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.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Insurgency: We Lost Over 847 Soldiers From 2013 To Date, Says Ndume

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.

2020 Budget: Defend Your Budget Estimates This October – Lawan Tells MDAs

 

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

Mr Lawan made the call at first joint session of the National Assembly which sat for the presentation of the 2020 budget proposal.

He stated that the National Assembly will work swiftly to see that the budget as processed in time.

READ ALSO: FG To Service Debt With N2.45trn, Says Buhari

“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.

The Senate President stressed the need for Nigeria to return to a January-December budget cycle, saying that the National Assembly would accelerate work on the 2020 Appropriation Bill being presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

We Must Reduce Out-Of-School Children – Senate President

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 Ibrahim Lawan, on Thursday, said the upper chamber will work to reduce the number of out-of-school children across the country.

Lawan made the comment after the Legislative Agenda for the ninth Senate was adopted.

“Today, the education sector suffers a lot. 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 the government has to take responsibility,” Lawan said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Nominates NCC Executive Commissioner, Seeks Senate Approval

The Senate President said the government, both at the federal and state levels, will have to create some funds to employ and train more teachers.

Lawan said the upper chamber will work assiduously to implement its legislative agenda.

“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,” Lawan said.

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

The red chamber said it will channel its 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.

Senate President Tasks Committees To Address Insecurity, Unemployment

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, charged standing committees of the upper chamber to ensure the discharge of their duties with a view to addressing major challenges facing the nation.

Lawan gave the charge in his remarks during the inauguration of the standing committees of the Senate.

He said, “Our country is facing the challenges of insecurity, while our largely youthful population is affected by unemployment, among other problems. Fortunately, we are also blessed with abundant agricultural land.

READ ALSO: Buhari Submits Medium Term Expenditure Framework To Senate

“We are similarly endowed with abundant solid minerals in all parts of our country. The oil and gas resources have remained our major source of revenue. Our challenges can be appropriately addressed with our rich endowments. What we require therefore is the strategic deployment of those resources.

“We can plan and use our agricultural potentials to achieve not only national food security but also the process for exports. Again, our solid minerals sector is largely untapped and we can exploit those resources through the right policies and supportive legislations.”

He, therefore, called on relevant standing committees to look into the challenges such as insecurity and unemployment, as well as ensure reforms in the petroleum and agricultural sectors of the economy with a view to addressing them through the instrument of legislation.

Senate To Pass PIB Before End Of 2020

The Senate President called for deep reform of the petroleum industry.

He said, “Our petroleum industry is almost stagnant and for long needing profound reform. Our oil and gas-related committees are therefore expected to work hard to take the lead in our determination to reform this vital sector. It is the desire, indeed the design of this Senate that, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is passed before the end of 2020.

“The security architecture of our country has not achieved the desired results of providing the needed security to our citizens. Our security agencies need better funding and other resources for better performance.

“As security is a fundamental responsibility of government, no amount of investment is too much. Our security-related committees are therefore challenged to assess and review both the architecture and structure of our security agencies towards improved efficiency.”

Seeks The Cooperation Of Ministers, Heads Of MDAs

He urged Ministers and Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to cooperate with the newly inaugurated committees where necessary, so as to deliver on the agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.

“As we set to start our committee activities, the Senate expects the total cooperation of the executive arm of government. The Senate expects the Honourable Ministers and head of agencies of government to be forthcoming and responsive to the engagement requests of our committees.

“Our committees will undertake regular oversights with a view to ensuring that government programmes and projects are properly executed for the benefit of our citizens.

“As the committees are the engine rooms of the legislature, so are the MDAs to the executive. This is why there is the need for cooperation, consultation, partnership and synergy between the two arms of government.

“The Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are hereby called upon to harness the opportunity of the existence of the committees in the execution of their mandates. We must have a unity of purpose.”

Senate Rolls Out Legislative Agenda

The Senate on Wednesday received a report of its ad-hoc committee on the 9th Senate Legislative Agenda. Chairman of the committee, Senator Adamu Mohammad Aliero (Kebbi Central) presented the report.

The consideration and adoption of the report are slated for Thursday. This is to enable Senators time to read and digest the report for effective contributions during its debate.

Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, at the election, had promised to fashion a legislative agenda to guide the effective performance of Senators.

Senator Aliero listed youth empowerment to curb the increasing number of youth unemployment, poverty alleviation to ensure that 100 million Nigerians are lifted out of poverty in the next four years as part of the plank of the agenda.

Aliero also listed legislative framework to tackle the phenomenon of out of school children in the country, creation of special health centres in the six geopolitical zones and reduction of acute housing deficit in the country.

The Kebbi Central senator also listed fashioning legislative measures to further enhance gender equality, infrastructure deficit, increase agricultural production, fast-tracking the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and holistic reform of the oil and gas sector as other parts of the agenda.

He said the Senate will also work to further block revenue leakages, back anti-corruption, make procurement processes less cumbersome.

He highlighted the Open NASS policy, where the budget of the National Assembly will be in the public glare.

By throwing open the budget of the National Assembly, Nigerians will know that we have nothing to hide, Aliero said.

Yobe People ‘Prayed And Fasted For Me’ To Be Senate President – Lawan

Senator Ahmed Lawan greets a crowd during a visit to Yobe State on August 27, 2019.

 

 

Senator Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday said the people of Yobe State gave him their total support to be elected the President of the Senate.

He stated this during a thank-you visit to Yusufari, Jakusko and Bade Local Government Areas of the state.

“The people of Yobe State, across political shades, prayed and fasted for me to be elected into the office of President of the Senate, and I’m happy we were able to make it,” the lawmaker was quoted as saying in a statement from the media office of the Senate President.

He thanked the people of Yobe, particularly the state governor, Mr Mala Buni; his predecessor, Senator Ibrahim Geidam, and all the leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.

A Better National Assembly

Senator Lawan, therefore, noted that work has started and asked for more prayers to remain focused on the job.

He said, “I want to urge them (the people) to continue to pray for us at the National Assembly, particularly in the Senate, for us to continue to perform optimally.

“As an institution, we have a lot to do to support the executive arm of government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver on the dividends of democracy and our campaign promises to Nigerians.”

“So, I’m happy to be back, especially knowing also that the people of Yobe believe in their son. I have no reason not to do what is right, as they have shown trust and commitment to this cause and I want to tell them that I will remain resolute and focused as I intend to work hard to achieve the desired goals,” he said.

READ ALSO: Lagos Assembly Sets Up Panel To Probe Ambode

Senator Lawan believes with the support he has received so far from his colleagues in the Senate, the lawmakers will achieve a lot in the Ninth Assembly.

He added, “I also believe that Nigeria will have a better National Assembly, and a working legislature at the federal level that will, in turn, allow Nigerians have a better deal in terms of the development of the country.”

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.”

READ ALSO: Kogi Youths March, Demand Peaceful Governorship Election

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.”

Senate President Announces Leadership Of 69 Committees

Senate Will Ensure Improved Railway Service, Says Lawan
A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Photo: [email protected]

 

 

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has announced the leadership of 69 committees for the Senate.

Senator Lawan made the announcement on Tuesday during plenary.

READ ALSO: Senate Confirms All 43 Ministerial Nominees

This comes after the confirmation of 43 ministerial nominees sent in by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

The screening of the ministerial nominees came to a conclusion after a week-long process.

LIST OF STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE 9TH SENATE

S/NOCOMMITTEESCHAIRMANVICE CHAIRMAN
1Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentSen. Abdullahi AdamuSen. Bima Mohd Enagi
2AirforceSen. Bala Ibn Na’AllahSen. Ama Micheal Nnachi
3Anti-corruption and Financial CrimesSen. Suleiman Abdu KwariSen. Aliyu Wamako
4AppropriationsSen, Ibrahim Barau JibrinSen, Stella Adaeze Oduah
5ArmySen. Mohd Ali NdumeSen. Abba Moro
6AvationSen. Dino MelayeSen. Bala Na’Allah
7Banking, Insurance and other Financial InstitutionsSen. Uba SaniSen. Orji Uzor Kalu
8Capital MarketSen, Ibikunle AmosunSen, Binos Dauda Yero
9CommunicationsSen. Oluremi TinubuSen. Ibrahim Bomoi
10Cooperation and Integration In Africa/NEPADSen. Chimaroke NnamaniSen. Yusu Abubakar Yusuf
11Culture and TourismSen. Rochas OkorochaSen. Ignatius Longjan
12Customs, Excise and tariffSen. Francis AlimekhenaSen. Francis Fadahunsi
13DefenceSen. Aliyu WamakoSen. Istifanus Gyang
14Diaspora and NGOSen. Ajibola BasiruSen. Yahaya Ibrahim Oloriegbe
15Downstream PetroleumSen. Sabo Mohd NakuduSen. Phillip Tenimu Aduda
16Drugs and NarcoticsSen. Ezekiel Ayuba DimkaSen. Chimaroke Nnamani
17Ecology and Climate ChangeSen. Hassan Mohd GusauSen. Olubumi Adetumbi
18Education ( Basic and Secondary)Sen. Ibrahim GeidamSen. Etim Eyekenyi
19Employment, labour and productivitySen. Benjamin NwajumoguSen. Kabir Barkiya
20EnvironmentSen. Ike EkweremaduSen.Ibrahim Hadeija
21Establishment and Public ServiceSen. Ibrahim ShekarauSen. Barinada Mpigi
22Ethics, privileges and Public PetitionsSen. Patrick AkinyelureSen. Ahmad Baba Kaita
23FCTSen. Abubakar KyariSen. Tolu Odebiyi
24Federal Character and Inter- governmental AffairsSen. Danjuma La’ahSen. Lawal Yahaya Gumo
25FERMASen. Henry BasseySen. Kabi Barkiya
26FinanceSen. Adeola OlamilekanSen. Isah Jibrin

Senate President Objects As Melaye Asks Keyamo To Recite National Anthem

A drama almost played out on Friday in the Senate over the recitation of Nigeria’s national anthem.

While the lawmakers were holding a special session to screen ministerial nominees presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi) stood up to asked a couple of questions.

The lawmaker directed his questions to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Festus Keyamo, who stood on the floor of the Senate as one of the nominees.

READ ALSO: Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

Senate President Objects As Melaye Asks Keyamo To Recite National Anthem

Senator Melaye’s inquiries bordered on Mr Keyamo’s qualification to hold the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He said, “I start by congratulating my ‘paddy’ and friend, Festus Keyamo, and our relationship actually dates some years back, not recent. I just want to start by saluting your intellectual.

“I want to quote Section 174 of the Constitution and then ask my question in that regard, section 150 talks about who is qualified to be Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

After asking about two questions relating to his qualification for the office, Senator Melaye asked Keyamo to recite the nation’s anthem.

“I just want to say that as a versatile minster, I know you to be intellectually mobile, you recite the second stanza of the national anthem,” he said.

However, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, interjected and asked the legal practitioner to ignore the recitation of the national anthem.

“That is not a question,” Senator Lawan told Senator Melaye, adding, “You have asked very direct questions.”

It is believed that a number of Nigerians cannot recite the national anthem fluently.

The nation’s anthem is mostly sung to mark the commencement of activities in primary and secondary schools, as well as government events among others.

Lawan, Gbajabiamila Meet With Buhari

 

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The meeting held at the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital.

At the end of the meeting, Senator Lawan said the subsequent budget will not suffer delay as a result of the delay in the submission of the ministerial list.

He believes the budget cycle of January to December is possible should the Executive forward the proposal to the National Assembly early enough.

“I think there is nothing to worry as deeply; the budget itself is normally prepared by civil servants. The permanent secretaries superintend and the directors do the work most of the time,” the lawmaker told State House correspondents.

He added, “I believe that we are still on course and I believe that both the Executive and the Legislature are on the same page on this.

“We all desire and are prepared and determined to ensure that we pass the budget by the first or second week of December, by the grace of God, provided it is presented to us in September, end of September.”

Senate President Warns South Africa Against Further Attacks On Nigerians

A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Photo: [email protected]

 

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has condemned the continuous killings of Nigerians in South Africa, warning that further attack on Nigerians would no longer be condoned.

He stated this on Monday while receiving the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr. Bobby Moroe.

His visit to the Senate President is to unravel the causes of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and steps being taken to stop it.

However, Mr Lawan expressed concern over the 118 Nigerians that have been lost  in different attacks over the years, out of which 13 were by South African Police.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Reps To Give Zamfara Special Budgetary Attention

The meeting, according to the Senate President became pertinent considering the incessant attacks on Nigerians residing in South Africa.

He said: “We in the Parliament must speak and prevent any further killings. These killings must stop. This is the era of social media where corpse of a victim may spark violence that may go beyond the control of government.

“The South African government must as a matter of urgency do whatever it takes to protect the lives and property of Nigerians living there, just as Nigerian government remain committed to the safety of South Africans residing here and their investments.

“I believe we have faced enough, we will no longer take it anymore. We want to write the names of Nigerians killed, and the South African parliament must act fast to put a stop to this menace.

“Over the years, 118 Nigerians have been killed, while 13 out of these were killed by South African Police”.

He recalled the enormous contributions of Nigeria to South Africa during the apartheid rule, adding that, “we must establish events leading into these killings, including the recent one of Mrs.Elizabeth Chukwu, who was killed in her hotel room.”

Nigeria, he said would no longer condone such killings, and urged South African government to as a matter of responsibility protect Nigerians residing there.

While commending the High Commissioner for the updates, Lawan noted that, “the update on the cause of late Mrs. Chukwu’s death is heartwarming. It is a sign that something has been done in this regards.”

Earlier, Mr. Moroe, who expressed regret over the killings of Nigerians and extended his country’s condolences to the families of the victims said that, an inquest had been instituted to investigate all cases of xenophobic attacks in the country.

The inquest, he said would reveal the cause of the menace and find solutions across board, and reiterated the commitment of South African government and its law enforcement agencies to get to the root of the matter while bringing to book perpetrators of the attacks.

“Our government will continue to be committed to the good relationship with Nigeria. Your sentiment has gone deep into our heart, and you will be happy that the same sentiment has been our concern in South Africa.

“On behalf of the government of South Africa, we express our sincere condolences to Nigerian government for this unfortunate incident”, he stated.

Senate President Clarifies Comments On Ministerial List

A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Photo: [email protected]

 

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, has clarified his comments on the list of ministerial nominees expected from President Muhammadu Buhari.

He spoke to reporters shortly after a dinner with the President on Thursday at the Aso Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The Senate President said he never promised Nigerians that the list of Ministerial nominees would be out this week.

[READ ALSO] Ministerial List: I Am Under Tremendous Pressure – Buhari

He made emphasis that he used the word ‘could’ when the issue was discussed during plenary on Wednesday at the Senate Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

Senator Bassey Akpan from Akwa Ibom North-East district had raised a point of order to inform his colleagues about their recess coming up and the need for the President to constitute a cabinet.

Responding, Senator Lawan said President Buhari may submit the list of ministerial nominees for consideration and approval by the Senate before the end of the week.

He had also told the lawmakers that the Executive Arm was working to ensure that the list was ready before they proceed on their annual two-month break.

A day after, the President hosted the National Assembly leadership to a dinner during which he spoke about the delay in unveiling of the ministerial list.

He said he was aware of the calls for him to form his cabinet, saying, “I am under tremendous pressure on it.”

“The last cabinet which I had, most of them, a majority of them I didn’t know. I had to accept their names and recommendation from the party. I worked with them for three and a half years,” President Buhari told the lawmakers.”

The dinner took place one month after the President was sworn in for a second term.

On July 5, he reappointed Mr Abba Kyari as his Chief of Staff, as well as Mr Boss Mustapha as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).