Thursday, May 6

Tag: Senate

Insecurity: Smart Adeyemi Weeps On Senate Floor
Politics

Insecurity: Smart Adeyemi Weeps On Senate Floor

The lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has decried the rate of insecurity in the land. In the video above, the lawmaker is seen contributing to a motion on insecurity on Tuesday in the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital. “This is the worst instability we are facing; in fact, this is worse than the civil war. We cannot pretend that we are capable of confronting the situation in our hand,” an emotional Adeyemi lamented as he addressed his colleagues present at the plenary. He added, “The nation is on fire, the President must rise to the occasion. We cannot keep quiet any longer. “It has gotten to a point that we cannot sleep with our two eyes closed. Our children are not free.” He acknowledged that...
Pantami’s Case Portrays Screenings By SSS, Senate As Charade – Premium Times
Politics

Pantami’s Case Portrays Screenings By SSS, Senate As Charade – Premium Times

The Senate/SSS screenings are compulsory checks before a nominated public officer assumes office, but Nigerians have argued that they are a waste of taxpayers’ funds. How did a man who was vociferous in his support for terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Taliban and who considered Osama bin Laden “a better Muslim than myself” scale the screenings of Nigerian lawmakers and the country’s State Security Service (SSS) to become a public officer? First as the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency and later the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy? Ali Isa Pantami, 48, has been in the eye of the storm since last week after videos of his preaching about 20 years ago surfaced online. The trigger was a publication by a local newspaper t...
Senate Mulls Converting Yabatech, Ilaro Poly To Universities
Politics

Senate Mulls Converting Yabatech, Ilaro Poly To Universities

In its commitment to opening access to higher education in the country, the Senate is poised to upgrade the Federal Polytechnics, Ilaro and Yaba College of Technology, Yaba to universities of technology as well as grant legal status to the Nigeria French Village, Badagry. To this end, a public hearing for three bills sponsored by Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) was held at the National Assembly on Thursday. Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita, the Chairman Senate Committee of Tertiary Institution and TETFUND at the hearing said upgrading the two institutions would go a long way in calibrating the spread of educational infrastructure and balance access to education among the diverse of Nigeria. He added that the passage of the inter-university centre for the French language in B...
Senate Moves To Cut Cement Prices
Politics

Senate Moves To Cut Cement Prices

A move to cut the skyrocketing costs of cement began yesterday at the National Assembly. The Senate urged the Federal Government to introduce liberal policies to stimulate more investment in the manufacturing of the product. The upper chamber said such policies should include provision of industrial and larger tax incentives to encourage local investments in cement production in Nigeria. The resolution was sequel to the consideration of a motion titled: “Need for liberalisation of cement policy in Nigeria”, sponsored by Senator Ashiru Oyelola Yisa and five others. The co-sponsors of the motion are: Senators Muhammad Enagi Bima (Niger South); Adelere Adeyemi Oriolowo (Osun West); Samuel Egwu (Ebonyi North); Kabiru Gaya (Kano South) and Michael Nnachi (Ebonyi South). In his l...
Senate Probes CCT Chairman, Umar Over Alleged Assault
Politics

Senate Probes CCT Chairman, Umar Over Alleged Assault

The Senate on Tuesday referred a petition against chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Danladi Umar over alleged assault on a guard, Clement Sagwak, at Banex Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja. The incident occurred on March 29, 2021. Sagwak had also petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to probe the incident. Senator Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North) submitted a petition on the incident to the Senate on behalf of his constituent, Sagwak. Sagwak, had in his petition dated April 9 2021 and signed by his lawyer, Samuel Ihensekhien, accused the CCT chairman of abuse of power, assault, torture, and ‘xenophobia’. A viral five- minute video captured Umar and the guard having an altercation at the plaza. Sagwak, 22, and an employee of Jul Reliable Guards Services ...
Autonomy For Judiciary Non-Negotiable – Senate Tells Governors
Politics

Autonomy For Judiciary Non-Negotiable – Senate Tells Governors

Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, made the call while answering questions from reporters in Abuja. Bamidele said it is laughable to be grappling with judicial autonomy at this stage of the nation’s development. The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) had declared an industrial action and nationwide protests to compel governors to obey the 1999 constitution (as amended) and Executive Order 10 which granted autonomy to judiciary in the country. While responding to a question, Opeyemi said: “It is laughable that at this point, we are still grappling with the need to grant independence to the judiciary arm of government at the state and local government levels. “The National Assembly has been making laws that...
Senate Confirms Halilu Shaba As NASRDA DG
Politics

Senate Confirms Halilu Shaba As NASRDA DG

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Dr. Halilu Shaba as the Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency. The red chamber gave the approval following the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology at plenary in Abuja, chaired by Senator Uche Ekwunife. The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, asked the Senate to confirm Shaba as DG NASRDA. In the letter, Buhari urged the lawmakers to give his request an accelerated consideration. Shaba had been in acting capacity as DG of the agency following the expiration of the two-term tenure of Professor Seidu Mohammed in June 2020. The Agency had earlier, on July 2, 2019, announced the appointment of Mr Jonathan...
Youths Who Engage In Thuggery Shouldn’t Ask For Democratic Dividends – Orji Kalu
Politics

Youths Who Engage In Thuggery Shouldn’t Ask For Democratic Dividends – Orji Kalu

Chief Whip of the Senate and Senator representing Abia North, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has asked youths who make themselves available for thuggery and election manipulation to stop asking for democratic dividends, saying they lack the moral justification to demand such. While accusing some youths of constituting a challenge to democracy, the former Abia governor while addressing constituents in Arochukwu recently urged them to make themselves instruments of democratic consolidation and growth. He expressed sadness that some youths mortgage their future and that of others when they receive stipends for the purpose of disrupting electoral process. "People should be ashamed that they are still doing thuggery. Then why are you crying for democratic dividends? "You should not ask for ...
Senate Wants Doctors Held Responsible For Any Dead Patient
Politics

Senate Wants Doctors Held Responsible For Any Dead Patient

The Senate Committee on Health has faulted the strike embarked upon by resident doctors, asking Nigerians to hold the doctors responsible if any patient dies on account of the strike. Chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, said this during a public hearing on the ‘Federal Medical Centre, Mubi, Adamawa State (Establishment) Bill, 2021’ sponsored by Senator Aishatu Ahmed (Binani).According to him, the National Assembly made every effort to avert the strike, to no avail. “We had a marathon meeting on March 21 and agreed on all the issues that were raised by the resident doctors,” he said, adding that three germane issues, including the payment of salary to house officers, were the major reasons they wanted to go on strike. “The second one was what they claimed to be paymen...
Missing $9.5m: Senate Gives Emefiele 72 Hours To Honour Invitation
Politics

Missing $9.5m: Senate Gives Emefiele 72 Hours To Honour Invitation

Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Monday gave Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele, 72 hours to appear it over the alleged disappearance of $9.5million interest that accrued from Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) investment Chairman of the Committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, had complained that the principal sum deposited, tenor, and rate of interest on the transaction were shrouded in secrecy. Petroleum Profit tax (PPT) is a tax applicable to upstream operations in the oil industry. It is particularly related to rents, royalties, margins, and profit-sharing elements associated with oil mining, prospecting, and exploration leases. Urhoghide said there were many issues Emefiele needed to respond to corroborate some statements of account. He added that the apex ba...
Senate Moves To Whittle Down IGP’s Powers, Decentralises Police Structure
Politics

Senate Moves To Whittle Down IGP’s Powers, Decentralises Police Structure

The new bill titled ‘The Nigeria Police Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill, 2021’, was sponsored by Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru (APC, Osun). According to the sponsor, the bill seeks to enhance the operational capacity of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) through the removal of constraints of funds and whittling down the over-centralisation of the command structure of the police force. This is coming six months after President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Nigeria Police Bill 2020, on September 16, which repealed the Police Act Cap. P19 Laws of the Federation, 2004. The amendment seeks to decentralize the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers vested in the zonal offices. The bill also seeks to establish a zonal security advisory council and state securi...
Easter Celebration: Senate Adjourns Plenary By Three Weeks
Politics

Easter Celebration: Senate Adjourns Plenary By Three Weeks

The Senate on Wednesday said it will proceed on a three-week Easter break from Thursday. The lawmakers would however be holding committee meetings within the 19 days Easter break. Senate President Ahmad Lawan stated this at the end of plenary on Wednesday. Lawan said that the break would commence Thursday and last till Tuesday, April 13, 2021.   Senate adjourns Plenary to Tuesday, 13th April, 2021. #GavelBangs #TodayInSenatePlenary
APC Senators Block Bill To Make Appointment Of Service Chiefs Independent
Politics

APC Senators Block Bill To Make Appointment Of Service Chiefs Independent

The Senate saw some controversy at its session on Wednesday as lawmakers disagreed over the constitutionality of the proposed Armed Forces Service Commission Bill. The bill, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe, proposes that the appointment of the service chiefs will be subject to the recommendations of the proposed commission. The bill seeks to establish the Armed Forces Services Commission to ensure that the composition/appointment of service chiefs of the armed forces of the federation reflects the federal character of Nigeria in the manner prescribed in section 217 (3) of the 1999 Constitution. The debate on the bill split the house as senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress opposed the bill. During a voice vote, the bill was rejected. Senat...
Why Senate Confirmed Ex-Service Chiefs As Ambassadors – Sen Bashiru
News

Why Senate Confirmed Ex-Service Chiefs As Ambassadors – Sen Bashiru

The Nigerian Senate has explained why the upper legislative chamber ignored petitions and complaints against former service chiefs and hurriedly confirmed their ambassadorial nominations. The former military commanders whose appointment were confirmed are: the former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin; former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; former Chief of Air Staff, Ibok Ibas; and former Chief of Naval Staff, Abubakar Sadique. They resigned late January and were immediately replaced with Leo Irabor, new Chief of Defence Staff; I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; A.Z. Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and I.O. Amao, Chief of Air Force. Days after leaving office, the International Criminal Court (ICC) acknowledged petitions against them for their alleged sadistic conducts ...
Senate To Probe Governor’s Role In ₦6.25 Billion NDDC Palliative Scam
Politics

Senate To Probe Governor’s Role In ₦6.25 Billion NDDC Palliative Scam

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, on Tuesday, said it would extend its N6.2bn Covid-19 palliative fund probe to the nine governors of the Niger Delta region, who were said to have collected N100m each from the Niger Delta Development Commission. The committee has also given the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa, 48-hour grace to produce members of the Prof. Daniel Pondei-led interim committee of the agency or risk arrest. The panel had on February 22 resolved that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, be contacted by the executive arm of government through the Senate leadership to produce Pondei and his team before the Ethics Committee on March 9. Briefing journalists on the issue on Tuesday, the Chairman of the panel, Senat...
Senate Mandates FERMA To Fix Lagos-Ota Expressway
Politics

Senate Mandates FERMA To Fix Lagos-Ota Expressway

The red chamber also asked the Ministry to include further funding for the reconstruction of the Express road in the next Appropriation Bill. The resolution was a sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Solomon Adeola and seven others during plenary. The motion is titled, “Urgent need for palliative repairs and total reconstruction of Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Express Road”. Moving the motion, Adeola said that over the years, the state of disrepair of major roads in the country had been a cause for concern for all patriotic Nigerians. He said that the vast stretches of the once motorable and ultra-busy Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Express Road had totally collapsed without any sign or signal for palliative repairs, rehabilitation or reconstruction from agencies charged with road maintenance...
Senate Moves To Create University Of Health And Medical Sciences In Suleja
Education, Politics

Senate Moves To Create University Of Health And Medical Sciences In Suleja

The Senate, on Wednesday, passed for second reading, a bill seeking to establish the National University of Health and Medical Sciences in Suleja, Niger State. In his lead debate, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (APC, Niger East), who sponsored the bill, said the establishment of the institution had become imperative to create more access to higher health and medical studies in view of the large number of qualified candidates, who are annually stranded in their failed attempt in gaining admission into higher institutions in the state. He said the establishment of the National University of Health and Medical Sciences would encourage the advancement of learning, as well as develop and offer academic and professional programmes leading to the award of diplomas, first degrees, postgradua...
Kinsmen Move To Recall Okorocha From Senate
Politics

Kinsmen Move To Recall Okorocha From Senate

These are obviously not the best of times for the former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who is presently fighting the political battle of his life in his home state. Okorocha’s kinsmen, under the platform of Orlu Political Consultative Assembly (OPOCA), have commenced massive mobilizing across the 12 council areas of Imo West, which Okorocha represents at the Senate, with a view to recalling the embattled former governor from the National Assembly. Last Monday, major stakeholders in the zone comprising the traditional rulers, Elders’ Council and the 12 Interim Management Committee (IMC) Chairmen presiding over the 12 LGAs in the Orlu Senatorial District (Imo West), gave teeth to the recall process when they openly endorsed the action. Rising from a consultativ...
Senate Confirms The Appointment Of New Service Chiefs
Politics

Senate Confirms The Appointment Of New Service Chiefs

1. Report of the Committee on Defence Confirmation of the Nomination for Appointment as Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Senator Aliyu Wamakko The nomination of Maj. General Lucky Eluonye Onyenucheya Irabor is CONFIRMED as Chief of Defence Staff The nomination of Maj. General Ibrahim Attahiru is CONFIRMED as Chief of Army Staff The nomination of Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo is CONFIRMED as Chief of Naval Staff The nomination of Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao is CONFIRMED as Chief of Air Staff. “Congratulations to them. There was so much calls for the replacement of the former service chiefs and the President did that." - @DrAhmadLawan "Let me take this opportunity to thank the former Service Chief...
Police Funding: Senate Approves ₦1.3 Billion For Teargas, ₦10 Billion For Others
Politics

Police Funding: Senate Approves ₦1.3 Billion For Teargas, ₦10 Billion For Others

The Senate on Wednesday approved N11.3 billion (11,352,457,101.70) as the budget of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF) for the 2020 fiscal year. About N1.3 billion (1,362,814,243) of the amount was allocated for the procurement of teargas. About N1 billion was allocated for the procurement of arms and ammunition. The approval was a sequel to the consideration and adoption of the harmonised report of the Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Haliru Jika, presented the report. Breakdown Of The Budget * Provision of specialised/operational vehicle double cabinet-pick-up van for patrol – N7,600,000,000 * Procurement of arms and ammunitions – N1,000,000,000 * Procurement of personnel protect...
Abductions: Senate Probes FG’s $20m Safe School Initiative Fund
Politics

Abductions: Senate Probes FG’s $20m Safe School Initiative Fund

The Senate urged the Federal Government to collaborate with states and local governments to urgently design and implement a workable arrangement to deploy well-armed security teams around all schools in Nigeria. It also mandated its Committees on Basic and Tertiary Education to investigate the use of the $20m Safe School Initiative Fund launched in 2014 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. This was sequel to a motion on “Urgent need for the Restoration and Revalidation of the Safe School Initiative in Nigeria”, sponsored by Senator Adi Odey Stephen (Cross River North). The Safe School Initiative was launched with support from the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown to ensure schools are protected and spaces safe for childr...
Senate Confirms Buratai, Olonisakin, Others As Non-Career Ambassadors
Politics

Senate Confirms Buratai, Olonisakin, Others As Non-Career Ambassadors

Senate, Tuesday confirmed former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin; former Chief of Air Staff, Ibok Ibas; and former Chief of Naval Staff, Abubakar Sadique as non-career President Buhari had on the 5 of February, sent their names to the senate to be confirmed as non-career ambassadors. Nigerians had condemned their nomination, noting that it was a plan to shield them from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged abuses committed by the Nigerian military under their watch.
Senate To Screen Service Chiefs Behind Closed Doors Today
Politics

Senate To Screen Service Chiefs Behind Closed Doors Today

The Senate committees responsible for the oversight of the Nigerian military forces will start the screening of the newly appointed service chiefs on Tuesday ( today) . The Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy , Senator Thompson Sekibo, who confirmed the development in a chat with our correspondent on Monday evening, however, said the service chiefs would be screened behind closed doors . The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had on Wednesday , referred the request of the President, Major General , Muhammadu Buhari , ( retd.) , for the confirmation of the new service chiefs, to the joint committees on Army , Navy and Air force for necessary screening . Lawan , gave the committees, two weeks to carry out their assignments and report to the Senate in plenary. The appointees for confir...
Senate Yet To Screen Lauretta Onochie As INEC Commissioner After 4 Months
Politics

Senate Yet To Screen Lauretta Onochie As INEC Commissioner After 4 Months

Months after President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded the nomination of his Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie to the Senate for confirmation as a national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Red Chamber is yet to commence legislative work on the request. Onochie’s fate is delaying the confirmation of three other INEC nominees submitted to the Senate. President Buhari had, on October 12, nominated Onochie (Delta), Professor Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina) and Professor Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti) as national commissioners of the INEC. He also nominated Saidu Babura Ahmad as a resident electoral commissioner (Jigawa). Buhari, in an executive communication to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, stated that his request was pursuant to...
EFCC: Abdulrasheed Bawa Promoted To Level 14 Ahead Of Senate Screening
Politics

EFCC: Abdulrasheed Bawa Promoted To Level 14 Ahead Of Senate Screening

The new acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has been promoted to the rank of Chief Detective Superintendent ahead of his Senate screening. The move comes amid a lawsuit challenging Bawa’s qualification for the job. Section 2 of the EFCC Act states that a person who will be appointed as chairman of the commission must have at least 15 years experience and must be the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police or its equivalent. Bawa, who was appointed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on February 16, 2021, was on Grade Level 13 and a Deputy Chief Detective Superintendent. A lawyer, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, subsequently filed a suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to stop the Senate confirmation o...
Medical Tourism: Senate Moves To Block Revenue Leakages, Exodus Of Doctors, Nurses
Politics

Medical Tourism: Senate Moves To Block Revenue Leakages, Exodus Of Doctors, Nurses

The Senate has moved to block revenue leakages from medical tourism following the consideration of a bill seeking the reduction in the number of Nigerians travelling to other countries for medical care. The bill titled: “Federal Medical Centres (Establishment) Bill, 2021” was sponsored by Aishatu Ahmed (APC, Adamawa Central). Leading debate on the bill, Ahmed said the absence of a legal framework for the regulation, development and management of Federal Medical Centers to set standards for rendering health services was responsible for hindering the provision of intensive, effective and efficient healthcare services to the people of Nigeria. The lawmaker argued underfunding, weak facilities and infrastructure, the poor motivation of health workers, low budget, weak accountabili...
Buratai, Other Ex-Service Chiefs In Senate For Ambassadorial Screening
Politics

Buratai, Other Ex-Service Chiefs In Senate For Ambassadorial Screening

The immediate past service chiefs have arrived at the Senate for their screening as ambassadorial nominees. The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had on February 10, directed the Committee on Foreign Affairs to confirm General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd); Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd); Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas (retd); Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar(retd); and Air Vice Marshal Muhammad S. Usman (Rtd) as non-career ambassadors-designate to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The service chiefs arrived at the Senate around 11am for the screening. Members of the panel, led by Senator Mohammed Bulkachuwa, held a 15-minute closed-session before commencing the screening.
Senate To Regulate Bleaching Cream And Cosmetics
Politics

Senate To Regulate Bleaching Cream And Cosmetics

The Senate on Tuesday mandated it Committee on Health to investigate the procedures for certification on quality and safety of Cosmetics and propose a way forward for accountability. The upper chamber also directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to rise up to its duty of regulating importation, formulation and sale of cosmetics within Nigeria. It further directed NAFDAC to maintain a products database, showing name and address of manufacturers and ingredients list. The upper chamber mandated NAFDAC to embark on sensitization and awareness campaign on the ills of harmful substances in the country. It also directed NAFDAC and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) to collaborate towards ensuring the tracking ...
Senate Summons CBN Governor, DG SEC Over Cryptocurrency Ban
Politics

Senate Summons CBN Governor, DG SEC Over Cryptocurrency Ban

The Senate has mandated its Committees on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, ICT and Cybercrimes and Capital Market to invite the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele to brief it on the recent ban on cryptocurrency in the country. The Senate also invited the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, to meet with its joint committee on the issue. It explained that the information that would emanate from the briefings from the two regulatory bodies would assist the Senate to “determine the opportunities and threats of the cryptocurrency on the nation’s economy and security.” This resolution of the upper chamber was sequel to its consideration of a motion titled: “CBN’s decision to stop Financial Institu...
Ambassadorial Nomination: SFD Writes Senate, Calls For Buratai’s Confirmation
Politics

Ambassadorial Nomination: SFD Writes Senate, Calls For Buratai’s Confirmation

A group, Society For Development (SFD), has charged the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, to confirm the names of the ex-service chiefs as non-career ambassadors following their nomination by President Buhari. The SFD gave the charge in via letter to the National Assembly on Tuesday. The letter was titled, “PETITION AGAINST THE NON CAREER AMBASSADORIAL NOMINATION OF LT. GENERAL TUKUR BURATAI RTD, AND OTHER IMMEDIATE PAST SERVICE CHIEFS”. In the letter signed by Mr Akintunde Bello Sheriff, Coordinator, Society For Development (SFD), the group called on the Senate President to confirm Lt. General Buratai Rtd and other former service chiefs who have been nominated as non-career ambassadors without hesitation, saying the nominees performed well in securing the country during their se...
Senate Moves To Push Retirement Age Of Supreme Court Justices To 75 Years
Politics

Senate Moves To Push Retirement Age Of Supreme Court Justices To 75 Years

THE Senate is putting in place measures to push for the retirement age of Supreme Court Justices in the nation’s apex court from the age of 70 to 75 years. According to the Senate, it is considering the proposal made to it by the Supreme Court March this year, 2021. Speaking today in Abuja during the Senate Constitution Review Committee Retreat to Review and Analyse Submitted Memoranda, Deputy President of the Senate Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, All Progressives Congress, APC, Delta Central said that the upper Chamber will in March consider the proposal of shifting the retirement age of Supreme Court Justices from 70 to 75 years and the retirement age for judges of the states, including that of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and the Federal High Courts to bring in about parity wit...
Senate Kicks As Petroleum Ministry Spends ₦98.4 Million On Flyers
Politics

Senate Kicks As Petroleum Ministry Spends ₦98.4 Million On Flyers

The Senate Public Account Committee has described as unacceptable the payment of N98.4m by the Petroleum Resources Ministry for the printing of leaflets. The flyers, according to the 2015 Auditor-General for the Federation’s report, was meant to create awareness campaign for the Petroleum Industrial Bill. The report, currently being scrutinised by the National Assembly, also stated that the fund was released without due process. The Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, also faulted the payment of N39m was into the accounts of two persons for the purpose of monitoring the ministry’s project within the Federal Capital Territory. The AuGF query on the matter read in part, “Contrary to the procurement process, an entry in the cash book for the sum of N98.4m ...
National Assembly Proposes ₦10Bn As Presidential Candidate’s Election Spending
Politics

National Assembly Proposes ₦10Bn As Presidential Candidate’s Election Spending

The Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the Independent National Electoral Commission and Electoral Matters, has proposed an extension to the tenure of Local Government Chairmen, in the Federal Capital Territory, from three to four years. The committees equally proposed an upward review of the amount to be spent by candidates seeking elective public office to N10bn. Our correspondent also learnt in Abuja, on Wednesday, that the panel also recommended that other elected officials of the six area councils which make up the FCT should equally benefit from the proposed amendment. These proposals are contained in recommended amendments to the Electoral Act, which the committee is prepared to submit before Senators and House of Reps members for consideration and ...
83 New Ambassadors Stranded Five Months After Senate Confirmation
Politics

83 New Ambassadors Stranded Five Months After Senate Confirmation

Eighty-three newly appointed Nigerian ambassadors are stranded in the country more than five months after their appointments were confirmed by the Senate. There are no indications yet as to when they will be posted out, according to investigation conducted by The Nation. The ambassadors-designate include career and non-career officers. They have not even been inducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an action that normally precedes their posting by the Presidency. Officials of the Foreign Affairs Ministry said only President Muhammadu Buhari can determine the fate of the ambassadors-designate. The President had on May 12 and July 1, 2020 written to the Senate to seek the confirmation of 42 career ambassadors and 41 non-career ambassadors-designate respectively. Wh...
#Runoff: Democrat Raphael Warnock wins Senate race in Georgia
Politics

#Runoff: Democrat Raphael Warnock wins Senate race in Georgia

Raphael Warnock became the first African-American to win a US Senate seat in Georgia, as fellow Democratic contender Jon Ossoff clung to a narrow lead in a second contest that will decide which party controls the upper chamber of Congress. Mr Warnock was declared the victor by the Associated Press in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Shortly after 4am US Eastern Standard Time, as counting continued, he had 50.6 per cent of the vote with a lead of roughly 53,000 over Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler. In the other Georgia Senate race, Mr Ossoff led Republican incumbent David Perdue by nearly 16,000 votes. Roughly 4.4m votes had been counted by 4am, with many of the remaining ballots expected to come from areas that favour Democrats. US government bonds and technology stock fu...
Senate Directs FG To Build E-validation Portal Against Fake Results
Politics

Senate Directs FG To Build E-validation Portal Against Fake Results

The Senate on Thursday directed the Federal Ministry of Education to build and maintain for all tertiary institutions in Nigeria, an e-validation portal, to enable employers and relevant authorities or organization within and outside Nigeria, to verify and validate academic result/certificate obtained from tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The decision was sequel to a motion by Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, the lawmaker representing Ondo South Senatorial District at the red chamber with the title: ”the urgent need to compel all tertiary institutions in Nigeria to subscribe to e-validation of results portal so that employers and relevant organisations within and outside Nigeria can verify the results of Nigerian graduates. Senator Tofowomo noted that the use of fake results/certifica...
Senate Passes 2020 Finance Bill For First, Second Readings Same Day
Politics

Senate Passes 2020 Finance Bill For First, Second Readings Same Day

THE 2020 Finance Bill seeking to reduce import levy on buses, tractors and other motor vehicles has passed first and second reading at the senate. The proposed law passed first and second reading yesterday, after the senators gave it a special consideration. A letter by President Muhammadu Buhari asking the National Assembly to pass the bill was only read on the floors of the House of Representatives and Senate on Tuesday. Normally, when a bill is read for the first time, a day is fixed to debate the general principles of the legislation after which it will be passed for second reading. But speaking in his lead debate at the Senate yesterday, Senate leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kebbi North, said special consideration should be given to the bill bec...
Finance Bill: Senate Mulls Taxing DSTV Premium Bouquet
Politics

Finance Bill: Senate Mulls Taxing DSTV Premium Bouquet

Senate Committee on Finance, Customs and Public Procurement has been mandated by the Senate to consider among others the taxation of the premium bouquet of PayTv, diversification of economy among other and report back in one week. The resolution of the Senate followed consideration of the Finance Bill for a second reading by senators who canvassed various positions on how to fetch more revenue for the 2021 budget. Senators argued that oil revenue dims and are not likely to rebound in the next few months, the only option left is to tax the system but this they maintained must not be oppressive. Earlier in the debate, the premium bouquet of the Paytv, Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) was considered a luxury item to be harvested into the tax net as the Federal Government see...
Senate Confirms Mahmood Yakubu’s Reappointment As INEC Chairman
Politics

Senate Confirms Mahmood Yakubu’s Reappointment As INEC Chairman

Nigeria Senate on Tuesday confirmed Mahmood Yakubu as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Senate confirmed Yakubu’s nomination sent by President Muhammadu Buhari after Ibrahim Gaya, chairman of the committee on INEC, presented a report for consideration of his confirmation for a second tenure in office. Gaya said Yakubu is qualified to occupy office again as chairman of the electoral commission. “The nominee displayed high intelligence and he has the temerity to hold office of the chairman,” Gaya said. “The nominee is not affiliated to any political party and he has not attended an political rally or campaign. “The nominee has met the requirements of section 451 and section 41 (i)(ii) of the third schedule part 1 f contained in the 1...
Nigeria May Lose $493m Paid To Procure Fighter Jets — Senate
Politics

Nigeria May Lose $493m Paid To Procure Fighter Jets — Senate

The Senate Committee on Airforce, said on Thursday that Nigeria stood the risk of losing $493m paid to the United States for the purchase of Super Tucano fighter planes. The panel said the nation’s runway at the moment was not up to the standard and could not carry the fighter jets. The Federal Government had wired in $493m in 2018 to a US company to tackle insurgency and other security challenges facing the country. The Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Air Force, Senator Mike Nnachi, raised the alarm while presenting the 2021 budget report of the Air Force before the Senate Committee on Appropriation. He told the lawmakers that when the Americans came to inspect the Kanji runway, recently, they complained that the facility did not have the capacity to carry the air...
INEC: Buhari Asks Senate To Confirm Yakubu For Second Term
Politics

INEC: Buhari Asks Senate To Confirm Yakubu For Second Term

The Senate on Tuesday received a request from the President, Major General, Muhammadu Buhari, (retd.), to confirm Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, by for a second term in office as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission. The request was contained in a letter dated 21st October, 2020, and read on the floor by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan. The letter reads, “In accordance with the provision of Section 154(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I am pleased to present for confirmation by the Senate, the nomination of Professor Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission for a second and final term. “While hoping that the Senate will consider and confirm the reappointment of the ...
Roads Projects: 5 States To Get N148bn Refund As Senate Approves Buhari’s Request
Politics

Roads Projects: 5 States To Get N148bn Refund As Senate Approves Buhari’s Request

Five Nigerian states will get a refund of over one hundred and forty-eight billon naira (N148,141,969,161.24) for road projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government. This was as the Senate on Tuesday, November 24 approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a refund of the said sum to the affected states. The five states to include, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Osun and Ondo. The money will be refunded to the coffers of the states government. The approval was sequel to the consideration of a report by the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts Chaired by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo Central). Ordia in his presentation stated that most of the Federal highways in the beneficiary states where said projects were executed “were at a deplorable state before the in...
Senate Confirms Buhari’s Code Of Conduct Bureau Nominees
Politics

Senate Confirms Buhari’s Code Of Conduct Bureau Nominees

The Ahmad Lawan-led Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nominations by President Muhammadu Buhari into the various vacant positions at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). Those confirmed as members are Barr. Benedict Umeano (Anambra — South East); Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo - South South); and CP. Olayinka Babatunde Balogun Rtd (Ogun – South West). The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions. Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday sought the confirmation of the immediate past chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as chairman of the electoral body by the Senate.
Senate Summons Customs Boss, Ali, Over Plan To Concession N3tn Revenue Collection
Politics

Senate Summons Customs Boss, Ali, Over Plan To Concession N3tn Revenue Collection

The Senate Committee on Customs and Excise is set to summon the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (retd.), over the move by the NCS to concession its duty collection function to a foreign firm. The vice chairman of the committee, Senator Francis Fadahunsi, who disclosed this to our correspondent on Friday, said the NCS boss was expected to bring all documents relating to the agreement he signed with the foreign firm. The senator said, “Our committee will write the CG, NCS to demand for the documents with which the agreement was signed. He is expected to bring all the documents relating to the agreement. All of us in the committee did not support the concessioning idea. “If the CG, NCS refuses to bring the documents, we will write the Minister o...
Stop Buhari From Medical Trips – Senate Committee Tells State House Officials
Politics

Stop Buhari From Medical Trips – Senate Committee Tells State House Officials

The Senate on Thursday told State House officials to restrain the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), from foreign trips for medical treatment in order to ensure the State House clinic becomes functional this year. The Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs gave the warning when the State House Permanent Secretary, Tijani Umar, appeared before the panel to defend his 2021 budget estimates. The State House official had presented a budget of N19.7bnfor 2021, out of which N1.3bn was proposed for the State House Clinic. Reacting to the proposal, the Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Danjuma La’ah, said the committee would approve the budget for the State House Clinic but insisted that the President and other top officials of his gover...
Senate Tackles Lai Mohammed Over N250m Project
Politics

Senate Tackles Lai Mohammed Over N250m Project

The Senate on Tuesday tackled the Minister of information, Lai Mohammed, over a controversial project fully funded by the Ministry of Finance for execution by his Ministry in the 2020 fiscal year. The project was tagged ERPG 10145116, and was listed as ‘completion of NTA Gashua sub-station ongoing’. The project had its allocation of N250m fully released to the Ministry. The Minister led other top officials of his Ministry to the Senate on Tuesday o defend their 2021 budget estimates. Chairman, Senate Committee on information, Abdullahi Sankara, maintained that the Minister has a lot of explanations to make over the project. He said that it was 100 per cent release of funds without any work commensurate to the full releases done on sight. The controversy over the proje...
Senate Denies Fashola’s Claim On Budgetary Allocations To Road Construction
Politics

Senate Denies Fashola’s Claim On Budgetary Allocations To Road Construction

The Senate has taken exception to a statement credited to Mr Babatunde Raji Fasola, the Hon. Minister of works that the National Assembly should be held responsible for the dilapidated state of Federal roads in Benue State, describing it as a "fallacy of the highest order" The Hon. Minister was quoted to have made the allegation in his office in Abuja during a courtesy call by retired Generals and 'other leaders of thought' from Benue South Senatorial District led by Air Vice Marshal Morgan Monday who came to complain about the deplorable state of roads in the senatorial district. Speaking through its Chairman of Media Committee, Senator Ajibola Basiru, the Senate said the National Assembly can not and should not be held responsible for the dilapidated state of roads whether in B...
Science Ministry Settled N2m Debt With N17m Vehicles – Senate
Politics

Science Ministry Settled N2m Debt With N17m Vehicles – Senate

Senate Committee on Public Accounts has uncovered how the Ministry of Science and Technology “gave out two vehicles worth N17m to pay N2m debt it owed contractors. The Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine, had, in a report submitted to the Senate, queried the ministry over the disappearance of two official vehicles with registration M50-10FG and MGO-12FG. According to the report, during the verification of non-recurrent assets of the ministry, it was discovered that the two vehicles were not seen and their whereabouts was not explained. Responding, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Edet Akpan, explained that the vehicles were seized by a court as result of debt the ministry owed contractors. But the chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide...
Senate Directs Investigation Into Excessive Bank Charges
Politics

Senate Directs Investigation Into Excessive Bank Charges

The Senate on Wednesday at plenary directed its Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to investigate complaints of Nigerians on illicit and excessive bank charges by commercial banks on customers’ accounts. It also directed the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to look into the complaints of Nigerians and review the charges on their bank accounts. The resolutions of Senate, were sequel to a motion by Sen. Abba Moro (PDP-Benue South) on urgent need to investigate and review illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks on customers’ accounts. Moro, while presenting the motion, said there have been several complaints from Nigerians over illicit and excessive charges by commercial banks on their accounts. He said that such charges and deductions ranged...

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