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Let NASS benefit from your research studies, Senate President tells NIPSS



Senate President Ahmad Lawan
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday tasked the management of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies(NIPSS) to always make the outcome of it’s research studies available for the benefit of the National Assembly.
Lawan made this appeal while receiving in audience in his office a delegation from NIPSS led by its newly appointed Director General, Professor Ayo Omotayo.
The Senate President advocated an engagement between the National Assembly and NIPSS to enable the Legislature benefit from the research studies conducted by the Institute.
“I want to see an engagement with the National Assembly. An engagement that will make the National Assembly benefit from the research that NIPSS carries out.
“How does the National Assembly or the Legislature in Nigeria benefit from what you are doing at NIPSS? Have you ever conducted any study about the Legislature in Nigeria or even the National Assembly when you find solutions after your research?
“I have never heard that you have given the National Assembly any report of that kind of strategic thinking of how National Assembly, an arm of government, can utilize those kind of very important research outcomes for us to make our legislations.
“I will really like to see that level of engagement where you carry the Legislature along in what you do in your researches, the outcome of your researches.
“We had so many roundtable discussions of various aspects of our lives: our economy, security, power and so many aspects just trying to look for solutions.
“We will like to see NIPSS partnering with us in those kind of areas and I’m sure you must have done a lot of researches on those areas. Maybe the reports have not been given to us so that we benefit from the kind of research you conduct.
“I believe that this is the moment to make NIPSS even richer in terms of resources because as a country, we have to have the kind of environment that will support and sustain 21st century economy.
“We want to know how you can help the National Assembly especially the relevant committees with the kind of resources that you use.
“You are coming at a time that a lot is expected from NIPSS in strategic thinking on public policy. I think we should be extremely practical with our policies and we should be looking inward. Our policies must be home grown policies that can see us defeating our challenges and sustaining development at such level that this country can achieve the potentials that it has,” Lawan said.
The Senate President congratulated Professor Omotayo on his new appointment but added that: “our committee that screened you and the Senate that confirmed you expect a lot from you and NIPS and I will advise you that the relationship should not be largely based or limited to asking for more funds and that is where many Institutions and organisations get it wrong.
“When they come before the National Assembly, all they do is: we need more money, we need more money. It’s not about money alone. Money, yes. It facilitates but NIPSS as a research oriented agency, has a lot to do for this country.
“You are a special Institution. If we can have the resources, it will be our pleasure all the time to ensure that you get what will make you discharge your mandate. And we will try our best to fund NIPS but we also want NIPS to use it’s scarce resources in the best possible way, prudent, economic way possible.
We need organisations like yours to provide possible solutions to our challenges and no investment in NIPSS is too much but what we expect if we give you more money is to provide more on better services. To whom much is given, they say, much will be expected.”
Earlier, Professor Omotayo said the courtesy visit was to seek the support of the Senate for more funding and to carry out necessary reforms at the Institute.
“Today, we have come before you to let you know that we will be requiring a lot of support in terms of funding, in terms of rejiging the law that set up the Institute and in terms of transformation and reforms so that we can reposition NIPSS to serve Nigeria and serve the citizenry in a better way such that we can come up with policies and strategies that will help our nation to be where it wants to be,” Omotayo said.
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Senate adjourns for Sallah break, to resume July 19



Senate in Session


The Senate, on Wednesday, adjourned plenary to enable it proceed on the Sallah break.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, accordingly, announced July 19, 2022, as resumption date.

The Senate, before embarking on the three weeks recess, forwarded President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the confirmation of Mohammed Bello as Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission to the Committee on National Planning.

It also passed the Federal Medical Centres (Establishment) Bill, 2022, after re-committal to the Committee of the Whole for consideration and passage.

The Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice (APC, Ondo North), who sponsored the motion for re-committal, recalled that the bill was passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to President Buhari for assent.

According to him, some fundamental issues which required fresh legislative action by both houses of the National Assembly emerged after critical analysis of the bill.

He added that a Technical Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives and Directorate of Legal Services met and worked on the bill.

The Senate, while relying on order 1(b) and order 52(6) of the Senate Standing Order, 2022 as amended, rescinded its decision on the bill as passed and re-committed same to the Committee of the Whole for re-consideration and passage.




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Senate confirms Buhari’s seven nominees as minister-designates 



President Muhammadu Buhari

The Senate, on Wednesday, screened and confirmed the seven ministerial nominees whose names were sent last week by President Muhammadu Buhari for confirmation as Minister-designates.

The screening exercise which started at about 12 noon lasted till 4:37 p.m.

Those screened and confirmed as minister-designates include Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh (Abia), Umana Okon Umana (Akwa-Ibom), and Ekumankama Joseph Nkama (Ebonyi).

Others are Goodluck Nana Opiah (Imo), Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub (Kano), Ademola Adewole Adegoroye (Ondo), and Udi Odum (Rivers).

While fielding questions from lawmakers, the first nominee, Ikechukwu Ikoh, said in tackling the issue of job creation, efforts must be made to grant operational licenses to operators of modular refineries in the country.

Another nominee from Akwa-Ibom State, Umana Okon Umana, who is the Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, underscored the need for Nigeria to step-up its production capacity so as to boost foreign exchange earnings and reduce the country’s reliance on importation.

Ekumankama Joseph Nkama, on his part, admonished young Nigerians to tap into new areas of investment, so as to foster self-reliance and productivity, particularly in the country’s trade sector.

On the lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Nkama called on the federal government and ASUU to reach a compromise.

He also asked the National Assembly to provide additional funding for the educational sector, so as to meet some of the needs of the union.

He said, “there will be the need for compromise. For a very long time ASUU has been sticking to their guns that all the agreements reached earlier must be implemented.

“And we know that from the same source – the same national purse – there are several contending interest seeking for attention.

“My advise will be that federal government and ASUU will have to come to a compromise, and through this, we would be able to solve the issue of ASUU strike once and for all.

“I know the importance of budgetary provision. I want to appeal to the Senate that when the budget is being made for the coming year, there will be adequate provision for the education sector, so that some of these needs that the ASUU members are asking for as a union will be met.”

Lending his voice on the need for an end to the ASUU strike, Ademola Adewole Adegoroye, said the action by the union is against interest of Nigerian students, adding that more effort must be made by government to find a lasting solution to same.

Goodluck Nana Opiah, a former member of the House of Representatives, was asked by the chamber to take a bow, in accordance with its tradition of extending such privilege to past members of the National Assembly.

Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), said when sworn-in as a member of the Federal Executive Council, he would sustain and consolidate on the harmonious working relationship between the Executive and National Assembly.

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Senate delegation to visit Ekweremadu, wife in London



Senate in Session


President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has disclosed that a delegation from its Committee on Foreign Affairs would depart Nigeria for London on July 1, 2022, to pay a visit to Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, who are both presently in detention over an allegation of organ harvesting.

Lawan made this known on Wednesday, while giving details into the outcome of a closed session held by the upper chamber before the start of plenary proceedings.

The closed door session which started about 10:57 a.m ended at 11:49 a.m.

According to Lawan, the decision to wade into Ekweremadu’s arrest and detention was against the backdrop of a briefing received by the Nigerian High Commissioner to London.

He further disclosed that the Senate would engage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian High Commission in London on the recent arrest of Senator Ike Ekweremadu by the London Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom.

He said, “I had a personal engagement with our Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain, Alhaji Isola Sarafa, who has done so well to establish contact with our colleague, who has been able to get his team to be in the court at Uxbridge  where Ekweremadu was taken to.

“The high Commission has also been able to provide some consular services that include the engagement of some lawyers who will defend our colleague.

“We commend them for giving attention to the issue at stake. Equally, the Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister has been engaged here, so that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes steps to provide diplomatic support for our colleague.

“Because this issue is already in court, we have limited opportunity to discuss beyond what we have done so far.

“But I want to ensure the family of our colleague, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and Nigerians, that the Senate will continue to engage with our ministry of foreign affairs as well as our high commission in London.

“The High Commission has done so much but we still expect that it will continue to provide any other further consular services.

“We have also mandated our committee on foreign affairs to engage with the British high commission here in Nigeria, to find more details on this case, as  as far as the high commission is involved.

“There will be a delegation to London to see Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife. A delegation from the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Senate will leave in the next two days to London for that purpose.

“I want to urge all all federal government institutions that can do anything to ensure that Justice prevails in this case, that they do so.”

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