Friday, March 5

Tag: Senate

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...
42 Ambassadors Await Postings 96 Days After Senate Confirmation
Politics

42 Ambassadors Await Postings 96 Days After Senate Confirmation

Ninety-six days after the Senate confirmed the nomination of 42 career ambassadors, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has yet to assign them portfolios, The PUNCH has learnt. Similarly, the 39 non-career ambassadors and one additional career ambassador, who were confirmed on July 22, 2020, by the Senate have yet to be posted. In all, 82 ambassadors are waiting without a clue as to where and when they will resume. A diplomat, who spoke to The PUNCH on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak with the press, said the delay was not caused by the closure of the airspace due to COVID-19 but rather lack of funds and poor planning. The diplomat noted that Buhari similarly delayed the posting of ambassadors in 2016. “I know the governmen...
Senate To Bar FIRS, Customs, NBC, 57 Others From Getting Federal Allocations
Politics

Senate To Bar FIRS, Customs, NBC, 57 Others From Getting Federal Allocations

Barring any last-minute changes, the Senate is set to advise the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to exclude 60 federal agencies from getting allocation from the national budget, starting from next year. The agencies include Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Security and Exchange Commission, National Broadcasting Commission and Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Commission. The move, Sunday PUNCH gathered, was due to the conviction that the agencies generate enough revenue to fund their overheads and payment of salaries, and would therefore not need to be funded from the national budget. Investigations by one of our correspondents on Friday indicated that the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning had concluded plans to inclu...
Senate Denies Plans To Secretly Pass Social Media Bill
News

Senate Denies Plans To Secretly Pass Social Media Bill

The Nigerian Senate has denied reports that it is planning to pass the controversial Social Media Bill despite the public rejection of the bill. If passed into law, the social media bill will empower the Nigerian government to unilaterally order the shutdown of the internet. An internet service provider that refuses to obey the order on conviction by a court may be fined N10 million for each day the order is not obeyed. Another section of the bill prescribes a fine of N300,000 or three-year jail term or both for anyone found guilty of making statements that “diminish public confidence in the performance of any duty or function, or in the exercise of any power of the Government.” Many Nigerians said the bill is designed to clamp down on freedom of speech. Sahara Reporters on Saturday...
Senate To Pass Social Media Bill Despite Rejection By Nigerians – SaharaReporters
News

Senate To Pass Social Media Bill Despite Rejection By Nigerians – SaharaReporters

The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation and Other Related Matters Bill 2019 popularly known as the social media bill, is one of the bills before the Nigerian Senate led by Ahmed Lawan. SaharaReporters gathered that the Nigerian Senate has concluded a “signed, sealed and delivered” plot to pass the social media bill once the it resumes plenary on September 15. According to a top source in the Senate, who pleaded anonymity, the upper legislative arm is determined to pass the heinous bill despite the immense rejection by majority of Nigerians. “They have already concluded plans to pass the bill. They are going to hide behind the COVID-19 issue and other national issues and pass the bill without delay. Their plan is to do it once they resume. It is already signed,...
Senate Uncovers NTA, StarTimes Fraud
Politics

Senate Uncovers NTA, StarTimes Fraud

The Nigerian Senate has uncovered an alleged multi-billion Naira fraud in the joint venture operations between, the Nigerian Television Authority(NTA) and a Chinese Satellite Pay TV, StarTime.The allegation came up when the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning scrutinized the spending and expenditure of the Nigerian Television Authority for 2021 with the details of the 2021-2023 MTEF & FSP documents,The Senate panel said it was stunned to discover that the multi-billion naira deal with StarTimes was not captured anywhere in the documents submitted to it as presented by the Director-General, Mallam Mohammed Yakubu.Trouble started for NTA after the Chairman of the Senate Panel, Solomon Olamilekan, asked why NTA was blocking StarTime from being registered with the ...
UNILAG Senate, Staff Unions Reject New VC
Education

UNILAG Senate, Staff Unions Reject New VC

The Senate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, and all its four staff unions, on Thursday, jointly kicked against the appointment of a new vice-chancellor for the university, saying the office is not vacant. They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the visitor to the university to prevail on the chairman of the governing council, Dr Wale Babalakin, on the matter, so as not to degenerate to chaos nor breakdown of law and order in the university. They said vice-chancellor of UNILAG and any other university in a sane society could not just be removed from office the way the governing council of the university did to Professor Ogundipe at its emergency meeting in Abuja on Wednesday and therefore the action was not only illegal and condemned in its entirety, but...
Jeff Sessions Loses Alabama GOP Senate Seat To Tommy Tuberville
Politics

Jeff Sessions Loses Alabama GOP Senate Seat To Tommy Tuberville

Jeff Sessions will not regain his old Alabama U.S. Senate seat this year. The former U.S. attorney general has lost to Tommy Tuberville, a first-time political candidate and former college football coach, in the state's Republican runoff election for the seat, The Associated Press projects. Tuberville — who was endorsed by President Trump in the GOP matchup — edged ahead of Sessions in Alabama's state primary in March but failed to secure a majority of the vote, setting up the runoff on Tuesday. The former Auburn University football coach will now face Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones in November. Sessions was an early endorser of Trump's presidential bid and then served as the president's attorney general until he was ousted in the fall of 2018. Sessions faced prolonged criticism...
Two Madagascar Lawmakers Die after Coronavirus Infection
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Two Madagascar Lawmakers Die after Coronavirus Infection

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina on Sunday July 12,  said two lawmakers -- one member of the senate and one deputy -- had died after becoming infected with coronavirus. Eleven other deputies and 14 senators had also tested positive for the virus, Rajoelina said. Madagascar had on July 5 placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new surge in Coronavirus infections, two months after the restrictions were eased, the presidency announced Sunday. “The Analamanga region (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown,” the presidency said in a statement. No traffic will be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday until July 20. A strict curfew will be imposed on street movement by people. The country has recorded 2,573 infec...
Buhari Snubs Magu, Gets Senate Confirmation For 207 Appointees
Politics

Buhari Snubs Magu, Gets Senate Confirmation For 207 Appointees

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has been able to get the 9th Senate to confirm at least 207 appointees for him in the last one year of the existence of the current Senate. The 207 already confirmed include judges, ministers, ambassadors, commissioners and heads of agencies. However, Buhari has not considered the re-appointment of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu. Magu was appointed by the President on November 9, 2015 subject to confirmation by the Senate. But he has remained in acting capacity since then. He was rejected twice by the 8th Senate, under the leadership of Dr Bukola Saraki, based on a security report by the Department of State Services. He, however, remained in office. Saraki’s tenure a...
Senate Threatens To Issue Arrest Warrant For Lai Mohammed, Others
Politics

Senate Threatens To Issue Arrest Warrant For Lai Mohammed, Others

The Nigerian Senate has threatened to issue a warrant for the arrest some ministers who have failed to honour its invitation to answer audit queries against them. The Senate committee on public accounts on Thursday, June 11, said it would be compelled to issue arrest warrants on the minister information and culture, Lai Mohammed, the minister of state, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and minister of power Saleh Mamman and other heads of agencies if they do not honor its invitation, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, the chairman of the committee stated that the others who have refused to hounour the invitation include the minister of women affairs and social development, Pauline Tallen, her counterpart in the ministry of solid minerals development, Olamilekan Adegbite and the chairman, National...
Senate Passes Revised 2020 Budget of N10.8 Trillion
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Senate Passes Revised 2020 Budget of N10.8 Trillion

The Senate has passed the revised 2020 budget of N10.8 trillion. The budget was passed this morning Thursday, June 11 during plenary. The passage of the budget comes a day after the House of Representatives passed the same figure as the 2020 budget. The lawmakers increased the budget by N300 billion from N10.5 trillion. The budget was initially passed in December but the executive sent it back to National Assembly after the executive reworked it to reflect the current economic realities. According to the new budget, N500 billion was allocated as an intervention fund for COVID-19 while N186 billion was earmarked for the health sector. In the revised budget, N422 billion was fixed for statutory transfers, N4.9 trillion for recurrent expenditure and N2.4 trillion is for capital e...
Buhari Yet To Send Supreme Court Justice Nominees For Senate’s Confirmation
Politics

Buhari Yet To Send Supreme Court Justice Nominees For Senate’s Confirmation

The delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to forward to the National Assembly for confirmation, the four Supreme Court justice-nominees approved by the National Judicial Council (NJC) eight months ago, to fill the vacancies at the apex court, has triggered concerns in the judiciary, THISDAY’s investigation has revealed. Some senior lawyers described the delay in the confirmation of the justices as not in the interest of justice. The bench of the Supreme Court consists of 12 justices instead of the stipulated number of 21. Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, had on several occasions lamented the excruciating workload of justices of the apex court as a result of the depletion of the bench. NJC, on October 24, 2019, had approved and forwarded names of four just...
N186bn For Health Sector Omitted As Revised 2020 Budget Approval Suffers Setback
Politics

N186bn For Health Sector Omitted As Revised 2020 Budget Approval Suffers Setback

The Senate on Tuesday stepped down consideration of the N10.509trillion revised 2020 budget forwarded to it for consideration by President Muhamnadu Buhari due to omission of N186billion proposed for the health sector. The upper legislative chamber had given expeditious consideration of the revised 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP). The revised 2020 budget was expected to be passed by the Senate on Tuesday before it was jettisoned during plenary. Trouble for the revised budget evolved when, as listed on the Order Paper, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, called on the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Jibrin Barau ( APC Kano North), to lay the report . Senator Barau also stunned the Senate by informing his coll...
Orji Kalu Arrives National Assembly To Resume Duties As  Senate Chief Whip
Politics

Orji Kalu Arrives National Assembly To Resume Duties As Senate Chief Whip

The Nigerian Senate, Tuesday, was on stand still as Chief Whip of the Senate , Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and former Governor of Abia State resumed for his Senatorial duties at the Red Chambers. Orji Kalu’s resumption could be described as a “triumphal” entry as he was greeted with thunderous cheers from hundreds of staff , security personnels , lawmakers and other well wishers who gathered to catch a glimpse and welcome the Chief Whip after his 6 months absence. The Chief Whip arrived the Senator building at exactly 9:00AM , spent minutes acknowledging greetings and cheers from people. When asked by Journalists to comment on his experience at the Kuje correctional centre , he responded “Keep Hope Alive”. Recall that, Senator Kalu was released after over 6 months of incarcerati...
RMRDC Boss, Hussain Ibrahim Lists ‘Kilishi’ As Research Breakthrough In Senate
Politics

RMRDC Boss, Hussain Ibrahim Lists ‘Kilishi’ As Research Breakthrough In Senate

There was a mild drama at the Senate on Monday when the Director-General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Professor Hussain Ibrahim, identified the development of Kilishi technology as its major breakthrough since the agency’s creation, 33 years ago. Ibrahim, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Science and Technology to brief the senators on the activities of his agency, caused a stir when he said the Kilishi technology was the only major breakthrough it had successfully developed for commercial use. Kilishi is a locally spiced roasted meat made of beef, and it is very popular in the northern part of Nigeria. The Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Uche Ekwunife, had asked the DG to tell Nigerians what specific raw material the agency had succes...
Senate Panel Uncovers Missing $3.3bn In Foreign Tax
Politics

Senate Panel Uncovers Missing $3.3bn In Foreign Tax

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday said it had uncovered how $3.3 billion was missing from taxes collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Services and remitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2015. The committee is probing the federation accounts from 2015 to 2018. CBN officials, led by Deputy Governor Edward Adamu, appeared before the committee to respond to queries by the Auditor-General of the Federation. Briefing newsmen after a closed door session with CBN officials, the committee chairman, Senator Mathew Uroghide, said the FIRS record showed that $21.3bn taxes was collected in 2015. The CBN, however, recorded $18bn, a difference of $3.3bn, he added. When asked about the differences in the amount, Uroghide said the apex bank hinged its argument on excha...