The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen Ita Enang, has urged the National Assembly to pass the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other pending national issues. Enang made the appeal in Abuja, yesterday. The National Assembly had declared its annual recess which began July 24.
Although the federal lawmakers were initially expected to resume on September 25, the resumption was postponed to October 9. The Clerk of the Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori who announced the postponement in a statement on Sunday, Sept. 23, attributed the development to the primary elections of political parties. Sani-Omolori said members of the National Assembly were expected to resume by 10 a.m. on the new date.
“Let me congratulate the Senate President, the Speakers, all presiding and principal officers and all the distinguished senators and honourable members of the House for a well-deserved annual legislative vacation and welcome them back to work,” he said. Enang, who noted that most of the lawmakers participated in the conventions, congresses and other activities of different political parties in the course of seeking nomination for one office or the other, also wished them all the best. “I congratulate all of them and I pray that let the result, positive, favourable or otherwise, not affect the way they will consider the nation’s business. “Let them please appreciate that they are senators and honourable members of the National Assembly and the constitution entrusts the duty on then and they should please exercise this duty with the greatest show of patriotism, ” he said.
He reminded the lawmakers of the request by President Muhammadu Buhari on the Supplementary Budget to provide for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other sources of funding which was still before them. According to him, since almost all the political parties have completed all their exercises, “we are appealing to them to please consider this budget expeditiously and pass it so that the nation’s electoral process can move forward.” The SSA also urged them, as they resume, to consider the Electoral Amendment Bill that would ensure the proper mode and method of conducting the 2019 elections. “Because funding the elections without setting the proper law that is acceptable to all to guide the election will not be good,” he said.
He added that President Buhari had laid before the lawmakers the request for borrowing to fund the 2018 Budget from the various windows before they went on vacation. “I also prayed them that before they proceeded on vacation, they had passed the 2018 Budget. And in the 2018 Budget, there was provision for borrowing. “And the provision for borrowing can only be effected when the National Assembly approves it.
“We are therefore praying them to please consider this expeditiously because Nigerians are crying and shouting: shouting because the budget is not being implemented yet, because the budget passed without passing the sources of funding the budget, without approving that the loan be taken,” he said. According to him, even if the monies were on the table, President Muhammad Buhari will not touch the money unless and until they bring together the approval by the National Assembly for that borrowing to be gotten. Enang also charged them on other issues relating to fighting corruption, economy, including approving appointments made by the executive. ”So we are appealing to the Senate in particular to let these be on their drawing board and on their fast lane, ” he enjoined.
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