PRESIDENT BUHARI WITHHOLDS ASSENT TO ELECTORAL ACT AMENDMENT BILL

President Muhammadu Buhari has withheld his assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which seeks to re-order the sequence of polls in 2019.

President Buhari, in a March 8, 2018 letter written to both chambers of the National Assembly, said the amendments by the lawmakers were in conflict with existing laws.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, read the letter on the floor of the upper chamber on Tuesday.

At the House of Representatives, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, read the letter to lawmakers.

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration is working hard to attain the target of moving Nigeria up in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings by 2020.

President Buhari, stated this at the launch of Focus Labs for the nation’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the Labs being flagged off constituted one of the many strategies his administration was taking to ensure that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan was effectively implemented.

The president maintained that the key goals in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan are on achieving sustainable, diversified and inclusive growth, becoming self-sufficient in basic commodities to curtail our food imports, diversifying the nation’s economic base from crude oil dependence, empowering local businesses to create thousands of jobs and improving the general well being of the people.

The Senate has said it is uncertain when the 2018 Appropriation Bill will be passed by the National Assembly.

The legislature and the executive have been passing the buck on which arm of government is responsible for the delayed passage of the budget, which President Muhammadu Buhari laid before a joint session of the National Assembly on November 7, 2017.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, stated that he could not ascertain when the budgetary process would end.

The Senate had on February 14, 2018 asked 63 agencies and parastatals under the Federal Government to submit details of their proposed 2018 budgets within one week or risk sanctions.

The House of Representatives has lifted the suspension placed on the former Chairman of its Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin

This followed a letter of apology sent to the House by Jibrin, which was presented by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, at plenary yesterday.

The lawmaker was suspended in 2017 for 180 legislative days for allegedly exposing “budget padding” scandal in the legislative arm of government.

Presenting the letter, Dogara said that the suspended legislator had met all the conditions necessary for him to resume his duties.

The House of Representatives has ordered a formal investigation into the withdrawal of 10 billion nairafrom the Treasury Single Account of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The money was taken in two tranches of 5 billion naira on December 28, 2017 and January 11, 2018.

The withdrawals were made from the “Insured Persons” deposits in the Treasury Single Account.

The withdrawal was brought to the attention of the House by the Chairman, Committee on Health Care Services, Chike Okafor.

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