Buhari Appeals To National Assembly To Pass Money Laundering, NDDC, FCT, Other Bills

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday night appealed to the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, consider and pass five bills presently before it.

He made the appeal while speaking at a dinner he hosted in honour of National Assembly members at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.
He listed the bills to include the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Appropriation bill, Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) bill, Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters bill, Statutory Budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) bill and a Bill for Acts for domestication of agreements for avoidance of double taxation between Nigeria and South Korea, Spain, and Sweden respectively.

The president observed that both the FCT and the NDDC could not execute their statutory mandates unless their budgets were approved by the National Assembly.

Buhari thanked the lawmakers for their painstaking efforts that led to the passage of the 2016 Budget.

He said: “It is on record that this is one rare occasion where the Appropriation Act was assented to with the schedule i.e the details.”

The president said that the dinner was held first to mark 2016 Democracy Day and to further appreciate the National Assembly leadership, membership and management for the great work they had done.

He restated the commitment of his administration to observing the principles of separation of powers.

Credit: Thisday

Senate Will Pass 2016 Budget Before End Of March– Ndume

Majority leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, on Sunday, said the upper chamber of the National Assembly will strive to pass the 2016 budget before the end of March. Speaking during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ndume gave March as the deadline for the implementation of the 2015 budget, saying it was even the desire of the Senate to pass the 2016 budget before that time. He disclaimed reports claiming that the Senate had suspended its passage indefinitely, but said February 25, 2016 “may not be feasible”.

He said it was the wish of the National Assembly to pass the budget five weeks before the expiration of the period set for the implementation of the 2015 budget, but that was impossible due to some errors. “We have not postponed it indefinitely; we are saying that with the developments that we are seeing as the time goes on, the 25th February deadline we gave ourselves may not be realistic,” he said.

“That is why we now said that going by this, it is not possible to say we will come back on 25th and say this is the budget; we are not saying that we have suspended it indefinitely. The reason we fixed 25th was to have a gap of five weeks.” He said the gap would have enabled the Senate fix whatever issues needed to be handled before the expiration of the March 31 deadline for the implementation of the 2015 budget.

Ndume said the leadership of the National Assembly had met with ministers to iron out the grey areas and make corrections to the contentious areas as well. He also said the Senate would ensure strict compliance with the implementation of the budget, saying once funds were available, the present administration would ensure thorough implementation of the budget.

Credit: DailyTimes

Senate To Pass 2016 Budget In February- Ndume

Senate Leader Ali Ndume, yesterday, disclosed that the upper legislative chamber will likely pass the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget into law latest February.

Ndume also described a recent call by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that the National Assembly should commence an impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari, on alleged involvement in the budget controversy as ‘a joker’.

Addressing Senate correspondents, Ndume reiterated that Senate would conclude and pass the 2016 budget before end of February, adding that lawmakers had planned to pass the budget on record time, but blamed the delay on recent misgivings about the document.

“We are targeting end of February to round off everything about the 2016 national budget.? If not for the talk about a missing budget, we would have gone far. But, we are still determined to pass the budget on time and that will be before the end of February,” he said.

On PDP’s call for the impeachment of Buhari, he asked rhetorically: “Did we kill the PDP for what they did to us in the last 16 years? The call for the impeachment of the president by the PDP is what they are supposed to do. They are in the opposition. Buhari is the kind of leader the country wants.

“His emergence is divine intervention. The game the PDP is playing is understandable. The budget is not missing.”

Last week, the PDP urged the National Assembly to commence an impeachment process against President Buhari over the alleged involvement of his aide, Senator Ita Enang in changing of figures in the 2016 budget earlier submitted to a joint session on December 22.

Speaking on the alleged missing budget, he re-echoed his earlier position that the budget was not missing, rather, the Senate committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions was mandated to carryout an integrity test on the two copies of the budget before the Red Chamber.

“?Not only that the budget was not missing, the budget cannot be missing. The budget comes in copies. The copy submitted by Mr. President cannot be missing. There are some issues that came later surrounding the budget.

“We told the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to find out what happened and they discovered that there were two versions. What the president submitted as a bill is still there. Nothing has changed.”

Credit: Sun

Reps Pass Motion To Stop Refineries Operations

The House of Representatives has passed a motion urging the executive to stop the operations of all refineries in Nigeria due to the huge debts being incurred despite the fact that they are barely functioning.

The motion was passed on Wednesday.

It pointed out that the inability of the refineries to serve local consumption is responsible for the country’s dependence on imported refined products and resultant fuel scarcity across the country.

The House has also called for the issue of privatization of the refineries to be revisited and urgently considered.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Senators Pass Vote Of Confidence On Saraki

Nigerian senators on Tuesday passed a vote of confidence on the senate president, Bukola Saraki, seeking to shore up support for the embattled leader who is facing corruption charges.

Mr. Saraki was arraigned last week before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on a 13-count charge of alleged corruption and false declaration of assets.

He denied wrongdoing and said the trial was politically motivated.

The senate met Tuesday for the first time since Mr. Saraki appeared before the tribunal, and 83 senators co-sponsored a motion to give him a “vote of confidence”.

David Umar, Niger East, who read the motion, initially said it was sponsored by 84 Senators; nevertheless, the Chairman Senate Committee on Business and Rules, Babajide Omowarare, Osun East, asked that his name be removed from the list.

“Ordinarily by virtue of my position as the Chairman, Committee on Business and Rules, I should have seen this motion before now,” Mr. Omoworare said.

“But it comes as matter of urgent public importance. My name is listed as number eleven. Let me say that I don’t know how my name got into the list. I therefore say I am not part of it.”

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