Saturday, September 23, 2023

Ailing senators barred, as NASS reconvenes

Barring any last minute change, the Senate will pass the N500 billion Intervention Fund request to be sent by President Muhammadu Buhari to assist the Federal Government in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter addressed to senators yesterday, the Senate said it would resume plenary today.

Daily Sun gathered that some lawmakers, especially the aged and sick  may be excused from attending the sitting.


It was, however, learnt that some of the senators were moving against plans by the leadership of the Senate to approve funding requests by the executive.

The dissenting senators, it was learnt, are complaining about the absence of transparency in the management of funds that have so far been  disbursed for projects.


It was learnt that to ease the brewing protest, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday, called for an emergency meeting of Principal Officers of the National Assembly.

Confirming the resumption of plenary, Clerk to the Senate, Nelson Ayewo, in a statement, said while Senators are expected to be in chamber at 10 am on, staff of the National Assembly as well as aides of senators are to work from home, but that if their services were needed they would be notified.

Daily Sun also learnt that in order  to reduce the number of persons who would enter the National Assembly, only two electronic media outfits as well as two print media outfits would be permitted  to enter the Senate building.

On the N500 billion Intervention Fund request, it was learnt that appropriate organs of the executive arm of government would be made to provide answers to earlier questions raised by National Assembly leadership regarding sources of the Fund and its mode of implementation before approval is given.

While the National Assembly was not in session, it was rumoured that the executive was going to spend the money without any legislative approval.

As the House of Representatives reconvenes, Daily Sun  gathered that the request by the executive arm of government for a review of the 2020 budget, as a result of the crash of the price of crude oil, is top on the agenda of the lawmakers. Also, the House is expected to approve a proposal for a N500 billion COVID-19 intervention fund  and other legislations that will aid the fight against the pandemic in the country.

A guideline issued by the House, yesterday, indicated that the Green Chamber will sit once in a week (every Tuesday).

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