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Senate Resumes, Adjourns For One Week, Assures On FoI Bill, PIB

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ABUJA, May 03, (THEWILL) - An obviously lethargic Senate adjourned plenary for a week less than one hour after it resumed from almost a two-month election vacation. They would return Tuesday next week.

Senators however assured Nigerians that it would do everything possible to ensure the final passage into law of all the major outstanding bills before the end of the present tenure of the senate.

In particular, the lawmakers pledged to complete the harmonization of the Freedom of Information Bill (FoI) bill by the conference committee of the lower and upper chambers, the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as well as the 2001 Appropriation bill.

Addressing Senate correspondents at the end of a brief session, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Anyaogu Eze said the lawmakers were sensitive to the expectations of Nigerians on them to complete the passage of key outstanding bills before the end of the life span of the present Senate and therefore would strive not to disappoint them.

He admitted that the 2011 Appropriation Bill was hastily passed into law because of the pressure of the general elections and assured that details of the bill were almost ready.

This is as President Goodluck Jonathan has just sent the 2011 budget proposal for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to the senate for consideration. In an accompanying letter to the Senate read on the floor of the house, Jonathan urged the lawmakers to expedite action on the matter.

Eze provided explanations on why the Senate had to adjourn for another week after resumption. He said the action was predicated on the fact that four of its committees would be away to Houston, Texas, USA to participate in an offshore trade conference this week, The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).

The committees are those of Petroleum Upstream/Downstream, Committee on Gas, Committee on Marine Transport, as well as Committee on Federal Character.

“While they are away for the conference the chamber will be scanty and since we need numbers to do our work it has become necessary to adjourn till they are back,” Eze explained.