Majority of the activities of the Senate in the outgoing week were done behind closed doors. After a fortnight of budget defence by various MDAs, the past week had Senate committees do their own rounds of defence before the Appropriation Committee.
Below are some of the matters that found their ways to the news.
The week began with a meeting between members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and lawmakers.
Both parties met over the rejection by the teachers to be placed under the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). The union argued that the initiative was a scam and a threat to national security as it lacks the provisions for the structure operated by Nigerian schools.
Also, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Water Resources to defend the 2020 budget of his ministry, said only 14 out of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria are open defecation-free.
He, however, said to address this, the president plans to issue an executive order to address the “unfortunate” development. He added that his ministry had kickstarted a campaign to encourage public and private establishments to provide toilets for not only their staff but also members of the public who may need access to the toilets.
The Senate resumed plenary on this day.
Before the plenary was again suspended to continue budget defence, lawmakers debated the move by the University of Maiduguri to increase their school fees. The school was urged to reverse its plan.
Also, the Senate president read the president’s letter for the confirmation of the board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
At the close of the day, the Senate President Ahmed Lawan, in a press release sent to PREMIUM TIMES, came out to oppose proponents of a unicameral legislature in the country. He said Nigeria’s ethnic diversity would be undermined by scrapping either Houses of the National Assembly.
Wednesday went without a major matter on the front burner.
Major news on the day was the Supreme Court’s validation of the February 23 general election that gave President Muhammadu Buhari a second term. Senate president Ahmed Lawan congratulated the president, saying the verdict mirrors the belief Nigerians have in the president.
Plenary is expected to resume in earnest on Tuesday. Presentation on the budget proposal by Appropriation Committee is expected to rank top of the topics of discourse. After this, debates on the bill would follow.
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