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Senate suspends plenary to begin budget defense

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Chamber Senate
Senate in Session
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…Adjourns till Nov. 9  

 
The Senate on Wednesday adjourned plenary till November 9, 2021, to enable its Committees begin budget defense sessions with Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The upper chamber suspended sitting after concluding debate on the 2022 Appropriation Bill.

Lawan, in his remarks moments before the chamber adjourned, tasked committees to thoroughly scrutinize budget estimates in the 2022 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly.

He said, “The Senate has hereby suspended plenary in order to consider the budget.

“There will be budget defense from Monday until November 9, when we resume plenary.

“Like we did before, we must remain very critical of the proposals presented to us by the executive arm of government.

“We must ensure equity in the distribution of projects. We must ensure economy in the application of funds. We must question any possible overpricing of items.

“[And] we should be able at the end of the day to have a budget that covers the interest of all the communities that we have in this and all parts of the country.”

Earlier, a total of 42 Senators took turns to make their contributions during the second and final day of debate on the 2022 Appropriation Bill.

Among those who spoke are Senators Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Adelere Oriolowo, Patrick Akinyelure, Ibrahim Gobir, Smart Adeyemi, Ibrahim Abdullahi, George Thompson Sekibo, Christopher Ekpenyong, Betty Apiafi, Mohammed Musa, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, Michael Nnachi, and Yahaya Oloriegbe.

Others are: Matthew Urhoghide, Francis Fadahunsi, Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, Anayo Rochas Okorocha,  Oyelola Ashiru, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, Hezekiah Dimka, Binos Dauda Yaroe, Chukwuma Frank Ibezim, Olalekan Mustapha, Chukwuka Utazi, Abba Patrick Moro, Danladi Sankara, and Isah Jibrin.

Contributing to the debate on the 2022 Appropriation Bill, Senator Ibrahim Danbaba (PDP, Sokoto South), underscored the need for the federal government to include Public-Private Partnership as a way to fund the provision of critical infrastructure needed for economic development.

Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West), called for the urgent diversification of the economy through mining, adding that there are abundant mineral resources yet to be exploited by the federal government.

Senator George Thompson Sekibo (PDP, River East) advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to come up with policies that would help stabilize the country’s exchange rate over a period of time.

He also lamented that the implementation of capital projects in the 2022 budget proposal were tied to borrowing.

Senator Christopher Ekpenyong (PDP, Akwa Ibom North West), called for the scrutiny and tinkering of the budget estimates by the National Assembly, to ensure that it reflects the needs and meets the expectations of Nigerians.

Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West), protested the exclusion of some states as beneficiaries of the loan to be sourced by the federal government.

According to the lawmaker, some states such as Rivers State do not stand to benefit from the loan through projects, but are among those to repay the loan obtained by Nigeria.

She also called on the federal government to give special attention to the power sector, adding that doing so would attract and promote private investments.

On his part, Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East) described the 2022 budget outlook as “good”, noting that “Nigeria’s debt level is sustainable”.

The lawmaker urged the federal government to ensure that borrowed funds are applied to critical projects.

According to him, focus must also be given to revenue generation, as well as the examination of the country’s tax framework.

He noted that doing so would ensure strict compliance by taxpayers and boost Nigeria’s revenue collection.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the 2022 Appropriation Bill after scaling second reading to the Committee on Appropriations for further work.

The Committee which is chaired by Senator Jibrin Barau was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

The Senate President, in his concluding remarks said, “I want to join all those that have commended Mr. President for presenting the Appropriation Bill 2022 in good time.

“This is one of the very important reasons why we are able to have sufficient time to consider the budgets (2020 and 2021) before the 2022 Appropriation bill was presented.

“I want to also Senators for the sacrifice in processing, consideration and passage of the 2020 and 2021 Appropriation Acts.

“That devotion, commitment and dedication certainly saw us succeed in passing the previous bills.

“I’m sure that we are ready to repeat the feat of passing the appropriation bill 2022 before the end of December.

“Distinguished colleagues, I agree with those of us who raised the issue of revenue generation, collection and remittances to the coffers of the federal government.

“The agencies that are supposed to collect and remit revenues would have to be tasked, and this 2022 appropriation bill shows we have over 400 billion coming especially from these agencies as additional revenues. We need to do better.

“Government agencies must remit revenues that they generate. We need to also invest in our people, dedication for our youth particularly and, of course, health.

“Distinguished colleagues, borrowing like most of us here said, is not bad. What we need to do is to ensure that what we borrow is prudently deployed in those areas of capital infrastructural development.

“The two or three committees that are oil related – Petroleum Upstream and Petroleum Downstream and Gas – need to be very alert to the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.

“This is very important  because this Act that we passed here is to transform the Petroleum Industry, and at this formative age of the transformation, there is need for us to be very vigilant and oversight very closely to ensure that the taking off is successful.

“Our oversight as Committees must be very purposeful and at all times for the sole reason of ensuring that government funds are properly and prudently applied to the projects appropriated for.

“Finally, I want to commend the entire National Assembly for ensuring that the previous budgets were passed in good time and, of course, the assent was also the same.

“The implementation of 2020 budget was 100 percent. Today, the implementation of the 2021 is about sixty percent. We want to see a repeat of the 2020 implementation, so that we also have 100 percent at the end of the day in December.

“This is very important because we know that Nigeria came out of recession, and in fact achieved a GDP growth of over five percent because of the implementation of the 2020 funds appropriated.”

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Sanusi Reinstated As Emir Of Kano

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Four years after Muhammadu Sanusi II was deposed as the Emir of Kano, Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State has reinstated him to the throne.

“With the full support of the kingmakers, I have approved the reappointment of Malam Sanusi Lamido,” the governor said to cheers at the Art Chamber of the Kano State Government House around 5:16 pm on Thursday.

He announced the decision right after signing the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law.

The new law replaces the Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019, and dissolves the emirate councils created by Governor Yusuf’s predecessor Abdullahi Ganduje.

It was based on the law that Ganduje split the Kano Emirate into five in December 2019 and deposed the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II on March 9, 2020. The emirates created by the Ganduje administration were Karaye, Bichi, Rano, and Gaya, in addition to Kano.

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FG Offers 2-Month Free Ride On Abuja Light Rail

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Nyesom Wike
Nyesom Wike
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The federal government has offered 2-month free ride services to passengers on the Abuja Light rail after its inauguration on Monday.

Nyesom Wike, The FCT Minister, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at a ministerial press briefing on the one year in office of President Bola Tinubu.

He said President Tinubu would inaugurate the rail project on Monday, while it would start commercial services on Tuesday.

“For those who are saying that the rail system had already been commissioned, don’t make a mistake. What was earlier commissioned was the building. What we want to commission on Monday is commercial operations.

“If you are going to the airport, from here to airport is 20 minutes. Seeing is believing. Go on Tuesday. We are going to allow for free rides for two months.

“You know, Mr. President, he can even say extend it to six months just to reduce the pain of our people. That is renewed hope agenda. When you say something, you do it,” Wike said.

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Sanusi II To Be Reinstated As Kano Emir …..As State Assembly Dethrones Emir Bayero, Others

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Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II
Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II
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Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II has been reinstated as the Emir of Kano, according to a report by LEADERSHIP newspaper.

This decision followed the Kano State House of Assembly’s resolution to dethrone the current Emir and also dismantle the four new Emirates in the State established under a controversial 2019 law.

Though it has not been officially announced, LEADERSHIP reported that it had it on a good authority that Sanusi II had been reinstated, and was expected in Kano on Friday.

“According to credible inside sources, ‘So certainly with the passage of the Bill, Sanusi automatically stands reinstated. No need for confirmation, the thing to is wait for the Governor to assent to it’.

“The then restructuring of the Kano Emirate is seen as a political manoeuvre to diminish the influence of then Emir Sanusi II, a vocal critic of the former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje administration. The creation of the new emirates fragmented the authority of the old Kano Emirate Council, diluting its power and influence.

“Meanwhile, the Majority Leader of the Kano State House of Assembly, Lawan Hussaini Chediyar Yan Gurasa, who sponsored the Amendment Bill, shortly after Thursday’s session, revealed to journalists that, “the bill has been sent to the governor for assent, now there is no longer an active Emir in Kano in all the five Emirates; Kano, Bichi, Gaya, Rano and Karaye. The law now provides the governor to call on the traditional kingmakers to choose a new king.”

“Our correspondent also reports that all the district heads elevated or appointed under the repealed law are to revert to their previous positions.”

 

 

 

Source: Leadership

 

 

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