Lawmakers canvassing the system of government said a parliamentary system of government will help Nigeria achieve economic growth and development.

Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

Seventy-One members of the House of Representatives, has sponsored a bill seeking the country’s return to a parliamentary system of government, which was in practice before the incursion of the military into politics in 1966.

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The bill, which has Kingsley Chinda as the lead sponsor, was read for the first time at yesterday’s plenary.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, lawmakers canvassing the system of government, who cut across party lines, said a parliamentary system of government will help Nigeria achieve economic growth and development.

They also noted that the country has not fared well under the presidential system of government, which is currently in practice.

Nicholas Ossai, who spoke on behalf of the lawmakers, said the bill is a bipartisan initiative by the 71 lawmakers to move the country forward.

Ossai noted that centralisation of government decisions that is prevalent in a presidential system of government obstructs economic development, when compared to the parliamentary or hybrid systems.

The lawmaker explained that decentralisation of power in the parliamentary helps to douse tension, especially in a country like Nigeria, where ethnic, religious differences and ideological divisions are prevalent.

He added that while the presidential system of government is not favourable to consensus building, “which is known to have favourable effects on the economy,” the parliamentary system quickens passage of economic bills as it embodies the fusion of power.

“Studies have shown that countries run by presidential regimes consistently have lower output growth, higher and more volatile inflation and greater income inequality; relative to those under those practising the parliamentary system.

“Presidential regimes consistently produce less favourable macroeconomic outcomes which prevail in a wide range of circumstances for example in Nigeria.

“Due to the excessive powers domiciled to one man under the presidential system, consensus-building that is often required for economic decision is always lacking. The level of liability and volatility of the presidential system makes it difficult to achieve economic objectives,” Ossai added.

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