How NASS, Executive Are Collaborating To Tackle Insecurity – Lawan

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

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly and the Executive are collaborating on the best ways to tackle the issue of kidnapping and insecurity in the country.

Lawan was quoted to have said this in a statement by the Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo on Wednesday, while giving his remarks on a motion titled: “Urgent need for Security Agencies to intervene in the increased rate of kidnapping in the riverine areas of Ogun East Senatorial District and Securing the Waterways.”

According to the statement, the motion was sponsored by Senator Lekan Mustapha (APC, Ogun East).

The Senate President explained that there is an ongoing collaboration between the National Assembly and security agencies to seek alternative ways of finding a permanent solution to the lingering situation of kidnapping and insecurity across the country.

Identifying funding as a major setback in the fight against insecurity, Lawan said the legislature with the support of the executive arm of government would explore the possibility of sourcing for funds separately from what was budgeted for security agencies in the 2020 budget.

He warned that relying solely on budgetary provisions for security agencies would make it impossible for the Federal Government to tackle the challenge of insecurity across parts of the country.

Lawan further disclosed that the National Assembly had requested the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, to come up with a proposal for the acquisition of drones that would be deployed across the country to facilitate the arrest of kidnappers.

He said the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had also received the nod to devise a means of tracking kidnappers through active mobile numbers used in the course of negotiations.

The Senate President, who disclosed plans by the Federal Government to launch a National Emergency Call Centre, said an emergency phone number was already activated for the purpose of contacting the various security agencies in times of distress.

“In the last one month, I’ve been holding regular meetings with security agencies, including the Ministers of Communications and the Federal Capital Territory.
“What we are trying to do is to get a better and result-oriented approach to fighting kidnapping and insecurity.

“We have insisted that no amount of resources will be too much because we need to protect our people and secure the country.

“It will remain a pipe dream if we continue to ask investors to come to Nigeria; even those in Nigeria will not invest properly if the security situation remains very dicey.

“This is something that the National Assembly will have to do together with the executive arm of government. We have to look for something out of the ordinary for funding.

“We have to go out of our way to look for resources outside the national budget. If we can release seven billion naira to Distribution Companies (Discos) or Generation Companies (Gencos), nothing stops us from looking for such money to address the security situation of the country.

“We have already given a request for the NSA to come up with the different designs and models of drones. We hope there should be drones properly deployed to ensure kidnappers are arrested.

“We have to find a way to be able to track kidnappers through phones. We should have launched the National Emergency Call Centre with a specific number about two weeks ago.

“We have tried to reconcile all security agencies to have one specific number instead of separate and different ones. We want the emergency call centres to be established across the country. At the moment we have only two major ones”.

Earlier, the sponsor of the motion, Senator Mustapha bemoaned the recent increase in the activities of criminal syndicates who specialize in kidnapping and militant activities in and around riverine communities in Ogun East Senatorial District, particularly Ode-omi, Makun and Iwopin in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun state.

He said that the activities of these criminals have forced law-abiding residents of coastal and riverine communities of the affected communities to flee their communities and livelihood out of fear.

Accordingly, the Senate in its resolutions urged the Federal Government to direct the Inspector-General of Police to immediately instruct the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, to beef-up the strength of his men to effectively secure all the affected creeks and communities.

The upper chamber also urged the Federal Government to direct the Inspector-General of Police to immediately make available sufficient helicopters for aerial surveillance and gunboat to the Marine Police departments to enable the state command tackle the activities of militants.

The Senate also urged the Nigerian Navy to establish a Naval Base in Makun-omi because of its strategic location between Ondo and Lagos State and its accessibility to both road and water.

Justice Tanko Muhammad Seeks Executive, Legislature Partnership To Restructure Judiciary

 

Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammed has called for collaboration between the three tiers of government to reposition the judiciary.

Justice Tanko who spoke at the red Chambers on Wednesday while addressing Senators on his confirmation as substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria said that the judiciary will not go begging the executives for anything.

“The Nigerian judiciary is only one arm of government, we cannot on our own, except when we put heads together with the legislature and the executive, that we may be able to project Nigerian judiciary to the limelight.

“With due respect, that is not the true position of what is obtained in the society, we rely on what is made as a provision for us, we never go hand in cap begging or asking for anything, because if I ask tomorrow, I will be asked, and I wouldn’t like it. Therefore, we are very careful and we remain contempt with the provision made for us.”

READ ALSO: Senate Confirms Tanko Muhammad As Chief Justice Of Nigeria

The acting CJN stated that a lot of amendments need to be done to many laws so that the operations of the Judiciary can be instrumental; particularly a review of the criminal laws of the country to make stiffer penalties that will deter criminals.

“Where we have the opportunity like the one the Senate has provided today if I am permitted to bring all sorts of problems that are becoming stumbling blocks to the progress of the Nigerian judiciary, or particularly, the federal level.

“We hope by the time we go back, we make attempts to bring our proposal for the amendments of many of our laws, when we get them amended, certainly, the operations will be better.

“I intend, God’s willing to project if I have the cooperation of the executive and the legislature.”

He urged lawmakers to look into the financial autonomy of the judiciary, as this would close the ends that could encourage corruption in the judiciary.

Lawan Meets Osinbajo, Promises Seamless Relationship Between Executive, Legislature

 

Senate President Ahmed Lawan has assured Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, that there would be a seamless relationship between the Legislative and Executive arms of government.

He also allayed fears over assumptions that that the National Assembly would constantly dance to the tune of the executive.

Lawan gave the assurance after a meeting with Osinbajo at the State House in Abuja.

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According to him, the meeting was an opportunity to thank the Vice President for his role in the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly, as well discuss better ways of collaboration between both arms of government.

Controversy Trails Benue Anti-Grazing Bill

Benue Govt. Denies Inducement On Anti-Grazing BillA major controversy appears to be brewing in Benue State over the change in the content and title of the Open Grazing Prohibition Bill recently sent to the legislative by the executive in the state.

The revelation was made by the State House of Assembly, after the letter sent by the executive substituting the earlier bill with the contentious livestock promotion bill was read in the Assembly.

The State Government, however, denied any external influence leading to the change as alleged in some quarters.

The executive added that the new version was drafted to accommodate more views in the bill.

Reps Task Executive On Proactive Measures To Tackle Recession

Reps, Executive, Recession, House of RepresentativesThe House of Representatives has called on the Executive to take more proactive steps to abate the hardship being experienced by citizens due to Nigeria’s economic recession.

The appeal was made on Thursday following a motion sponsored by a member of the House from Benue State, Representative Emmanuel Orker-Jev.

The motion was supported by the Chief Whip of the House, Representative Alhassan Dogowa, and the Chairman of the House Committee on Banking, Representative Jones Onyereri.

Although the lawmakers acknowledged that the Executive was taking steps to address the situation, they stressed the need to do more.

The House consequently set up an ad-hoc committee to monitor the various steps and policies being taken by the Federal Government to check the situation.

The committee has been given three months to complete its work, while the House revealed its plan to have a sectoral debate on the matter.

The Minority Leader, Representative Leo Ogor, hinted that the focus of the deliberation was on the economy when the House resumed the debate on the 2017 budget for the third day.

While the debate also continued in the Senate, the bill passed through second reading in both chambers.

Nigerians are expecting National Assembly to conclude its debate on the proposal and bring out a “budget of recovery and growth”.

Edo Governor Seeks Stronger Judiciary-Executive Synergy

Godwin Obaseki, Judiciary, Executive, Edo StateEdo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has called for stronger cooperation and harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Judiciary arms of government.

The Governor made the appeal at the swearing-in ceremony of Justice Esohe Ikpomwen as the substantive Chief Judge of Edo State.

Mr Obaseki noted that the strengthened collaboration would enable his administration achieve its developmental goals for Edo State.

The newly inaugurated Chief Judge assured the Governor that the state would begin to experience speedy dispensation of justice.

The ceremony took place on Thursday at the banquet hall of the Government House in Benin City, the state’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

Justice Ikpomwen, being the most senior judge in the state, took over from Justice Cromwell Idahosa who retired at the age of 65.

Buhari Advocates Greater Teamwork Between Executive And Legislature

Muhammadu Buhari, Bukola Saraki, Legislature, ExecutivePresident Muhammadu Buhari has called for closer cooperation between Nigeria’s executive and legislative arms of government.

He is optimistic that proper collaboration would ensure the smooth implementation of government’s policies and programmes.

The president said that despite the Principle of Separation of Powers, both arms of government should be united in the promotion of the common good of the people.

President Buhari added that whatever differences that might occasionally arise between the two arms of government should not be allowed to compromise their common goals of promoting the greater progress and development of Nigeria.

In a goodwill message to Dr. Bukola Saraki on Monday signed by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, President Buhari felicitated with the Senate President on his 54th birthday anniversary on December 19, 2016.

Bukola-Saraki-and-Muhammadu-Buhari

The President described the celebrant as “one of the most influential politicians of our time who has made tremendous impact on the country”.

He noted that Senator Saraki had successfully kept the memory of his late father alive by identifying with the grassroots in his home state.

Call For Greater Synergy

President Buhari wished the Senate President many more prosperous years ahead.

His call for greater synergy between the Presidency and the National Assembly is apparently made to prevent conflicting interests that followed the 2016 budget presentation.

One of these is the allegation of budget padding by the former House Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Representative Abdulmumin Jibrin, against the leadership of the House of Representatives.

The President’s statement is coming days after he presented a budget proposal of 7.298 trillion Naira for the 2017 fiscal year.

He proposed that the implementation of the budget be based on Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth strategy.

NASS To Ensure Budget Implementation For Health Sector

NASS To Ensure Budget Implementation For Health SectorThe National Assembly Health and Appropriation committees have resolved to push the executive to ensure that budgets passed for all sectors are implemented for the benefit of Nigerians.

This is part of the outcome of a three-day retreat by the committees, on ways to improve Nigeria’s health sector.

Also present at the retreat held at the Pan African Parliament in Johannesburg, were lawmakers from Swaziland and Zimbabwe, who shared experiences from their country.

One of the representatives addressing the committees said “you can make thousands of laws but if they are not implemented, you are just as good as doing nothing”.

Experts in budget research were also on hand to present their findings regarding budgetary performance in Nigeria.

“Instated of allocating more money to health in blanket, let us focus on capital expenditures, because that is what translates to what people get.

“Then quarterly budget releases and implementation report, how can we be deliberating a new budget, if we have not seen the report of what has been vetted in the past.

“The last thing I would recommend is access to the health ministry audit report.
A lot of things have been identified, what exactly are we doing concerning those issues,” an expert said.

According to the committees, “everything begins and falls with leadership” and following the retreat, they are set to enforce the adequate implementation of all budgets from 2017.

Saraki Denies Friction Between Legislature And Executive

Saraki Denies Friction Between Legislature And ExecutiveSenate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has dismissed insinuation in some quarters of a frosty relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government.

Dr. Saraki was speaking to State House correspondents shortly after holding a meeting with the President, following the Friday jumat prayers in the Presidential Villa.

He said that both arms of government are working to move Nigeria forward.

He asked Nigerians not to politicize the Senate’s rejection of the President’s request for foreign borrowing.

“Don’t let us politicize very important issues. As we said, this is work in progress,” he said.

The Senate has explained that it turned down the external borrowing request due to “lack of documents supporting the request as referenced in the letter” from the President.

President Buhari wrote to the National Assembly seeking its approval for an external borrowing of 29.9 billion dollars to ensure the prompt implementation of projects.

The Senate had also accused the Executive of submitting an incomplete Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly.

The National Assembly is required to pass the MTEF and FSP before working on the 2017 budget.

At Thursday’s legislative proceedings, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, drew the attention of the lawmakers to a statement credited to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udo Udoma, in a newspaper report.

Senator Ndume said that the Minister allegedly stated that the National Assembly was to be blamed for any delay in the presentation of the 2017 budget.

He also claimed that the MTEF, which the Executive submitted to the Senate was empty, adding that it has hindered work on the policy document.

The lawmaker alleged that attempts to get Mr Udoma to submit the necessary documents on the MTEF to the Senate have been unsuccessful.

He also purported that the Minister has not replied the letter or made himself available for scheduled meetings.

Senate Accuses Executive Of Submitting Incomplete MTEF

National Assembly, Senate, Executive, MTEF, FSPThe Nigerian Senate has accused the Executive of submitting an incomplete Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly.

The National Assembly is required to pass the MTEF and FSP before working on the 2017 budget.

At Thursday’s legislative proceedings, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, drew the attention of the lawmakers to a statement credited to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udo Udoma, in a newspaper report.

Senator Ndume said that the Minister allegedly stated that the National Assembly was to be blamed for any delay in the presentation of the 2017 budget.

He also claimed that the MTEF, which the Executive submitted to the Senate was empty, adding that it has hindered work on the policy document.

The lawmaker alleged that attempts to get Mr Udoma to submit the necessary documents on the MTEF to the Senate have been unsuccessful.

He also purported that the Minister has not replied the letter or made himself available for scheduled meetings.

On Tuesday, October 4, President ‎Muhammadu Buhari forwarded to the National Assembly, the MTEF which showed a proposal to spend 6.8 trillion Naira on the 2017 budget with the debt servicing of 1.6 trillion Naira.

The receipt of the document was acknowledged at plenary by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Based on the MTEF, the oil benchmark price is put at $42.50 per barrel with 2.2 million barrels of oil production per day and an exchange rate of 290 Naira to a dollar.

The document also states that 65 billion Naira will be spent on the Amnesty Programme while 350 billion Naira will be spent on the special intervention programme in 2017.

Buhari Congratulates NBA On Inauguration Of New Executive

Buhari, NBA, Inauguration, executiveThe President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday congratulated the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on the inauguration of its new executive.

He celebrated the new administration led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, during the 2016 Annual General Conference held in Port-Harcourt.

The President also commended the outgoing executive, led by Augustine Alegeh for the resourceful exchange of ideas, commitment and support for national development.

He urged the new President of the NBA to use his vast experience in private practice, and public service, garnered over the years to build on the legacies of his predecessor, and contribute to reforms across Nigeria.

As the new executive settles down to work, Buhari looks forward to having a strong and sustainable relationship with the leaders, especially in jointly tackling the challenges currently facing the nation.

The 56th edition of the NBA conference, has attracted lawyers from across the country and beyond.

So far, the conference has been considered as possibly the largest gathering of legal practitioners, with this year’s edition, focusing on democracy and economic development.

The President prayed that the almighty God would grant the new NBA executive, the wisdom to realise their vision for the association and Nigeria.

The week-long conference, which started on August 21, has featured variety of activities ranging from seminars, lectures, and the election exercise, amongst others.

At the end of the conference, the Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, is expected to produce a blueprint for national development.

He, however, expressed his enthusiasm towards jointly tackling some of the current issues facing the nation, and assured the people of sustainable development in the state, through the execution of projects that would positively impact lives.

Budget Padding Is From Executive, Not National Assembly – Ozekhome

Mike Ozekhome, Budget Padding, National AssemblyA constitutional lawyer, Mr Mike Ozekhome, believes that the padding of the 2016 budget originated from the executive arm of government and not the legislative.

The legal practitioner, who spoke on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, linked his opinion to the sacking of some officials at the budget office by the President.

“The real padding in this current budget was actually from the executive, not from the National Assembly.

“President Muhammadu Buhari had to sack some people in the budget office when he discovered through some ministers who literally denounced their appropriation figures before the National Assembly, saying (that) it was not my deed (what we call ‘Non Est factum’ in law),” he stated.

Mr Ozekhome expressed dismay that the sacked officials were yet to be arraigned before a court.

Smuggled Figures

On the other hand, he explained that padding would have occurred at the National Assembly if figures were smuggled in the budget, after the lawmakers had made a resolve.


“Padding can only occur in the National Assembly if figures are smuggled in, after the finance committees at the various appropriation committee (Finance Committee, Budget Committee and the National Planning Committee) have agreed.

“If after they have agreed on certain figures debated and approved by the House itself at a plenary session, someone manages again to smuggle in some figures, then that could be padding,” he said.