Corruption Allegations: Senate Summons Niger Delta Affairs Minister

 

The Senate through its committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions, has summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, over allegations of abuse of office. 

Senator Ayo Akinyelure the committee’s chairman who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja said a petition before the committee alleges that the minister was aiding corrupt practices and had failed to inaugurate the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

According to him, the Minister was also accused of trying to replace the sole administrator of the NDDC, Mr Effiong Akwa, who was duly appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, and confirmed by the National Assembly, as well as sacking over 700 staff of the NDDC.


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Addressing journalists at the National Assembly complex, Senator Akinyelure said: “Umana Umana has perfected ways to present some new projects to President Muhammadu Buhari to approve it for him to start using the money to implement projects that is not appropriated by National Assembly.

“The power of a appropriation is conferred on the National Assembly not on Mr President. Mr President, can only give approval for service Wide Votes when the money appropriated by the National Assembly is not adequate to implement some projects meant for a particular, state or region.

Akinyelure said several other allegations were levelled against Umana; among which is his refusal to forward two annual budgets of the NDDC (2021 and 2022) to the National Assembly for approval, while money are being spent by the commission on the orders of the minister therefore taken the power of appropriations to himself.

He said the minister was expected to appear on November 10 by 2pm, adding that the committee had agreed to ensure the matter was accorded an accelerated hearing.

Akinyelure also said Umana was also accused of compiling projects not appropriated by Buhari to get N480 billion funds of the agency domiciled in the CBN.

He said the N480 billion was contributed by the international oil companies for the use of NDDC and the minister was allegedly going behind the back door to get the money out.

“We want the president to stop the minister because the projects he had allegedly compiled, were not appropriated for by the National Assembly.

“Our people in the Niger Deltra region where funds are being generated for the country are in a state of commatose.

“The president has in his wisdom deemed it fit to appropriate funds to the Niger Delta region but the minister has refused to bring the appropriation before the National Assembly for us democratically elected representatives of the people to give approval nut they have refused to do so.

“There are a lot of higher level mismanagement of resources due to develop the Niger Delta region.

“Whenever I decided to invite them, they will give hat excuses are the order to get by changing people who will be able to dance to their tune will be able to different areas of perfect fraud.

“We’ve come to realize we believe that Mr President is doing his best. But those he appointed as he said, as aides and ministers are frustrating the anti-corruption agenda of the president.”

Ninth Senate The Most Productive Since 1999, Says Lawan

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has advanced copious reasons to justify the current dispensation of collaboration between the National Assembly and the Executive.

Lawan said the prevailing harmonious relationship between the arms of government made the ninth National Assembly the most productive since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1999.

He disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had so far signed into law 84 bills passed by the ninth Assembly, the largest by any Nigerian President.
The Senate President made the disclosure in a paper which he delivered at the just concluded 3rd Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat held at the State House, Abuja.


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His paper was titled: “Collaboration to deliver: Fostering Executive/Legislative relationship and opportunities for legacy legislation.”

Lawan stated that his presentation was “best understood within the context of our presidential system of government and the doctrine of the separation of powers.

“The three arms of government are separate but interdependent, and the ultimate goal of each is to deliver good governance and meet the aspirations of all Nigerians.

“Many Nigerians have come to construe harmonious executive-legislative relations as a sign of weakness or subservience to the executive.

“Nothing can be further from the truth than this misperception, which we must painstakingly work to correct.

“It is not uncommon for some to view the three arms of government as occupying separate and identifiable domains of power and responsibility, with little opportunity or need for interaction.

“However, this kind of dualism is not only untenable but damaging. It is now widely recognised that good national governance depends on core state institutions working cooperatively.

“A constructive relationship between the three arms of government, i.e., legislature, the executive and the judiciary, is essential to effectively maintaining the constitution and promoting the rule of law.

“Timely consultations between all stakeholders can play a significant role in avoiding gridlocks, improving understanding and delivering development to the people on whose behalf we govern.

“The legislature is constituted by the people’s direct representatives and is responsible for reflecting the voices of ordinary Nigerians.

“This cannot be achieved through unnecessary grandstanding, conflict and war of egos. As the cliché rightly states, ‘where two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’.

“As one of the longest-serving legislators in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, I am well aware of the dangers of adopting a confrontational approach to governance issues.

“A lot of energy and resources (time and money) are dissipated over inconsequential issues rather than on dealing with substantive and livelihood-based issues that confront the average Nigerian.

“At the beginning of the 9th Assembly, we took a deliberate position to collaborate with the executive to ensure that the cardinal objective of government (welfare and security of citizens) is met.

“Hence, despite the media bashing and name-calling, I am proud to say that this National Assembly has been the most productive since 1999.

“The achievements recorded are mainly due to a harmonious executive relation and heightened engagement with the executive on proposed policies and laws long before they are formally presented to Assembly for legislative action.

“This strategy has enabled us to surmount many of the traditional obstacles and bottlenecks that confronted previous Assemblies.

“The synergy between the legislature and the executive has resulted in reforming our budgetary process to entrench transparency and accountability, professionalism, greater citizen participation, and strict guidelines and timelines (January-December).

“In addition, we worked with President Muhammadu Buhari to support the establishment of the Executive, Legislative, and Party Consultative Forum headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to promote harmony in governance towards enhancing service delivery to the Nigerian people.

“In the last few years, the National Assembly provided legislative support and approval towards the realisation of this administration’s unwavering commitment to improving security, transforming the nation’s economy and modernising infrastructure, specifically, railway system, roads and power, across the length and breadth of this country.

“The results of our collaboration are clear for all to see. President Muhammadu Buhari has granted assent to eighty four(84) bills so far, the largest by any Nigerian president.

“Many of the Acts enacted have immediate and long-term impacts on all aspects of our national life, including the economy, security, and democratic institutions.

“These include the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, Electoral Act 2022, Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022, Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020.

“Other impactful legislations are the Finance Act, 2020, Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020; Police Act, 2020; and the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act (Amendment) Act 2019, etc.

“The impact of the enactment of these landmark legislations will continue to be felt for generations to come. Indeed, a clear benefit of harmonious legislative-executive relations is the successes recorded by the 9th Assembly in passing laws that have consistently failed to scale through since 1999.

“Other areas of achievements that are hinged on effective collaboration with the executive include the adoption of legislative measures to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians, mitigate its consequences, limit its spread and improve the efficiency of Nigeria’s health system to cope with the unprecedented challenges occasioned by the pandemic.”

2023 Appropriation Bill Scales Second Reading In NASS

This file photo taken on October 7, 2021, shows a bag containing the draft 2022 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The 2023 appropriation bill of N20.5 trillion on Wednesday passed through the second reading in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The upper chamber referred the bill to its Committee on Appropriation for further legislative action and expressed dissatisfaction over the rise in recurrent expenditure which is up from over 6 trillion naira this year to over 8 trillion budgeted for next year.

According to the lawmakers, Nigeria cannot continue to borrow to fund 1 percent of its population. Subsequently, the Senate asked its committee to report back in four weeks.

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It adjourned its sitting for the next four weeks to allow its various committees to work on the 2023 budget estimates as well as a budget defence by various ministries, departments, and agencies.

The Senate will reconvene plenary on November 15, except if there is an emergency.

Similarly, in the lower chamber, the lawmakers commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the Intervention Fund for the Academic Staff Union of Universities, as well as the improvement in the budget of the judiciary.

They, however, questioned the parameters which are to fund the budget, describing them as unrealistic.

In his submission, the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elimeleu, asked both the federal and state governments to work towards bringing an end to the sit-at-home order in the South-East.

Oil Thieves Are Nigeria’s ‘Worst Enemies’ – Lawan

A new report estimates that an average of 100,000 barrels are stolen a day. (Photo: Akintunde Akinleye)

 

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has lamented about oil theft in Nigeria, describing perpetrators as the country’s “biggest enemies”. 

The lawmaker said this on Friday during the presentation of the 2023 budget proposal at the National Assembly.

“Mr. President, I consider the oil thieves the worst enemies of our country. The thieves have declared war on our country and our people,” he said.

“I strongly feel that if we do not take the necessary measures to stop the thieves immediately, our economy will be devastated, as efforts to provide infrastructure and diversification of the economy would both be thwarted.

“It is time to take drastic and desperate measures against the thieves.”

READ ALSO: Petrol Subsidy Is Unsustainable, Says Buhari In Last Budget Presentation

‘The Situation Has Worsened’

According to him, while the country is battling to generate revenue, crude oil theft is a setback to getting the needed money for developmental projects.

“Mr President, our economy is still challenged by that of revenue. The main source of revenue for the Nigerian government is oil and gas. We always consider the diversification of our economy as crucial and it is indeed crucial,” Lawan added.

“The idea of deploying our revenues from oil and gas to support the diversification into the real sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, mining, etc. is now under serious threat. The large scale and massive stealing of our oil are concerning as this reduces drastically the revenues available to the government.

“With conflicting figures, projections have put our losses from this malaise at between 700,000 to 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day, leading to about 29-35 percent losses in oil revenue in the first quarter of 2022.

“This represents an estimated total fall from N1.1 trillion recorded in the last quarter of 2021 to N790 billion in the first quarter of this year.

“The situation has worsened. Recently, the loss of our oil has reached one million barrels per day. Translated into monetary terms, our loss is monumental. The figures show we are not able to meet the OPEC daily quota of 1.8 million barrels per day.”

Buhari To Present 2023 Budget To National Assembly Today

 

President Muhammadu Buhari today will lay before the two chambers of the National Assembly, the proposed N19.76 trillion budget for the 2023 financial year.

The N19.76 trillion budget which would be the last presented by Buhari before his tenure elapses, is about a 15.37 per cent increase from the amount budgeted in 2022.

Earlier, the president had sent in a letter to the National Assembly regarding the presentation, a correspondence which was read during plenary on Tuesday, by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan and Speaker of the House Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

“This is to inform the House that I will on 10:00 am on Friday, 7th October 2022, formally present the 2023 appropriation bill to a joint session of the National Assembly.

“Please accept, Mr. Speaker, the assurances of my highest regards. I look forward to addressing the joint session,” the letter partly read.


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Shortly after reading the letter, the Senate President told his colleagues that Buhari will address the joint session of parliamentarians, dousing fears that the presentation might not have been possible, seeing that there are ongoing renovations within the National Assembly complex and many worried that there won’t be room enough to accommodate all the legislators and other guests who will be present.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday approved the 23-25 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategic Paper(FSP) ahead of the presentation of the 2023 Budget proposals by the president on Friday.

The Senate gave the approval following the consideration of the report of its Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning on the 2023-25 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) And Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) which President Muhammadu Buhari recently proposed to the National Assembly.

The report was presented by the chairman of the Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan (APC – Lagos West).

After the debate on the report, the Senate approved, for 2023, the oil price benchmark of US$73 per barrel of crude oil and sustained, as contained in the MTEF/FSP documents, the exchange rate of N437.57 to one dollar.

The Senate also approved the sum of N3.6 trillion as subsidy on petroleum products for 2023.

Other parameters approved include; “projected new borrowings of N8.437 trillion, including foreign and domestic borrowings subject to the approval of the provisions of details of the borrowing plan by the National Assembly.

“A retained revenue of N9.352 trillion as a result of increase in the oil bench mark, fiscal deficit of N10.563 trillion, Statutory transfers, totalling N722.11 billion; debt service estimate of N6.31 trillion ; sinking fund at N247.7 billion; pensions, gratuities and Retirees benefits at N827.8 billion.

The Senate further recommended for comprehensive review of waiver policy to ensure that only companies engaged in manufacturing and production are granted such waivers.

It also granted relevant oversight committees of the National Assembly the liberty to remove recycled projects in their budget proposals during the Committees’ budget defence.

Senate Approves 23-25 Medium Term Expenditure Framework

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary in the Senate.

 

The Senate on Wednesday approved the 23-25 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategic Paper(FSP) ahead of the presentation of the 2023 Budget proposals by the president on Friday.

The Senate gave the approval following the consideration of the report of its Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning on the 2023-25 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) And Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) which President Muhammadu Buhari recently proposed to the National Assembly.

The report was presented by the chairman of the Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan (APC – Lagos West).


READ ALSO: Senate Confirms 19 INEC RECs, NUPRC Executive Commissioner


After the debate on the report, the Senate approved, for 2023, the oil price benchmark of US$73 per barrel of crude oil and sustained, as contained in the MTEF/FSP documents, the exchange rate of N437.57 to one dollar.

The Senate also approved the sum of N3.6 trillion as subsidy on petroleum products for 2023.

Other parameters approved include; “projected new borrowings of N8.437 trillion, including foreign and domestic borrowings subject to the approval of the provisions of details of the borrowing plan by the National Assembly.

“A retained revenue of N9.352 trillion as a result of increase in the oil bench mark, fiscal deficit of N10.563 trillion, Statutory transfers, totalling N722.11 billion; debt service estimate of N6.31 trillion ; sinking fund at N247.7 billion; pensions, gratuities and Retirees benefits at N827.8 billion.

The Senate further recommended for comprehensive review of waiver policy to ensure that only companies engaged in manufacturing and production are granted such waivers.

It also granted relevant oversight committees of the National Assembly the liberty to remove recycled projects in their budget proposals during the Committees’ budget defence.

Senate Confirms 19 INEC RECs, NUPRC Executive Commissioner

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of 19 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission ((INEC).

It also confirmed the nomination of Muhammad Sabo Lamido as Executive Commissioner, Finance and Accounts for the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NUPRA).

The confirmations were made sequel to the consideration of the reports of its Committees on Electoral Matters, and that of Upstream Petroleum Sector respectively.


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The Resident Electoral Commissioners confirmed are: Ibrahim Abdullahi(from Adamawa); Obo Effanga(Cross River); Umar Ibrahim(Taraba); Agboke Olaleke(Ogun); Samuel Egwu(Kogi); Onyeka Ugochi(Imo); Muhammed Bashir(Sokoto); Ayobami Salami(Oyo) ; Zango Abdu(Katsina), Queen Elizabeth Agwu(Ebonyi) and Agunndu Tersoo(from Benue).

Others are: Yomere Oritsemlebi, Delta; Yahaya Ibrahim Makarfi, Kaduna; Nura Ali, Kano; Agu Uchenna, Enugu; Ahmed Yushau Garki, FCT; Hudu Yunusa, Bauci; Uzochukwu Chijioke, Anambra and Mohammad Nura from Yobe.

Presenting his report, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, Senator Kabiru Gaya said, “to determine their suitability for the positions which they were nominated, nominees were asked questions that bothered mostly on partisanship, membership of political parties, and how they hoped to improve the electoral process if and when their nominations for appointments are confirmed”.

The nominees, Gaya said, assured the committee of their non-partisanship, non-membership of any political party, and promised to discharge their responsibilities diligently according to the laid down laws.

He said the committee found no merit in the petitions against four nominees that bordered on alleged membership of political parties, partisanship, compromise and incompetence .

“The committee did due diligence on the petitions by listening to the defence of the nominees and carrying out detailed examination of the petitions to determine the validity or otherwise of the allegations against the four nominees”, Gaya said.

Senate Orders NLNG To Pay Host Communities N18.4bn Compensation Within 60 Days

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, presides over the plenary in the upper chamber of the National Assembly on April 27, 2022.

 

The Senate on Tuesday directed the Nigeria Liqufied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited to pay N18.4 billion compensation to 73 communities of Obiafu, Soku to Bonny in Rivers state for acquiring their land and loss of use of the affected land to pipeline Rights of Way through the communities.

According to the Senate’s directive, this payment is to be made within 60 days.

Following the consideration of a report by its Committee on Ethics, Priveleges And Public Petitions, the Senate resolved that the restitutions needed to be made.

Presenting the report, the Committee chairman, Senator Patrick Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central), said following its incorporation, the NLNG acquired landed properties in Rivers state spanning over 210 kilometres for use as its pipelines Right of Way which ended at the export terminal of the NLNG in Finima, Bonny Local Government of the state.


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According to him, “that there were over 73 communities and over 200 families whose hitherto agrarian source of livelihood were negatively impacted upon by the said acquisition.

“That after the the recent intervention of the Senate and after being given one month instead of 7 days allowed by the Senate to provide evidence of payment to the Committee, the NLNG could only show evidence of payment to some individuals, families and communities.

“The total amount it paid for part of the 210 kilometres of land acquired for pipelines Rights of Way was N74,642,773.00 which is not significant when compared to the sum of N18.4 billion approximately demanded by the 73 communities and over 200 families, which has never been objected to by the NLNG up till now.

“That the payment made covered only 39 communities and 73 individuals and families; and that there was no Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) signed between the communities and NLNG on future obligations in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility with the impacted communities.

“There was evidence that other oil companies such as Shell Petroleum Development Company, Totalfina, Elf Petroleum, Agip Oil Company paid compensation for the loss of use of land to their host communities.

“NLNG confessed that, the payments were made long ago and could not reasonably trace most of the payments documents but promised look for further evidence to show that it paid stakeholders concerned if given another one month to enable do so.”

In considering the NLNG’s request, the committee said the demand was unnecessary and unreasonable, having granted NLNG one month earlier instead of 7 days allowed by the Senate at plenary to conclude its report.

Abia Central: Court Declares Atuma APC Senatorial Candidate

A map of Abia, a state in south-east Nigeria.

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia has affirmed Hon Emeka Atuma as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Abia Central senatorial district against Hon Sam Onuigbo.

In her ruling on Tuesday, Justice Evelyn Anyadike, dismissed the suit filed by Onuigbo, who currently represents Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency, for failing to prove his case.

The lawmaker had urged the court to declare him as the winner of the APC primary election for the seat held on May 28 which the party declared inconclusive and rescheduled for June 7.

According to the court, Onuigbo’s failure to participate in the rescheduled election, where Atuma, a former representative of the constituency was declared winner was detrimental to his prayer and therefore the judge dismissed the suit.

Justice Anyadike further held that the choice of candidate for an election is an internal party affair.

Meanwhile, Justice Anyadike has fixed October 27 to hear the case involving the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The IPOB leader had through his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, presented an eight-point application over the alleged Federal Government’s attack on his country home and an extraordinary rendition from Kenya.

According to Ejimakor, the case seeks to redress the infamous unlawful expulsion or extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu, which is said to be a violation of his fundamental rights under Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, as well as Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution.

He asked the court to redress the myriad violations that came with the rendition, such as the torture, the unlawful detention, and the denial of the right to a fair hearing which is required by law before anybody can be expelled from one country to the other.

Attackers Of Ubah’s Convoy Must Be Arrested, Senate Tells Police And DSS

This photo shows the senators during a plenary session at the National Assembly in Abuja on September 20, 2022.

 

The Senate has directed the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services (DSS), and other relevant security agencies to arrest the gunmen who attacked Senator Ifeanyi Ubah’s convoy in Anambra State.

This directive was part of the resolutions reached by the lawmakers on Tuesday during plenary at the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

After weeks of vacation, the lawmakers resumed plenary at a makeshift chamber as the main Senate chamber is undergoing renovations.

Senator Uche Ekwunife had cited Orders 41 and 51 to seek the leave of the Senate to present a matter of urgent public importance on the attack in which Ubah’s aides were murdered.

The lawmakers, in their reactions, took turns to condemn the incident and asked the security agencies to carry out comprehensive investigations into the attack with a view to arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators.

They also resolved to observe a minute of silence in honour of the victims that lost their lives in the attack and mandate the security agencies to report their findings back to the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, as well as the Senate Committee on Police Affairs within two weeks.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Ifeanyi Ubah’s Convoy In Anambra, Several Aides Killed

“When we heard, we thought it was a joke because we cannot imagine in broad daylight such disaster would happen,” said Senator Biodun Olujimi while condemning the attack. “We need to look deeper into the problem of insecurity.

“We still must do a lot more because of this to happen in broad daylight to a man who has a convoy with more than six cars, you can imagine what can happen to an individual who drives a single car. We must know those who are perpetrating such ugly incidents in our country. I lend my condolences to Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and I pray that this will abate.”

The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who was also unhappy with the incident commended Senator Ekwunife for calling the attention of the lawmakers to the incident.

“As bad as it is, we must thank God for the life of our brother and our colleague. We thank God for saving him,” he said. “As alluded in the motion, this is not the first time we are dealing with the gruesome attack and killing on Anambra State and no arrest is being made and no prosecution has commenced, and we are worried.

“All Nigerians should be interested, and we should all contribute our quota in providing security for our people. What is wrong for a state government like Anambra State after the killing of a member of the State House of Assembly to make some investment in the acquisition of security equipment

“We should encourage our state governors that they should not see security as an exclusive preserve of the Nigeria Police and that they should rise to the situation. I extend my condolences to the families of the five people who lost their lives in this attack.”

Similarly, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha said, “I want to congratulate our Colleague for surviving that terrible attack. I agree with the Deputy Senate President that the level of insecurity we have in this country demands that all hands must be on deck.

“Those who are supposed to do the needful should rise and do it. Some of the governors need to do more. Let those who are involved in handling securities of communities and states wake up to their responsibilities. May God help Nigeria in this dangerous situation.”

“I want to join my colleagues to make condolences. There are people who have become conflict entrepreneurs who are utilising the security situation to unleash mayhem,” said Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe. “I join the Deputy Senate President to continue to ask the security agencies to do much more than they are doing.”

Buhari Writes Senate, Seeks Consideration Of 2023-2025 MTEF/FSP

President Buhari Signs NCDC Bill Into Law
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate on the submission of the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) for consideration.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, read President Buhari’s letter during Tuesday’s plenary at the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

After weeks of vacation, the lawmakers resumed plenary at a makeshift chamber as the main Senate chamber is undergoing renovations.

The letter from the President also contained four other requests, including approval for the establishment of a promissory note programme in the sum of N375 billion.

According to President Buhari, this is to settle outstanding claims to various exporters from 2007 to 2020 in respect of the export expansion ground scheme.

He also requested the lawmakers to confirm the appointment of Mr Mohammad Sabo as the Executive Commissioner (Finance and Account) for the Board of Petroleum Upstream.

READ ALSO: [2023] We Must Have Nigeria Before A President, Says Jonathan

Similarly, the President sought approval for the issuance of a promissory note of N6.2 billion for Kebbi and Taraba states, for the construction and rehabilitation of federal roads.

He asked the Senate to approve the issuance of another promissory note of N18.6 billion to Yobe State for the construction of federal roads.

After the Senate President was done reading the letter, the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, submitted a petition on behalf of one Augustine Ogedengbe, over the non-payment of presidential amnesty programme allowances and the removal of slots allocated to his constituent’s camp way back in 2010.

The petition was laid and referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petition, to report back within four weeks.

Senator Ayo Akinyelure also submitted four petitions from the Office of the President of the Senate, including that of Dr Emmanuel Attah and four others on behalf of the Federal Commissioners of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) against the CCB Chairman, Mohammed Isa, over alleged ”mal-administration, non-functionality, corruption, and collapse of law and order” in the bureau.

Another petition was from a lawyer, Chukwuemeka Onwuemmene, on behalf of one Lieutenant Michael Umakor against the Chief of Naval Staff, requesting the release of Umakor who was said to have been in detention since July 31, 2021, after serving a jail term.

The third petition was from a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Yunus Usman, on behalf of one Commodore Uche also against the naval chief, seeking the “reconstruction of erroneous retirement from service and decoration of his new rank of rear admiral”.

The last petition by Senator Akinyelure was from another lawyer, K. Peter on behalf of Omire and Associates against Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), demanding redress of “the gross injustice meted on our client and service company [Omire and Associate] in respect of contracts REF: NGO1001316(A28) and NGO1003128(A28)”.

The petitions were also laid and referred to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions to report back within four weeks.

MTEF/FSP Hearing: Senate Committee Threatens To Summon Kyari

A file photo of NNPC CEO, Mele Kyari.

 

The Senate Committee on Finance has threatened to summon the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, if need be.

Senator Olamilekan Adeola, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, stated this on Wednesday during a hearing session in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The lawmakers had invited Mr Kyari for the hearing on the proposed 2023-2025 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).

Rather than appear in person, the NNPC boss sent representatives – an action which the lawmakers frowned at strongly.

In his reaction, Senator Adeola dismissed the representatives sent by the NNPC boss and stated clearly that the Senate would summon him should the need arise.

He insisted that Kyari must appear before the lawmakers in person, stressing that transitioning into a limited liability company does not prevent NNPC from being answerable to the laws of the country.

On Tuesday, the lawmakers rejected N6 trillion tax and import duties waivers in the 2023 proposed budget when the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, as well as heads of revenue generating agencies, appeared before them.

The minister had informed the committee that the N19.76 trillion proposed as the 2023 budget would have a deficit of N12.43 trillion because N6 trillion had been projected as tax and import duty waivers, while fuel subsidy would take N6 trillion.

But Senator Adeola rejected the budget proposals, saying the projected N12.43 trillion budget deficit and the N6 trillion tax and import duty waivers should be adjusted before sending the proposals to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

He had also appealed to Ahmed to look into the list of beneficiaries of the waivers for the required downward review to N3 trillion to give room for the reduction of the N12.43 trillion deficit figure.

The lawmaker said the issue of waivers should be prioritised by relevant authorities as Nigeria does not have room for wastages and leakages.