Budget Presentation, Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill, Others Top Senate Activities Last Week

Nigerian senate chambers where senators attend plenary
Nigerian senate chambers

It was a busy week with a tight security at the National Assembly in the past week.

This was not only because of the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, but also because of the numerous inaugural committee meetings which held at the complex.

Safe to say, the lawmakers maintained that energetic spirit from the first to the last legislative day of the week.

Below are some major events from the Senate last week:

Tuesday:

– As announced the week before, the president was present at the joint session of Senate and House of Representatives to present the 2020 appropriation bill. It was the first time for the current leaders of the National Assembly to host the president since the inauguration of the ninth assembly.

Mr Buhari proposed a total of N10.33 trillion for the federal government budget for 2020.

– The president also presented the Financial Bill which seeks to increase the Valued-Added Tax rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent.

– The Senate Ad-hoc committee investigating the assault incident by Elisha Abbo (PDP, Adamawa)  has submitted its  report – more than two months after it was constituted.

Read also: 2020 Budget Not Sustainable – Abaribe

The chairman of the committee, Sam Egwu, laid the report before the Senate during plenary.

Wednesday:

-The Senate commenced deliberation on the appropriation bill. While some lawmakers hailed the contents of the bill, others criticised it.

The minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, was one of the lawmakers who criticised the bill. He described the budget as a budget of taxation and said it is not sustainable.

The Senate re-introduced the anti-sexual harassment bill. The bill is sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, and was read for the first time.

The Senate confirmed Adeleke Adewolu  as an Executive Commissioner of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

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The lawmakers made the confirmation on Wednesday after considering the report of the Senate Committee on Communications.

– The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission is currently involved in over 1600 court  cases.

These cases, he said, are from the February/March general elections. He made this known when he appeared at the maiden meeting of the Senate committee on INEC.

Thursday:

– The lawmakers continued deliberated further on  the 2020 Appropriation Bill on Thursday. The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, announced that the lawmakers will continue the process next Tuesday.

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