#TodayInPlenary | SENATE PROCEEDINGS FOR THURSDAY 26TH JANUARY 2017
Senate President Bukola Saraki leads the Senate Leadership into the Chambers and takes the Official Prayer.
Senator Kabir Marafa moves for the approval of the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday 25th January, 2017. Senator Abubakar Sani Danladi seconds.
1. Irregularities In The Award Of Contracts By Bureau Of Public Procurement (BPP).
Senator Dino Melaye notes that Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) wrote a Letter of No Objection to contract requests of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (FMPWH) but later wrote that it cant be granted.
Senate notes that BPP contravened the Public Procurement Act and directly awarded over-inflated contracts to companies not recommended.
Senator Dino Melaye points out that this is just one of the many irregularities that the Bureau of Public Procurement is doing.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu seconds the motion on the irregularities in the awards of contracts by the Bureau of Public Procurement.
Senator Barnabas Gemade also lends his voice to the motion. He says the dry season should be used well for construction.
Senate President Bukola Saraki puts the question and Senate directs the Public Procurement Committee to carry out a comprehensive investigation.
POINT OF ORDER
Senator David Umaru who chairs the Judiciary Committee raises a Point of Order informing the Senate that Federal Judges are not owed Salaries.
CONSIDERATION OF BILL
Senator Baba Kaka Bashir opens the floor on the 2017Budget. He speaks on the travails of the people of Borno State and the North East in general.
Senator Mohammed Hassan speaks on retained revenue, development indices and tasks Committees to look at the 2017Budget estimates line by line.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu commends President Muhammad Buhari for narrowing the gap between recurrent and capital expenditures.
Senator Adamu says Nigeria should prepare for any difference in policy of the USA due to the new administration in place.
Senator Adamu supports borrowing for development but seeks more funding for Agriculture. He also expects railway development in the North Central.
Minority Leader Senator Godswill Akpabio now takes the Floor. He says “the 2017 Budget might end up as a Budget of Stagnation instead of Growth”.
Senator Akpabio says that the 2017 Budget will rather threaten development due to plans for local and foreign borrowing.
Senator Akpabio adds that the militancy challenge of the Niger Delta must be resolved to ensure Government meets its targeted revenue projections.
Senator Akpabio cautions that we will be digging a deeper hole in 2017 through the 2017 Budget to fill existing holes.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir speaks on the 2017 Budget capital expenditure estimates for defense, agriculture, health, social security et al.
Senator Gobir insists that we should only borrow for developmental purposes and not for consumption. #2017Budget.
Senator Garba Binta speaks on the need for critical infrastructure development, diversification and provisions in the 2017 Budget for the North East.
Senator Garba Binta says the MTEF spanning 3Years that was recently passed must be used to adjudge the budget.
Senator George Akume speaks on the high inflation rate of 18% adding that the several foreign exchange rates are creating confusion.
Senator Akume speaks on the need to ensure rail development in the North Central and supports the development of the North East.
Senator Shaaba Lafiagi says the Rice Anchor Borrower’s Programme by the Central Bank should be expanded to include other crops to stem importation.
Senator Ben Murray Bruce speaks on the foreign exchange regime with an analogy of 9 Songs by 9Bands & 9Dances playing same time. #CommonSense
Senator Ben Murray Bruce says a Mortgage Housing Scheme from Pension Funds payable via single digit interest rates over 20Yrs be made available.
Senator Yahaya Abdulahi tasks Senate Committees on due diligence in the course of the passage of the 2017 Budget into law.
Senator Yahaya Abdulahi speaks on the need to ensure ongoing projects are finished and finished projects paid for. He also harps on Reorientation.
Senator Abdullahi Gumel thanks President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2017 Budget. He speaks on the need for functional Local Government Administration and Housing.
Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim says he is happy about the increase in the capital expenditure in the 2017 Budget over previous budgets.
Senator Bukar Ibrahim adds that the estimate for Solid Minerals should be increased and that free, compulsory basic education be encouraged.
Senator Nazif Suleiman tasks the Senate to work assiduously toward the passage of the 2017 Budget. He also speaks on the need for an open budgetary process via public hearings on the different sectors by Committees. He also comments on Job Creation and Skill Acquisition.
Senator Adesoji speaks on the need to entrench stronger institutions to ensure the 2017 Budget implementation. He also expresses fear on the deficit.
Senator Adesoji tasks Government on improving the tax system and commends the executive for the N50 Billion Textile Industry Intervention Fund.
Senator Kabiru Gaya notes that the 2017 Budget can actually be financed by looted funds that have been recovered and not necessarily by loan.
Senator James Manager notes that the 2017 Budget should indeed be focused at stimulating the private sector. He adds that Nigeria must be serious with diversification and increase allocations to agriculture & tourism. He harps on the need to sue for peace in the Niger Delta.
Senators Hope Uzodinma and Ben Uwajumogwu comment on the projected impact of the 2017 Budget on the people.
Senator Omo Agege believes the 2017 Budget is good for business and will bring us out of recession noting the 24% increase in capital expenditure.
Senator Ahmed Abubakar speaks on the need to optimize taxation to improve revenue generation for the 2017 Budget.
Senator Theodore Orji commends the 2017 Budget for plans for Public Private Partnership (PPP) Small and Medium scale Enterprise (SMEs) funds to boost product export and payment of debts.
Senator Orji says the allocation to Agriculture is paltry and should be increased. He also harps on the need for peace in the Niger Delta.
Senator Jonah Jang says the Senate should redirect priorities to ensure that the 2017 Budget helps recover Nigeria from recession.
Senator Foster Ogola says the 2017 Budget does not favour the Niger Delta and that the budget should have an economic recovery master plan.
Senator Yusuf Abubakar notes that looking at Foreign Exchange rates, the 2017 Budget is smaller than the 2016Budget and we need to look at the fiscal policy.
Senator Gbolahan Dada notes that the Lagos-Kano rail line doesnt cut through some important states & speaks on the need to buy #MadeInNigeria.
Senator Abdulllahi Danbaba says its necessary to define the 2017 Budget objectives but fears if we will be able to achieve revenue targets.
Senator Mustapha Bukar says Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has to be reviewed through consumption of Made In Nigeria goods and funds in Central bank should be pumped into the economy.
Senator Danjuma La’ah says the implementation of the 2016 Budget is poor; expressing fear on the implementation of the 2017 Budget when passed.
Senator Isiaka Adeleke1 is impressed with Special Programmes, Housing Plans and allocations for Bank Of industry and Bank Of Agriculture. He says oil target is realistic.
Senator Isiaka Adeleke1 points out on Power that some Electriçity Distribution companies (DISCOs) remitted less than they earned while challenging Senate on budget process reform.
Senators Jeremiah Useni and Abubakar Sani Danladi also commented on the 2017 Budget.
Senator Gershom Bassey notes that the 2017 Budget is smaller than last year’s. He tasks the Central bank of Nigeria to come up with more complimenting policies.
Senator Ahmed Ogembe speaks on the need to revamp the Ajaokuta Steel Industry which has the potentials to create as much as three (3) Million jobs.
Senator Ahmed Ogembe adds that the recurrent expenditure in the 2017 Budget should be reduced and capital expenditure adequately increased.
Senator Obinna Ogba says the 2017 Budget allocation to youth development is abysmally low and fears the short and long term consequences.
Senator Ogba notes that more projects should be included for the South East. He also speaks on the need for a South East Development Commission.
Senator Abdulaziz Nyako speaks on the need to increase the 2017 Budget allocation for National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to take adequate care of Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) in the North East.
Senator Isah Misau says it is beyond just bringing the 2017 Budget but about actual implementation of the figures in the budget. He laments on the activities of Procurement Officers. He says Senate must monitor the N500 Billion Social Intervention Funds and also halt ephemeral purchases.
Senator Isah Misau insists that the Senate should hold the allocation of agencies under Federal Government officials accused of corruption and diverting funds.
Senator Andy Uba speaks on the need to sustain peace in the Niger Delta in order to ensure increased oil production.
Senator Uba also speaks on need to increase allocation towards completing the second Niger Bridge.
The 2017 Budget now passes Second reading in the Senate. Senate President Bukola Saraki refers it to the Appropriations Committee and other Sub-Committees.
Senate President Bukola Saraki thanked all Senators for their contributions on the 2017 Budget as its committed to the Appropriations Committee and Others.
Senate President Bukola Saraki charges Senators to objectively review revenue projections and expenditure proposals of the 2017 Budget.
Senate President Bukola Saraki says the 2017 Budget will lay a foundation for economic recovery as we push towards encouraging made in Nigeria goods.
Senate President Bukola Saraki charges committees to be vigilant and look out for duplication of expenditures on items such as computers and cars.
Senate President Bukola Saraki also charges his distinguished colleagues to ensure they block leakages and see to independent revenues by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Senate President Bukola Saraki also tasks Senators to focus on ensuring infrastructures are adequately budgeted for.
Senate President Bukola Saraki adds that the 2017 Budget process will include innovations such as public hearings on the 2017Budget.
Senate President Bukola Saraki also asks Senators to ensure equitable distribution of projects across all zones and make the 2017Budget even better.
Senate President Bukola Saraki announces the reshuffling of the leadership of some Senate Committees.
1. SDG Committee Chairman – Senator Atai Aidoko
2. Interior Committee Chairman – Senator George Sekibo
3. INEC Committee Chairman – Senator Ali Ndume
4. Defense Committee Chairman – Senator Abu Kyari
5. FERMA Committee – Senator Magnus Abe
Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan now 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 Tuesday 21st February, 2017 to allow the Committee Work on the 2017Budget.