#TodayInPlenary | Senate Proceedings for Thursday, 19th January 2017
*NIGERIAN SENATE PROCEEDINGS FOR TUESDAY 24TH JANUARY, 2017.*
Senate President Bukola Saraki leads the Senate Leadership into Plenary. He takes the Official Prayers.
Senate moves into an executive session.
Senate resumes from its closed door session.
Senate President Bukola Saraki reports progress that at the closed session, deliberations were taken on issues bothering on the workings of the Senate in particular and the National Assembly in general.
*APPROVAL OF VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS*
Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso moves for the approval of the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 19th January, 2017. Senator Rose Oko seconds.
1. Senate President Bukola Saraki reads a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari on the re – nomination of Mr. Ibrahim Magu for confirmation as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes and other related offences Commission EFCC.
2. Senate President Bukola Saraki reads another letter from President Buhari on its decision of 15th December, 2016 reached on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal on the Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North – East.
In his letter, President Buhari notes that he’s unable to act on the Senate recommendations on SGF Engr. Babachir Lawal based on the following reasons;
i. The letter says only 3 out of the 9 members of the Ad-hoc Committee appended their signature to the report and thus makes it a minority report.
ii. It also states that Engr. Babachir Lawal was not given an opportunity to defend himself before the Ad-hoc Committee.
iii. The Company alleged to be owned by Mr. Babachir Lawal was not invited to defend itself on the allegations laid since its decision forms the fulcrum of the Senate’s resolution on the committee report.
1. Senate President announces that the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC invites distinguished Senators of the Nigerian Senate to contribute to the ongoing constitution review.
2. Senate President Bukola Saraki also announces a meeting of the Northern Senators Forum and a meeting of the All Progressives Congress National Assembly Caucus.
*POINT OF ORDER*
1. Senator Shehu Sani raises a point of order on the letter from President Buhari on the Senate recommendations on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. David Babachir Lawal and says “everything in that letter is a lie”. Senator Sani adds that “Corruption in the Judiciary & others is treated with Insecticide while corruption in the Government (Executive) is treated with deodorant.”
Senator Sani further stated that Engr. Babachir Lawal was invited before the committee and his Permanent Secretary received the letter and acknowledged receipt while also stating that adverts appeared in three newspapers where Engr. Lawal and others connected were also invited. Senator Sani says he will make available a copy of the invitation letter sent to SGF Babachir Lawal to the Clerk of the Senate.
2. Senator Dino Melaye raises a point of order on the cyber space attack in the last one week. He says provocative pictures and videos from the Rwandan Genocide are being circulated and labelled as those Killed in #SouthernKaduna. Senator Melaye notes that such pictures and statements from clerics can lead to religious crisis.
Senate President Bukola Saraki notes the petition and urged increased tolerance to avert crisis.
3. Senator Mao Ohuabunwa says security agencies must be called to order to avoid civil unrest and break down of law and order. “We are in a democracy, killings in Onitsha, Enugu, PH and others by security agencies are getting rampant”. – Senator Ohuabunwa
*PRESENTATION OF REPORTS*
1. The Report of the Committee on Customs and Excise on the Nigerian Customs Service Management Act Bill 2017 (SB.247) is laid.
2. The Report of the Committee on Ethics and Privileges and Public Petitions on several petitions before the Committee is laid.
*CONFIRMATION OF NOMINATION*
Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan reads President Buhari’s request on the confirmation of the nomination of Mr. Aghatise Erediauwa for re-appointment as Executive Director of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). he Nomination is hereby referred to the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other financial institutions for further legislative input.
*CONSIDERATION OF BILL – #2017BUDGET*
A Bill for an Act to authorize the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation – Total sum of N7,298,507,709,937 with Statutory Transfers of N419,020,684,000, Debt Servicing of N1,663,885,430,499, Sinking Fund for Maturing Bonds: N177,460,296,707, Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure: N2,979,151,756,196 and Contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure: N2,058,989,578,536. #2017BUDGET
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe opens the floor. In his contribution to the #2017Budget, he says the more things change the more they remain the same. “We are nation that joke a lot; we are going in the wrong direction. N1.3B is too outrageous for catering equipment. Every year, computers are budgeted for” – Senator Abaribe. He adds that 5 BMW cars, 5 Toyota Land Cruisers, etc. are outrageous.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu says “We have started well, no missing #2017Budget, all information produced, improvement arising from the last budget. I have a problem with the social intervention program; it is not sustainable with the tax regime”. Senator Ekweremadu says that we continue to borrow without industrialisation as 30% of the budget will be used to service debt in 2018.
Senator Barnabas Gemade says regardless of the recession, we can balance borrowing with revenue. Senator Gemade says BOI and BOA should be major players and development bank should be involved to boost the economy. #2017Budget
Senator Rose Oko speaks in support of the #2017Budget by making references to the oil price regime, barrel per allocation, cost of production and exchange rate. Senator Joshua Lidani commends President Buhari on the #2017budget and says that it will go a long way in promoting growth to develop the economy. “FG has no business in funding schools, it should be the States. Substantial grants should be allocated to the power sector.” – Senator Lidani
Senator Chukwuka Utazi says the essence of having supplementary budget is to make up for shortfalls. He notes that N50b is too small for education. He adds that N140bn is also too much for the Defence Ministry as such an amount should go into job creation and youth empowerment. #2017Budget
Senators Suleiman Adokwe and Fatimat Raji-Rasaki also take turns to contribute to the #2017Budget. Senate President Bukola Saraki takes more contributions and says that further deliberations on the #2017Budget will continue tomorrow.
Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan moves that other items on the Order Paper be stepped down to another legislative day. Senate President Bukola Saraki puts the question and plenary is adjourned to Wednesday 25th January, 2016.