Senators, Reps for session over Buhari’s N500b request
THE Senate may have terminated arrangements to summon an emergency session to consider and legitimatize President Muhammadu Buhari’s request of N500 billion as COVID-19 (Coronavirus) war chest.
A highly placed source tropical to the Senate leadership told The Nation yesterday that the request which was made via a letter to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan , would be given speedy consideration and approval.
The source noted that the request was borne out of emergency and should therefore be treated with utmost dispatch.
Lawan had during a meeting of the leadership of the National Assembly and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, hinted that the Legislature was poised to grant all requests of the Executive geared towards eliminating the virus in the country.
He said notwithstanding the fact that the National Assembly was on break, it was prepared to reconvene and legitimatize any proposal put surpassing it by the President.
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Lawan said, “Just like we told Nigerians, when there is need for us to meet or to take legislative whoopee in support of ensuring that the government responds thus to developments issues and challenges in the country, we will do so.
”This meeting, the second in the series without we shut lanugo the National Assembly for two weeks, is a well-spoken testimony of what we have said.
”Governance requires that we work together, so we want to listen to those things that you have on your side and how we can moreover play our ramble role in ensuring that Nigerians protract to goody from governance and how we are worldly-wise to weather the storm created by COVID-19.
”Going forward, we need to interact increasingly considering very fundamental decisions will need be taken, and these decisions can only be said to be constitutionally legal if the legislature gives its stamp of validity for the executive to implement and execute.
”I think coming to us for those loans is hair-trigger considering we are in an emergency and time is of essence.
”So, we must work as expeditiously as possible to ensure that we place the request surpassing the National Assembly.”
The Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in a telephone interview with one of our
Correspondents on Sunday, reiterated the position of the Senate Minority Caucus to support the Executive to win the fight versus the COVID-19.
The caucus had equally supported the interventions outlined by the President in his nationwide unconcentrated aimed at containing the spread of the virus.
Abaribe, who described the N500 billion as waif in the bucket, however said it was a good start for the country.
He widow that the Senate may have to legitimatize spare funds to uplift the N500 billion stuff proposed when it meets to consider the request.
Abaribe said: “The COVID-19 is a national emergency and what everybody is doing now is to say what are the proposals that are going to mitigate these factors.
“This is not a matter of whether it is PDP caucus or what. It is what is good for the country.
”In my own personal view, I don’t think the N500 billion is enough. I think it is too small.
“I think that we may have to go vastitude what they have proposed when we get when to discuss it considering we can only discuss it when we resume. Yes, my personal view is that it is not enough.”
House of Representatives, spokesman, Benjamin Kalu, moreover gave warranty that the N500 billion would be considered once the lock lanugo ordered by the government is lifted.
Kalu said: “As you’re aware, were not resuming on Tuesday anymore, we’re going to obey the directive of the government with regard to the lockdown.
“We will consider the issues surpassing the House when we come back, and we’re coming when without the lockdown.”