Senate Frowns At States’ Failure To Pay Teachers’ Salaries

Teachers' salaries, SenateThe Senate has expressed concern over the persistent failure of some state governments to pay teachers’ salaries.

To this end, the members of the upper legislative chamber have urged the federal, state and local governments to immediately take steps towards the payment of all outstanding salary arrears owed teachers.

The lawmakers also urged the states to immediately begin the implementation of a priority expenditure scheme that will equate the payment of teachers’ salaries with public expenditure such as security.

The resolutions were the aftermath of a motion by Senator Dino Melaye.

Senate Constitutes Committee To Probe NEITI Report

Senate, NEITIThe Senate has setup an adhoc committee to look into the audit report of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

This comes after the NEITI report alleged fraud in the Nigeria’s extraction industry to the tune of 12 billion dollars.

The Senate came up with this decision after listening to a presentation by the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr Waziri Adio, on Wednesday at the National Assembly in Abuja.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, announced that the committee has four weeks to submit its report to the upper legislative chamber.

He directed the committee to come up with a draft legislation that would help fight corruption and fraud over non-remittances to the Federation Account.

In his submission, Mr Adio gave recommendations on what should be done to stem the tide of the shortcomings experienced in the extraction sector.

The debate also featured the contributions of some legislators including a representative from Kogi State, Sen. Dino Melaye, and the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

Senators Commend Saraki’s Leadership Style

SarakiThe Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has received pass marks for his leadership style and his ability to marshal the conduct of affairs in the upper legislative chambers.

This came during a special plenary as the 8th Senate marked its first year anniversary on Thursday.

Some others condemned the Senate President’s ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) describing it as an act of injustice.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, congratulated the Senate President.

“I congratulate you because of what you stood for. You have shown that you are the true apostle of the independence of the parliament.

“Over the past 365 days, you have been buffeted from all directions. Your past has been x-rayed, your present has been monitored and your future has been gazed at because you stand on the path of the independence of the parliament to elect leaders.

“I want to thank you because you have been resilient in spite of all these.

“You have shown that you are a patriot. You have extended hands of fellowship and cooperation to everybody in spite of all the challenges.”

Senate-Dino-Melaye

Senator Dino Melaye also commended Dr. Saraki for remaining “focused, un-rattled, principled, not perturbed, not worried and intellectually mobile” in leading the Senate.

Nigerian Senate Moves To Stop Importation Of Substandard Tyres

Senate on substandard tyresThe Senate in Nigeria has directed the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to work with the Nigeria Customs Service to stop the importation of substandard tyres into the country.

The resolution was reached on Tuesday after a debate on a motion drawing the attention of the Senate to the alarming rate and frequent loss of lives and property through road accidents due to the use of substandard and used tyres.

During its plenary the Senate also called on the Federal Road Safety Commission and Vehicle Inspection Officers to conduct checks on all tyres in use in Nigeria.

‘Unpatriotic’

Daily road accidents have led to a large number of deaths and the use of ‘used tyres’ is said to be one of the reasons for the high number of road accidents.

Moving the motion at the Senate, Senator Shehu Sani expressed concerns over the use of substandard tyres imported into Nigerian markets by businessmen he described as unpatriotic.

Contributing to the debate, Senator Dino Melaye, suggested local production and periodic sensitisation on the use of tyres in Nigeria.

Some other lawmakers were of the opinion that the importation of used tyres should be completely banned in the country.

After much debate, the Senate called on the Federal Roads Safety Commission and Vehicle Inspection Officers to conduct a quick check on all tyres in use in Nigeria.

They also urged the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to partner with the Nigeria Customs Service to intensify boarders and ports checks to halt the importation of substandard tyres and ensure the speedy clearance of imported genuine tyres from the ports.

Senate Begins Amendment Of Code Of Conduct Bureau Act

SenateThe Senate has passed for second reading, a bill seeking to amend the Act establishing the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and its tribunal.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, said that the amendment of Section 3 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act is to allow every public officer who appears before the Bureau a fair hearing.

Nwaoboshi said that the procedural codes that were being employed by the bureau’s tribunal were not provided for in the nation’s Constitution.

“It is clear that the Act does not contemplate criminal trial, so the usage of Criminal Procedure Act and the Criminal Procedure Code should not be used as a procedural template in the Tribunal.

“In due course, I will present to this distinguished Senate a comprehensive amendment of the Third Schedule to the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Rules of procedure which should be distinct rules for proceedings in the Code of Conduct Tribunal,” he said.

Senators who contributed threw their weight behind the amendment of the Act. Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West) said that the amendment was very apt as it had become clear that the CCT was delving into criminal trials.

Melaye urged all senators to support the amendment, stressing that it was justified.

Other senators who contributed included Jubrin Barau (APC Kano North), Sam Anyanwu (PDP Imo East) and the Minority whip, Biodun Olujimi.

Olujimi said, “We are licensed as senators to look at Acts and Laws to see how we can make them better: there is no doubt that this Act needs amendment.

“We do not want the Act to be used inconclusively; this is a straight forward thing, it should go to the committee and we conclude.”

However, Senator Yahaya Abdulahi (APC-Kebbi North) while supporting the amendment, expressed reservations over the timing in view of ongoing trial of the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, at the CCT.

He said that although the amendment was apt, the perception of Nigerians, especially with regard to the timing should be taken into consideration. “What I am against is the time,” he said.

Prioritise Chibok Girls’ Rescue, Tunde Bakare Tells FG

Tunde Bakare - Chibok Girls - BBOGThe Convener of Save Nigeria Group, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has advised the Federal Government to prioritise the rescue of the missing Chibok girls.

Pastor Bakare, who is also the founder of the Latter Rain Assembly, gave the advice at a special prayer session organised by the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaigners.

The prayer session was held to mark the two year anniversary of the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped from their hostel in Chibok, Borno State by the Boko Haram terrorists.

Pastor Tunde Bakare said that in the face of the problems confronting Nigeria, there should be a better response to the continuous captivity of the Chibok girls.

He expressed hope that God who rescued Nigeria from the past problems would also ensure the rescue of the schoolgirls.

Restating their demand, a co-convener of BBOG group, Aisha Yesuff, said that the prayer session was an indication that a united Nigeria would not only lead to the rescue of the girls but a total defeat of the dreaded militants.

The event attracted other participants including a federal lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, who promised to remind his colleagues on the need to prioritise the return of the Chibok girls.

The BBOG campaigners have continued to call for the rescue of the girls after they have been abducted for more that 712 days.

Senate Summons Julius Berger Over VP’s Residence

SenateThe Senate has summoned a construction firm, Julius Berger, to explain the poor handling of work on the permanent site of the Nigerian Vice President’s residence.

The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory gave the directive on Monday.

Senator Dino Melaye, who is the chairman of the Committee, gave the directive during an oversight inspection of the uncompleted residence of Professor Yemi Osinbajo as well as some other construction work in the capital city.

Senator Melaye expressed dissatisfaction with the level of work done on the Vice President’s residence.

The Senator also voiced his displeasure over what he said was high cost for the construction of a new three bedroom flat for the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the Vice President.

Senate Displeased With Illegal Buildings In FCT

FCTThe Nigerian Senate has expressed displeasure over the erection of buildings on green areas in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, raised an alarm on Thursday at the upper house of the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said that the beauty of the city centre had been tampered with by greedy officials from supervisory agencies ‎saddled with the responsibility of maintaining the master plan of the nation’s capital.

The Senate committee then directed that contractors putting up buildings on green areas in the FCT would have to put their projects on hold until their approval documents are reviewed.

The directive came subsequent to the Senate committee’s visit to some ongoing building projects in Maitama district in Abuja.

Senate Set To Resume Sitting On Tuesday

National-assembly-NASS-Senate-House-RepsThe Upper Chamber of the National Assembly will be resuming from its six weeks break on Tuesday.

The development was contained in a press statement by the Chairman, Senate Adhoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye, where he dispelled speculations of a likely postponement of the resumption.

He said that the Senate will commence legislative activities and is set to welcome communication from President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Senator Melaye, there will be no “stormy session” in the Senate on resumption contrary to rumours being peddled by a section of the media.

He also said that the leadership of the Upper Chamber and the Senators are at peace and are focused on working together for the progress of the nation.

Senate To Screen Service Chiefs On July 30

Nigerian-Senate-Members-in-the-8th-AssemblyThe Nigerian Senate will on Thursday, July 30, screen the Service Chiefs appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

With the leadership crisis at the Upper Chamber finally resolved, with the selection of principal officers on Tuesday, the lawmakers are now set to begin their duties under a peaceful atmosphere, as they take up the screening exercise as their first task.

The date for the screening was announced by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, during Wednesday’s legislative proceedings at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

President Buhari had written to the Senate on Tuesday, requesting the legislators to screen and confirm the Service Chiefs.

The Service Chiefs are the Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Abayomi Olonishakin; Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Also at the plenary, the Senate constituted three special committees and one Ad-hoc Committee.

The Senate President announced that Senator Babajide Omoworare would chair the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Samuel Anyawu for Ethics and Privileges Committee and Senator Abdullahi Gobri for Senate Services Committee.

The Senate Ad-hoc Committee on publicity would also be chaired by Senator Dino Melaye.