Saraki, Dogara give 2017 budget panels tomorrow deadline

Senate President, Bukola Saraki (left) and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

• Lawmakers sponsor bills to prevent repeat of Kogi electoral debacle
• Reps probe navy over commercialization of maritime services
• Senate urges FG to pay pensioners’ N174b arrears

Senate President Bukola Saraki has given the committees deliberating on the 2017 budget proposal a final deadline of tomorrow (Thursday) to submit their reports.

Also at the House of Representatives, Speaker Yakubu Dogara announced Thursday March 30, 2017 as deadline for committees in the House to turn in their reports of 2017 budget to the Committee on Appropriation.

Saraki, who handed down the deadline after a closed-door session of about two hours yesterday, expressed disappointment that over 20 committees are yet to submit report to the Danjuma Goje-led Appropriation Committee.

The Senate President warned that after Thursday deadline, the upper legislative chamber would have no choice but to adopt the submissions from the executive arm of government.

Making the announcement on the floor of the House, Dogara said there was the need to urgently consider and pass the 2017 Appropriation bill.

He urged committees yet to conclude the scrutiny of the various budgetary sums of the government organs they supervise, to quickly do so and turn in their reports to the committee.

Meanwhile, four members of the House of Representatives: Ahmed Babba Kaita, Karimi Sunday, Eucharia Azodo and Aishatu Jibril Dukku sponsored four separate but related bills aimed at amending the Electoral Act 2010.

The proposed amendment to the Electoral Act to provide for death of a presidential or gubernatorial candidate during an on-going election.”

The bills further seek to provide a time line for the submission of lists of candidates, criteria for substitution of candidates and to empower the commission to uphold party primaries where there is a change in the results and for other related matters.

Sunday (Kogi: Yagba: PDP), whose bill is aimed at averting the Kogi electoral debacle wanted the inclusion of a new sub-section 2 to Section 33 of the Electoral Act by removing the ambiguity or lacuna that may arise as a result of the death of a presidential or gubernatorial candidate after commencement of poll but before conclusion of the said election.

Also, the House of Representatives yesterday passed a motion to stop the commercialization of some key maritime services of the Nigeria Navy (NN).

Adopting a motion moved by Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma at the plenary presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the House urged the Ministry of Defence to ensure the directive is carried out with immediate effect.

The lawmakers further resolved to set up an Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate the arrangement for a business model between the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Navy and Shorefac Consortium Ltd and others on the commercialization of the Nigerian Navy .

The Senate yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to provide funds to redeem all Federal Government pension indebtedness of about N174billion.

This followed a motion, titled “The untold hardship of pensioners occasioned by government’s failure to contribute its statutory share of 5 per cent to the Pension Redemption Fund,” sponsored by Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP Bayelsa Central).



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