Senate Will Deepen Women Participation In Politics – Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during plenary in the Senate Chamber in Abuja on September 27, 2019.

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the Senate will support initiatives and efforts aimed at widening the scope of women participation in politics and governance.

Lawan stated this on Wednesday when he hosted a delegation of United Nations Women at the National Assembly, Abuja.

According to him, “there’s a need to do more for women participation in politics and governance in Nigeria.”

“We are looking forward to improving the number of women at the National Assembly by widening and deepening the scope of participation by women in Nigerian politics,” he said.

Speaking further, the Senate President recalled that the introduction and passage of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act by the 8th National Assembly facilitated the participation of young persons in politics during the last general elections.

Read Also: Senate President Opens Public Hearing On 2020 Budget Proposals

He said the National Assembly, in a bid to extend the gesture to Nigerian women, “will be openly disposed to support everything that will widen the political space for them.”

“I believe that with the percentage of the population that our women in Nigeria have, they deserve to be there on the table when decisions will be taken.

“I believe that the support will be total, whole and complete when we are able to capture every possible interest or sphere of participation that women are supposed to be involved in,” Lawan added.

Speaking earlier, the Deputy Executive Director and leader of the UN Women delegation, Ms. Asa Regner, called on the National Assembly to support efforts that will ensure the inclusion of women in governance.

According to Regner, Nigeria blazing the trail would encourage other countries within the African continent to widen the space for women participation in politics.

“Whatever happens in Nigeria plays a very important role in the region and the rest of the world,” Regner stressed.

On the visiting delegation are: Ms. Oulimata Sarr, Regional Director, West and Central Africa and Ms. Comfort Lamptey, Country Representative.

Senators present during the courtesy visit include: the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi; Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice; Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi; Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, and Deputy Minority Leader, Sahabi Y’au.

Others are: Senators Rose Okoh, Chairman, Committee on Trade and Investments; Oluremi Tinubu, Chairman, Committee on Communications; Betty Apiafi, Chairman, Committee on Women Affairs; Ibrahim Gobir, Chairman, Committee on National Security and Intelligence; Michael Nnachi, Vice Chairman, Committee on Surface, and Sadiq Umar (APC, Kwara North).

Senate President Opens Public Hearing On 2020 Budget Proposals

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during a session in the Senate Chamber in Abuja.

 

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has declared open a two-day public hearing on the 2020 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly early in October.

The National Budget Hearing on the 2020 budget is jointly convened by the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriation.

Declaring the public hearing open on Wednesday, Senate President Lawan explained that the public hearing was aimed at accommodating the suggestions and inputs of critical stakeholders with a view to adding value to legislation through the channels of inclusion and public engagement.

He added that the successful implementation of a nation’s annual budget depends on increased participation by stakeholders, and awareness and education of citizens.

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The lawmaker noted that the importance of the budget proposal in national development cannot be overemphasised, stressing that was the reason why inputs have to be all-inclusive.

“We understand that the budget proposal is about fiscal targets, resource allocation, public expenditure policy, productivity, and efficiency. We also understand that the process is one of passage, mobilisation, and execution.

“For them to work well, however, we have to have increased participation, which also amounts to empowerment in the realm of information, awareness, and education,” Lawan said.

He added, “An improved understanding most times comes through the exchange of ideas. It comes in a process of agreement and disagreement. Better awareness or expansion of thoughts could also come through purposeful interactions.

“Other than this is the fact that public hearing is a legislative tool of participation. Through it, we engage with critical stakeholders and the public, either separately or collectively. The overall essence is not just engagement or consultation, but also for the greater good of the people.”

The Senate President stated that the collective decision of the ninth Assembly to revert to the January-December budget cycle as provided in the 1999 Constitution as amended stemmed from the need to achieve a predictable economic framework for Nigeria.

He said the present budget cycle in operation created problems of planning and implementation in the nation’s economic framework.

Nigeria Needs Prayers To Overcome Challenges – Lawan

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says Nigeria needs prayers to overcome its challenges.

Lawan was quoted to have this in a statement signed by the Special Adviser (Media) to President of the Senate, Ola Awoniyi, on Wednesday.

“Given the situation we are in today, the various challenges that Nigeria and its people face, we even need to pray more,” he said while receiving a delegation of the Christian Legislators’ Fellowship of the National Assembly.

The delegation was led by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, was also in attendance at the meeting.

The objective of the meeting was to invite the Senate President to the 10th National Prayer Breakfast scheduled to hold on October 31, 2019 at the International Conference Center, Abuja.

Speaking further, Lawan noted that the Prayer Breakfast was timely and therefore, urged everyone to seek the face of God for answered prayers ahead of the programme.

“Today, we face serious security challenges. Where we have security agencies which are mandated to ensure that we are secured and protected, if nothing, we should pray for them that they are able to perform well.

“It is not only in empowering them with weapons; the power of God is beyond weapons. I’m sure that all people of faith will continue to pray for our security agencies to protect us,” Lawan said.

The Senate President, who also mentioned challenges in the economy, said as leaders, “we have the responsibility to ensure that we continue to provide leadership, to continue to seek the intervention of God in the way and manner that we lead our people.

“We have to do whatever we can to be as truthful, transparent and accountable to our people,” he added.

“I believe that this country needs prayers, and that this country needs unity amongst all faith. We all worship one God, and he is the only way through which we can have our country led properly”.

We Are Very Concerned About The Security Challenges In The FCT – Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during plenary in the Senate Chamber in Abuja on September 27, 2019.

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday held a crucial security meeting with top officials who are directly charged with the security of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The meeting, which held at the Senate President’s office, was also attended by key officers of the Senate.

“We are very concerned, like all of you are, about the level of security challenges in the FCT,” Lawan said in his remarks before the meeting went into a closed door session

The Senate President said the meeting was to address the current security challenges in the FCT and chart the way forward.

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Lawan said the meeting was a follow-up to an earlier meeting held last week, adding that the idea was to engage those who are directly dealing with the security issues within the FCT

In attendance at the meeting were the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno; FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, and Director General of Department of State Service, Yusuf Magaji Bichi.

Others are the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Peter Ogunyanwo, who represented the Inspector General of Police; FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma and Permanent Secretary in the FCT Administration, Chinyeaka Ohaa.

Senators in attendance: Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi; Dep. Senate Leader, Senator Robert Boroffice; Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu; Dep. Chief Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi; Dep. Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, and Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda

Others are: the Chairman of Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Abdullahi Gobir; Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari; Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs,

Senator Haliru Jika; Chairman, Senate Committee on Airforce, Bala Ibn Na’allah, and Vice chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

Amendment Of Production Sharing Contract Bill Will Generate More Revenue, Says Lawan

Photo: @SPNigeria Twitter Handle

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has said that the current move by the Senate to amend the bill on Production Sharing Contract in the oil and gas industry is aimed at generating more revenues from Nigeria’s endowment.

Lawan in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, added that the move has become necessary and the process will create a way for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill in 2020.

The Senate President spoke while declaring open a public hearing on the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004 (amendment) Bill 2019 which was convened jointly by the Senate committees on Petroleum (upstream), Gas, finance, and Judiciary.

“It has become absolutely necessary for us to do so as a country so that we can generate more revenues from our endowments.

“We want to attract more investments and therefore it is absolutely necessary that we engage in a process that we produce a win-win situation for Nigeria and the business concerns in the oil and gas industry.

“Let me assure everyone here that the National Assembly is determined to pass this bill and of course that will be a precursor to our determination to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill next year,” Lawan said.

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Lawan said that the PIB which was first introduced in 2007 and is yet to be passed will have a different dimension that will aid its reality.

“We want to see a situation where the Legislature and the Executive work very closely to have a PIB that will attract investment into the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

“An investment climate that will be competitive; we know we have other countries who have this product, and therefore we have to be competitive, we have to have an environment where the businesses make a profit.

“This is a journey that involves everyone.  We want both governments – and that includes the legislature and executive on one hand and IOCs (International Oil Companies) to work together to ensure that this environment we are trying to create is an environment that will work for all of us,” Lawan added.

He explained that the Senate has resolved to ensure that the Oil and Gas business in Nigeria remain profitable and are mindful of the need to maintain a competitive environment for businesses to continue to thrive.

2020 Budget: We’ll Not Be Frustrated To Miss December Target, Says Lawan

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has stressed that the passage of the 2020 Budget proposals will not miss the year-end deadline, urging all Ministers, Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to take advantage and defend their budgets.

Lawan in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, reiterated the position of the National Assembly at the unveiling of the Legislative Agenda of the House of Representatives, said that the lawmakers will not allow anyone to frustrate their desire to pass the 2020 Budget by December 2019.

“The National Assembly will do the right thing; which is to work on the budget and pass it,” Lawan said at the unveiling of the Legislative Agenda of the House of Representatives.

“We will not allow anyone to frustrate our desire to pass the 2020 Budget before the end of this year. So, it is an opportunity for all those concerned with defending their budgets, to take the advantage,” Lawan said.

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He hinted that the Senate will suspend plenary next week Tuesday to begin consideration of budget defence by MDAs.

“One thing that we have collectively decided in the National Assembly is to pass the budget 2020 before the end of the year.

“Already, the House has suspended plenary; the Senate will do same on Tuesday next week for the consideration of budget defence by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

“Only the window of October is available for budget defence. Any Minister or Head of Agency who decides to travel out of Nigeria, without defending his or her respective budget would have no opportunity to do so.”

NASS To Pass 2020 Budget ‘Before End Of This Year’, Says Lawan

Photo Credit: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has stated that the 2020 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari will be passed before the end of 2019.

Lawan, while addressing President Buhari at a joint session of the National Assembly, explained that the aim is to ensure that Nigeria’s budget cycle is returned to the January-December calendar year.

“The public, as well as the private sector, need a reliable budget cycle that is predictable and reliable for planning and execution of their financial policies and programmes.

“It is, therefore, necessary that the present cycle is changed to a January to December cycle. In this regard, the National Assembly and the Executive must work together to ensure the realisation of this important objective.

“In this regard, our committees will be expected to conclude their work on budget defence within October this year, the subsequent necessary legislative work will be carried out in November and December, leading to the eventual passage before the end of this year,” he added.

READ ALSO: Buhari Presents Budget Of ‘Fiscal Consolidation’ For 2020

The Senate President urged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to appear before the committees for the defence of their budget estimate within October 2019.

“The National Assembly, after the receipt of the budget estimate today will swing into swift action to start work, both chambers have constituted their committees we are therefore ready to start processing the budget estimate.

“In order for timely passage, all MDAs are expected to appear before the committees for the defence of their budget estimate within the month of October. We have earmarked the month of October to be the sole window for all budget defence activities in this year by all MDAs.

“Clearly, this effort is to enable the FG provides those laudable objectives of physical infrastructure and socio-economic services to our citizens,” he said.

President Buhari on Tuesday presented the 2020 appropriation bill termed as a budget of Fiscal Consolidation to strengthen Nigeria’s macroeconomic environment.

Senate Vows To Tackle Unemployment, Poverty, Other Challenges

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during plenary in the Senate Chamber in Abuja on September 27, 2019.

 

 

The Senate has resolved to tackle youth unemployment, poverty, and reform of the educational sector, among other challenges facing the country.

The lawmakers made the resolution on Thursday in the Red Chamber following the adoption of the Legislative Agenda for the Ninth Senate.

They vowed to channel their energy towards strengthening Basic and Technical Education by enhancing oversight on the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Act.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, pledged that the upper chamber of the National Assembly would work to reduce the number of out-of-school children across the country.

“Today, the education sector suffers a lot,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Assistant on Press, Ezrel Tabiowo.

The Senate President added, “The 11 million or 12 million children out of school – we owe them that responsibility to do something about them, and that is taking us back to the implementation of the Basic Education Act.

“How do we ensure that we reduce and eliminate the number of out-of-school children on our street? Whatever name we have to give that programme, we have to do something and government has to take responsibility.”

Senate President Lawan also noted that the government, at the federal and state levels, would have to create some funds to employ and train more teachers.

He gave assurance that the lawmakers, on their part, would work assiduously to implement its legislative agenda.

The Senate President said, “This legislative agenda is particularly ours. We represent the people, we know their feelings, and we imagine that the legislative perspectives we have here may be slightly different from the executive perspective.

“But at the same time, we are going to serve the same people, and that is where the need for us to come together and to reconcile our thinking on taking Nigeria to the next level will be.”

Senate President Congratulates Buhari On Tribunal Victory

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the victory at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

Lawan in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, urged President Buhari to accept the affirmation of his election as a reminder of the confidence of Nigerians in his capacity to continue to lead Nigeria.

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The Senate President said the Nigerian people have great expectations from the Next Level Agenda of the President and further pledged the full cooperation of the National Assembly with the Executive in the pursuit of the best interest of the Nigerian people.

“The judgment of the tribunal has again put a judicial seal on the mandate freely given to the president by the Nigerian people in the February 23 presidential election.”

Lawan also commended the petitioners for using the judicial window prescribed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in seeking redress for their grievances and urged them to join hands with the government and the Nigerian people in the important task of nation-building.

National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan

National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan
A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Photo: [email protected]

 

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has given assurance that the ninth National Assembly would work for Nigerians.

Following the recent constitution of the relevant parliamentary committees, he says the lawmakers are more prepared and ready to work for the good of the people.

Senator Lawan spoke to journalists on Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, shortly after he returned from the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

“The ninth National Assembly has been properly constituted, especially with our committees in place,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi.

He added, “We are ready, we are willing, we are capable, we are enhanced to work as an institution; to ensure that we provide those ingredients and inputs that the executive would want for it to implement laudable projects to develop the country.”

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The Senate President was full of gratitude to God for the opportunity to be part of the over 60,000 Nigerians that participated in this year’s Hajj.

He said, “We prayed for our country to achieve optimal security, to have stability, peace, and progress. We prayed for the National Assembly too. It is our prayer that the ninth National Assembly will be one to work for Nigerians and for the benefit of those who voted for us.

“Nigerians in Saudi Arabia came together with other Muslims worldwide to pray for global peace. I’m sure that with the message that we heard as part of this year’s pilgrimage and Eid generally, is a message of sacrifice, brotherhood, and unity.”

“Nigerians should thank God that we are still together, as such we should work to ensure that the unity of this country is not compromised,” he added.

Senator Lawan urged Nigerians to continue to pray for their leaders, noting that leaders were meant to serve the people and no leader would like to deliberately fail to perform.

He also urged the citizens to continually support their leaders with prayers, backed by understanding with an assurance that Nigeria would reach those great heights.

The lawmaker also reiterated his appeal to the executive arm of government on the need to be on the same page with the National Assembly, to reverse what he called the undesirable trend of the current budget cycle in the country.

“We need to work for a budget that will be passed by the National Assembly by December. That requires that we work assiduously with the executive arm of government, to have the budget laid before the National Assembly by the end of September, and for the National Assembly to lock up the whole of October this year for budget defence, so that it can be processed and passed before we go on Christmas break. It is doable, it is achievable and attainable,” he said.

He added, “I’m sure if we are able to achieve that, Nigeria’s economy will witness a boost. Businesses in Nigeria will have something predictable to work with.

“I believe that together with the executive arm of government, we should be able to do this, as this is fundamental to us in the National Assembly, and I’m sure the executive arm is also looking forward to that.”

Eid-El-Kabir: Senate President Urges Muslims To Imbibe Virtues Of Obedience, Perseverance

Ahmed Lawan

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has felicitated with Nigerians, particularly the Muslim faithful, as they celebrate this year’s Eid-El-Kabir.

In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Ola Awoniyi, Lawan urged all Muslims to draw inspiration from “the exemplary virtues demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim through his sacrifice, patience, steadfastness, generosity and obedience to Allah’s command and constituted authority”.

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National Assembly: There Is Nothing Like Jumbo Pay – Senate President

 

 

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has debunked views that members of the National Assembly receive jumbo pay.

Mr Lawan, while speaking to a group known as ‘Forum of Senators’, made up of past and present senators, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office, revealed that he receives N750, 000 as salary.

“I never believe that there is anything called jumbo pay to the National Assembly.

“NASS members, both Senate and House, receive what is their salary; I receive 750,000 as my salary.”

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He explained further that part of their functions includes oversights and assured that the 9th National Assembly will take it seriously with proper funding.

“We are going to be very serious and systematically entrenched with oversight, any minister or CEO of an organisation that is expected to function must function.

“I need to function as a senator, my office needs to be properly funded and therefore, I cannot conduct my oversight without some funding.”

The Senate President also explained the need for more engagements with the public and why it is important for the continuation of ‘OpenNASS’ initiative introduced in 2018.

“I believe that Nigerians need to understand this, we need to continue to engage with the public, they need to understand what our functions and roles are.

“So I believe that we should continue with OpenNASS; in 2018, we had the first version of it where individuals and NGO’s were invited and we had a lot of activities with the public, we will continue with the tradition and try to enhance it,” he added.