The Senate's bill to regulate the activities of entrepreneurs belongs in some garbage heap. The lawmakers outdid themselves today
Hara-kiri is certainly its second name.
The lawmakers were still savouring encomiums from a cross section of Nigerians for halting the NCC's (Nigeria Communications Commission) data price hike, when this happened:
"A Bill to establish Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurs to Regulate the practice of Entrepreneurs is read and passed for second reading".
If the above sentence sounds ridiculous and daft after reading it a fifth time, that's because it is ridiculous and daft.
Except that this is depressing and disgusting as well.
A bill to regulate the practice of entrepreneurs? Like seriously?
You'd have thought that what an economy in recession needs is a free market--one where entrepreneurs and investors are encouraged to make hay, create jobs and innovate.
The senate wants to regulate what should be a free market.
The Bill to regulate entrepreneurs was first put forward by Senator Ganiyu Olarenwaju Solomon.
On Wednesday, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, pulled a filthy piece of legislation out of the rubbish heap, dusted it up and tendered same before his colleagues.
With glee. And the "ayes" had it.
According to Senator Gobir, the "bill will help channel a pathway for rising entrepreneurs."
A bill to"regulate the practice of entrepreneurs" will "help channel a pathway for rising entrepreneurs" ?
The piss poor logic from the National Assembly is nauseating. The sheer irony of it all!
Investors willing to do business in Nigeria have been complaining about the series of bureaucratic bottle-necks put in their way by a host of government agencies who often work at cross purposes.
It takes months to register a business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Entrepreneurs have asked the federal government to make the business environment conducive amid a poor "ease of doing business" index.
What Nigeria needs isn't more bottle-necks for investors and start-ups.
A relaxed business environment and less regulation should be enough to get a faltering economy back on its knees.
What the Senate managed to achieve today will result in the opposite. It will erode investor confidence and create more uncertainty around the economy.
And it will ground more businesses and discourage start-ups.
Gobir's entrepreneurship bill should be returned to the rubbish heap from whence it was exhumed.
For the good of the economy, that bill shouldn't go beyond this stage.
And for the lot of the Senators who said "yes" to a bill of this nature, it's time to flood the National Assembly with Psychiatrists.