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Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Bill: Senate Passes Conference Committee Report

Source: Olu W. Onemola
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Today, the 8th Senate once again made history with the passage of the Conference Committee Report of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill.

Speaking on the passage of the Bill, President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, highlighted that the passage of the Bill was another promise kept by the 8th National Assembly:

“It was just a few weeks ago (at the beginning of the month) that the Kpakpando Foundation for People with Disabilities came to visit me at my Office, and I promised them that by the end of March, we would pass this Conference Committee Report and send it to Mr. President to assent.

“I am happy that we have kept to this promise with what we have done today. Thank you all,” Saraki said.

Senate President Reads Executive Communication from President

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, today read an Executive Communication from President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to establish a promissory note program and a bond issuance to settle Nigeria’s local debts and contractual obligations.

The President in his letter stated that the establishment of the promissory note and bond issuance program had become imperative to clear certain obligations of the federal government that include unpaid obligations to pensioners, salaries and promotional arrears to civil servants; obligations for petroleum marketers; contractors and suppliers debts; unpaid power bills and obligations from tariffs requested from 2014; export expansion grants scheme debts; and judgement debts.

“As you may be aware, Section 41(1)(A) and 44(2)(B) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) stipulates that the proceeds of borrowing by the government at all tiers shall be applied solely towards capital expenditure,” President Buhari wrote, “To provide legal backing to clear the recurrent expenditure components of the obligations, a request for the amendment of the FRA was sent to the National Assembly via a letter to the Presidency on 4th August 2017.”

Senate President: Budget Must Run for 12 Months

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, today, stated that the 2018 budget must run for 12 months, in-line with the 2017 Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly.

Speaking after a Point of Order raised by Senator Atai Aidoko, who stated that a circular that was released to MDA’s on the rounding up of the 2017 budget by 31st March, 2018.

In his comments, the Senate President said:

“The budget runs for 12 months and it goes through May. Chairman of Appropriations is not here. Chairmen of Finance, both of you are here, hence, you will need to communicate to the Minister of Finance and all agencies that the budget was passed to run 12 months, and it must run for 12 months.”

The Senate President also stated that rounding up the budget before its legally stipulated date was not acceptable, as it had to be included in an appropriation act which needed to be compiled and sent to the National Assembly.

WAEC: “Recurring Failure is a Great Concern,” Says Senate President

The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, today stated that the recurring failure of Nigerian students in the West African Examination Council exams is of great concern to both himself and his colleagues.

Speaking after a Motion on the issue sponsored by Senate Umaru I. Kurfi (Katsina Central), the Senate President said:

“One the greatest issues that we must address is increasing the value of our human resources through education and healthcare. This issue of the recurring failure is of great concern and we must get to the bottom of it. I urge the Committee to swing into action immediately and address this issue.”

Saraki also stated that in the next few weeks, his Office will be coordinating a Roundtable Discussion on Education, which would provide the Senate with an opportunity to address some of the areas of our educational sector that need serious attention.

The Senate then resolved to direct its Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary) to summon the Minister of Education and the Head of Nigeria’s WAEC office in order to identify the causes of the mass failure.

Senate Passes PIGB Conference Report: “We Have Shown Our Seriousness”, Says Saraki

Today, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, commended his colleagues in the 8th National Assembly for the passage of the Conference Committee Report of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill.

Speaking after its passage, the President of the Senate said”

“The challenge will and has always been on the need to get consensus on an issue as important as this one. However, today’s passage of this Conference Committee Report on the PIGB will also lay the foundation for the other Bills that are coming.

“We have once again shown investors both within and outside the country that this National Assembly is very responsible in the areas that have to do with the laws that govern our petroleum sector. I am sure that we will hopefully get the assent of Mr. President and open a new page in Nigeria’s petroleum industry,” Saraki said.