Posted by Mayowa Okekale | 20 February 2017 | 1,903 times
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has promised to read the two pending letters from President Muhammadu Buhari on the extension of his medical vacation in London and the nomination of Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
This comes as the Senate resumes regular sitting on Tuesday to, among others, continues work on the 2017 budget and several economic priority bills that are at different stages of being passed into law.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Aliyu Sabi, disclosed this in a press statement on Sunday.
On February 2, the Senate adjourned its normal plenary session schedule for three weeks to enable members participate in their various committees for the defence of budget estimates by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Also within the period, for the first time in the history of the Nigerian parliament, the House of Representatives and the Senate held a joint three-day Appropriations Committee public hearing on the 2017 budget.
“By all accounts the public hearing event was an outstanding success,” said the Senate President. “Federal ministers, private sector leaders, civil society organisations and others all participated in what I like to call the ‘people’s budget’ process,” Saraki noted. Government officials were on hand to defend their budget proposals and answer questions. CSO’s, academics and professional associations offered commentary on their views and critique of the budget.
“It is the intention for the public hearing exercise to be institutionalised as a yearly exercise to promote government transparency and greater public participation in the process,” he added.
The Senate President also said: “It is very important for the executive branch and the legislature to continue to work together to get the spending plan right. The months of collaboration will determine the extent to which the appropriations spending begins to grow the economy and create jobs.”
From Monday, various committees are expected to start submitting reports to the Committee on Appropriations based on schedule earlier provided as a result of the conclusion of budget defence by MDAs.
This will be followed by compilation of the reports by the Appropriation committee and engagement with the leadership of the Senate and interface with some committees where necessary. The last stage of the budget process will be laying of report at plenary by the Appropriation Committee as well as the consideration and passage of the Appropriation Bill.
Simultaneously, the Senate will also begin to consider several economic reform bills that form the basis of the Red Chamber’s priority economic agenda. This coming week alone may see two such bills, the Independent Warehouse Regulatory Agency Act and the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), come up during plenary sessions.
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