates accepted the recommendation that government should formulate a policy of low tax on food and heavy tax on luxury goods as well as an investor insurance act to be enacted to protect businesses.
The recommendation that the CBN’s SMEs equity investment scheme be grabbed and the proceeds be invested in Investors Investment Act was rejected by the delegates.
Also, the delegates recommended that the Socioeconomic rights as contained in Chapter Two of the Constitution should be made justifiable, while they rejected the recommendation that there should be a special bank for farmers, just as they rejected the recommendation that all contracts below ten billion naira should be reserved for Nigerians.
According to the delegates, it became imperative to reject the recommendation because most of the abandoned projected in the country have the involvement Nigerians.
The delegates further rejected the recommendation for the establishment of E-Commerce Council for all business transaction.
The committee recommended a tax holidays for all publicly quoted companies and that local textiles be exempted from Value Added Tax for five years, while recommending for an anti thrust law to prevent monopoly.
They also agreed for special welfare packages for elderly people and physically challenge and that government should pay up local debt amounting to N1 trillion to encourage cash flow.