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Restored budget cycle has boosted investors’ confidence in Nigeria, says Lawan



As Senate President bags Awards for Good Governance and Budget Cycle Restoration
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the restoration of Nigeria’s budget cycle to the January to December timeline has resulted in increased predictability of the country’s fiscal plans as well as boosted the confidence of local and foreign investors.
The Senate President explained that an unpredictable Budget sequence was unacceptable for a nation in dire need of development, a situation which made it imperative for the ninth Assembly to correct the anomaly in accordance with the constitution.
He said for the first time since the fourth republic, Nigeria’s budget recorded 100 percent implementation level in the year 2020 by the federal government under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Lawan made this known while delivering a speech on Monday at a Meritorious Award Ceremony organised by the Senate Press Corps in Abuja.
The Senate President was a recipient of two awards – the Parliamentary Leadership for Good Governance and Budget Cycle Restoration Awards.
The awards were presented to Lawan at the ceremony by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri who also bagged Ambassador of the Senate Award.
Speaking at the event, Lawan said, “These honours are no doubt encouraging, considering the demanding nature of statecraft, despite a primary commitment to service.
“As journalists at the heart of reporting the legislature, you are surely in an excellent position to appreciate the enormity of our tasks, and how well we are doing, to deliver on our mandate.
“We therefore expect your judgements to be very qualified, which is why I am gladdened by the recognition, in addition to those extended to my colleagues.
“While good governance is a work in progress, it requires a painstaking feedback process, to appreciate loopholes and for efforts towards blocking them.
“These loopholes can be evident through the need to carry our outstanding responsibilities, in fulfilling our mandate of legislation, appropriation and oversight, and in ensuring they lead to improved welfare of the people.”
The Senate President added that the ninth National Assembly keyed into the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration  in its bid to ensure accountability and transparency to minimise or eliminate waste in government spending.
“The National Assembly has since keyed into this plan, in line with our legislative agenda, and compliant with our individual and collective desires to leave valuable and lasting legacies.
“We have resolved in the Senate to continue on this noble path, not only for the present and the future generations, but to shore up our status in the comity of nations.
“We were early in showing our zeal and desire through our attitude to work, resulting in the normalization of the Budget cycle, to fit into the January to December calendar year.”
Reeling accrued benefits which are outcomes of the restoration of the country’s budget cycle by the National Assembly, Lawan disclosed that same has impacted positively on Nigeria’s fiscal plans in a way that continues to boost investor confidence.
He explained, “The ninth Senate realised from the beginning that an unpredictable Budget sequence was unacceptable for a nation in dire need of development, and we had to correct the anomaly in accordance with our desire and commitment to make the budget work for Nigerians.”
He added that, “The restoration of the budget cycle has resulted in increased predictability of our fiscal plans and should continue to boost local and foreign investor confidence.
And let me add here, that for the first time, probably since the first republic, the budget of the federal government was implemented for the first time 100 percent in 2020.”
The Senate President, at the occasion, announced that the Senate will institute Awards for Parliamentary Reporting in the Senate Press Corps effective from 2022.
Lawan also announced that the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies(NILDS) will introduce a training programme in Parliamentary Reporting for the National Assembly reporters.
“The idea is simple. We want to enhance your capacity, your competence, your capability so that when you report, you continue to educate Nigerians on what the National Assembly does or what is expected of the National Assembly.
“The task is for us, legislators, to inform Nigerians of what we do but you can do that even better because you are journalists and your media houses are there for people to listen to and we believe this is going to be a win-win for both the Senate and House of Representatives Press Corps and members of the National Assembly as well,” Lawan said.
Several other Senators, both serving and non-serving, and some state governors were also honoured at the occasion.

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Senate Blocks First-time Senators from Contesting Senate President, Deputy Senate President Offices



Nigerian Senate
Senate in Session


**Approves nine other standing committees

The Senate has amended its standing rules to prevent first-time senators from contesting for the office of the President of the Senate and that of the Deputy President of the Senate.

The amendment was carried out at the plenary yesterday after the Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele moved a motion for the amendment of standing rules to accommodate new standing committees. 

The motion, which was seconded by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Simon Mwadkwon, overwhelmingly received support of all the senators across all political affiliations when the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio put on voice vote.

At the plenary, also, the Senate carried out nine other amendments aimed at accommodating new standing committees.

As shown in its motion, the Senate created the Committee on Atomic and Nuclear Energy, which would oversee the Nigeria Nuclear Energy Regulatory Commission, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission and their annual budget estimates.

The Senate also bifurcated the Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) into two different standing committees namely the Committee on FCT and Committee on FCT Area Councils.

The Senate resolved that the Committee on FCT would oversee matters affecting the FCT, Planning and Development of the new Federal Capital Territory and control of development within the Federal Capital Territory and its annual budget

The upper chamber further resolved that the Committee on FCT Area Councils would oversee Area Council Mandate, Area Council Service Commission, Area Council Staff Pension Board, Auditor- General for the Area Council and other agency or department under FCT.

The Senate similarly divided the Committee on Sports into two standing committees to now reflect the Committee on Sports Development as well as Committee on Youth and Community Engagements.

According to the Senate, the jurisdiction of the Committee on Sports Development shall include Federal Ministry of Sport Development, National Lottery Commission, National Institute for Sports, Nigeria Football Federation, Sport Arena Development, national and international sporting activities, sports administration and annual budget estimates.

The Senate further said the jurisdiction of the Committee on Youth and Community engagements should include Federal Ministry of Youth Development, National Youth Service Corps, Citizens and Leadership Training Centre, Offices of the Senior Assistant to the President on Community Engagement in the six geo-political zones, youths movements activities and associations and its annual budget estimates.

The Senate also divided the Committee on Solid Minerals, Steel Development and Metallurgy into the Committee on Solid Mineral Development and the Committee on Mines and Steel Development.

The Senate said the Committee on Solid Mineral Development “shall oversee Federal Ministry of Solid Mineral Development, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, Mining Cadastre Office and Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientist, Nigerian Metallurgical Training Institute, Solid Minerals Development Fund, Nigeria Institute of Mining and Geoscience, National Metallurgical Development Centre, exploration of minerals extraction and quarry, geological survey and minerals investigation as well as explosives.

“The Committee on Mines and Steel Development shall oversee Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria, Ajaokuta Steel Development Company, National Iron Ore Mining Company, National Steel Raw Material Exploration Agency and their budgets.”


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NLC,TUC Make U-Turn Suspend Planned Strike, FG To Pay Workers N35,000



NLC and TUC Flags


Organised labour have suspended its planned nationwide indefinite strike action for the next month.

This was contained in a memorandum of understanding signed Monday by the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja; as well as the TUC President, Festus Osifo, and Secretary General, Nuhu Toro.

The three-page document was also signed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Dr Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; and Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris.

“The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike scheduled to begin, Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023,” the MoU reads in part.

“The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand
Naira) only to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of
September pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have
been signed into law.”

The decisions come at the end of an hours-long meeting between the Federal Government, NLC, and the TUC on Monday.

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Nigeria@63: God Will Heal Our Nation – Pastor Adeboye



Pastor E.A.Adeboye

Pastor Enoch Adeboye has prayed to God to heal Nigeria, asking citizens to also pray for the betterment of the nation.

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) said this on Sunday during the church’s October Thanksgiving Service and Nigeria’s 63rd Independent Day celebration.

Pastor Adeboye spoke on the topic ‘Freedom Indeed’ during the service.

“I pray in the name that is above every other name that God will heal our nation,” the preacher said.

“Independence is talking about freedom, that is why we would be talking about freedom indeed. You may be enjoying independence from the colonial master and still be a slave to sickness, poverty, terror, and forces of darkness,” he added.

“I am wishing you a very good celebration but more than anything else, I wish all of you who are in Christ freedom and freedom indeed.”

In many churches across the nation, the Christians marked Independence Day with praises and prayers for the country.

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