Senate approves Buhari’s N338 billion request for debt payment
• Reps promise to okay new minimum wage
• Panel may override president on war ship for navy
The Senate yesterday approved a request by the executive for the payment of N338.9 billion local debts owed by the Federal Government through a promissory note programme and bond issuance.
The figure consists of N102 billion as refund for federal projects executed by Delta and Taraba states; N43.5 billion for debts owed five contractors, and N193 billion as outstanding Export Expansion Grant (EEG) claims by 269 companies.
It was reported that Delta’s share of the N102 billion refund is N67.9 billion, while Taraba will get the balance of N34.3 billion.
A breakdown of the N43.5 billion contract liabilities shows that Setraco will get N37.4 billion, Bouygues (N4.6 billion), and Simida S and I. International Company (N346 million).
Hamadala Homes and Agency Ltd will get N346 million, while the balance of N960 million goes to LEJMEJ Nigeria Ltd.
The approval followed the submission and presentation of the report of its adhoc committee chaired by Francis Alimikhena which worked on the executive request.
Presenting the report, Alimikhena said the committee was furnished with justifiable details of all claims submitted by representatives of Delta and Taraba states, beneficiaries of the EEG scheme and the contractors.
In the House of Representatives, the lawmakers expressed willingness to approve the proposed increment of the national minimum wage.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Mr. Sani Zorro during plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara yesterday, the lawmakers urged President Buhari to transmit the tripartite agreement on the national minimum wage to the National Assembly to legislate on it.
This, the lawmakers said, was aimed at averting the looming industrial action threatened by the organised labour , with the potential to paralyse the nation’s socioeconomic and political activities.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Nigerian Navy has said it would consider overriding President Buhari on the acquisition of more war vessels.
The Committee Chairman, Abdussamad Dasuki, who led 20 other members of the House to the Western Naval Command on a one-day oversight function expressed dissatisfaction with what he described as poor funds appropriated to the navy. He said the panel would allocate more funds to the force.
On possible plans to override Buhari, he said the president had failed to assent to a bill they presented that would have helped the navy acquire the needed platforms to secure the nation’s territorial domain.