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Nigeria Senate set rule on ‘oversight’ legislative debate





Nigeria Senate would henceforth subject reports of oversight functions, which were carried out by the Chairmen of Committees to legislative debate on the floor of Senate Chambers.

Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, disclosed this in his address after the session resumed from annual recess on Tuesday.

This is first time in the nation’s democratic era in the last twenty years, that reports of oversight functions would be laid on Senate Chambers if the proposal comes into effect.

He said the development would make the Senate Committees to be responsible, accountable and efficient, noting that the upper chamber was poised to achieve its target as encapsulated in the legislative agenda.

In his address, Lawan praised the 9th Senate under his leadership for achieving much within a short period of its inauguration, adding that the Senate has proved its mettle by passing into laws bills that were strategic to the nation.

“The Senate has demonstrated the willingness and capacity to actualize its Legislative Agenda of working for Nigerians, when it passed crucial amendment bill on the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin, Production Sharing Contract Act, 1993; the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).

“The Finance Bill, which comprised of seven very strategic veritable bills that will give effects to better and more effective and efficient revenue generation and collections for government; the passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill within two months.”

He noted that the return of Nigeria’s budget circle to run from January to December was a feat that would grow the nation’s economy, there will no longer be delay in government transactions.

While Senate President listed quick confirmation of nominees forwarded to it by the Executive as ‘a no mean feat’, he Senators will strive to meet the expectations of Nigerians.

He lamented the demise of Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu which he said, the upper would miss him because of his handwork.

Charging the legislators on oversight functions he stressed:

“The oversight by the National Assembly is as important and critical as passing the Budget itself.

The committees of the Senate will need to carry out vigorous oversight on those Ministries, Departments and Agencies under their jurisdiction.

“In furtherance of this commitment, the Senate will receive and debate the reports of such oversight activities in plenary.

Lawan was optimistic that amendment to the offshore oil bill would boost the revenue profile of the country.

“I am confident that the amendments effected on the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin, Production Sharing Contract Act and the Finance Bill will bring additional revenues for the government. It is quite obvious that revenue generation is a major challenge to our country today.

Other bills that were set to boost the nation’s economic fortune are, the amendment to the Public Procurement Act 2007”, which he insisted would ensure timely, effective and efficient execution of government projects.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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