Senate mourns Rose Oko, adjourns plenary

The Senate yesterday suspended legislative activities and adjourned plenary in honour of its diseased member, Senator Rose Oko. Oko, until her death, represented Cross River North senatorial district on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The lawmaker died on Monday in a medical facility while undergoing treatment in the United Kingdom. The Senate also observed a one-minute silence as a mark of respect to the late politician, who also served in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015, before joining the Senate. The one-minute silence was…

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Senate mulls mandatory debate for presidential, guber candidates

The Senate has expressed its intention to enrich the nation’s political process by exposing candidates to political offices to mandatory political debates. Consequently, the apex legislative Assembly approved for second reading a bill seeking mandatory participation of all candidates contesting for the offices of the president and vice president as well as the governors and deputy governors of various states in a debate. The bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act to give legislative backing for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organise and conduct the proposed…

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Senate calls for scrapping of Almajiri system

Agitated by the worsening insecurity in the country, the Senate, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to scrap the Almajiri system of knowledge acquisition in the northern Nigeria. According to the apex legislative Chamber, this proposal, if implemented, would prevent recruitment avenue of the Almajiri system into the terrorist gangs and other groups of bandits in the country. It urged that government should rather plough back out-of-school children into the normal school system and enforce the implementation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act No 8, 2004 to the letter. The…

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Senate panel submits report on security challenges next week

The Chairman of Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Security Challenges and Leader of the Senate, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, yesterday requested for a week extension to enable the panel conclude work on its report. Abdullahi told the senate in plenary that the committee needed more time to allow the Nigeria Police and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Munguno, to further interact with the members. He said: “We would have been able to conclude and lay the report today, but for the interventions that became necessary when we had to consider some…

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Finance Act amendment bill scales second reading in Senate

The Senate yesterday passed for second reading, the Finance Act amendment bill forwarded to it for approval by President Muhammadu Buhari. After it scaled the second reading, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over plenary yesterday referred the bill to the Committee on Finance for further legislative action. Leading debate on the bill, sponsor and Leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi, explained that the proposal sought to, among other things, amend certain tax provisions of the Finance Act, 2019 and other relevant tax statues to make them more…

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ECA: Senate seeks identity of lawyer paid $4m consultancy fee

The Senate, yesterday, demanded the identity of the lawyer who collected $4 million as consultancy fee to manage Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA). The Senate Committee on Finance, made the demand at an interactive session with the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris. The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, insisted that the committee would want to be furnished with identity of the lawyer, saying that the fee was on the high side. Meanwhile, Idris told the committee that the country’s ECA of $325 million as at January…

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Job creation: Senate backs SON to drive manufacturing sector

Acknowledging the manufacturing sector as key to economic development, creating wealth and job opportunities for the nation’s teeming youths, the Senate Committee on Industries has vowed to support the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to drive the real sector of the  nation’s economy. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Industries, Senator Bayo Osinowo, said SON was vital for the manufacturing sector to compete with its counterparts across the globe, adding that if supported, SON could help the sector by developing standards needed to compete in a wider market especially in the…

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Senate seeks to legalise electronic transactions

The Senate, yesterday, passed for second reading, a bill seeking to prohibit and criminalize online fraud, and make it legally possible to admit evidence of electronic transactions between parties in court during proceedings. The bill is being sponsored by the immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who represents Ogun Central on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He noted that online transactions account for well over $10 trillion in sales of goods and service globally, saying that the online transactions in the United States reached…

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Haulage: Senate probes compliance to road safety laws

The Senate yesterday directed its Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to investigate the level of compliance to road safety legislations among haulage operators, owners and drivers. The senate also mandated the committee to investigate adoption and implementation of the recommendations from the 2018 haulage operators’ stakeholders’ summit held by relevant stakeholders. The apex legislative assembly made the resolutions following a motion sponsored by Senator Teslim Folarin (APC, Oyo) and co-sponsored by 12 other senators during plenary. The motion was titled; “Urgent Need to Reduce Accidents Involving Trucks and…

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Senate calls for re-establishment of military base in Sambisa Forest

Following the recent Boko Haram attack on Garkida, a town in Adamawa State, the Senate yesterday asked the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, to re-establish a military command base in the ara and in all major settlements bordering the Sambisa Forest. The senate also called on the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) to immediately embark on rehabilitation of public and religious institutions destroyed and provide assistance to other individuals affected. It further urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently assess the extent of damage and provide relief…

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