Senate confirms all 43 ministerial nominees, seeks 12-month budget cycle
The lawmaker had to postpone their yearly end of session break to get the job done – even sitting on Friday and Monday – their off days.
It was learned that the ministers-designate would be assigned portfolios and sworn today.
This comes as Buhari praised the swiftness of the lawmakers and the process he described as efficient.
The commendation was contained in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks to round off the exercise, commended his colleagues for displaying what he called total devotion, urging the would-be members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to discharge their duties in a way that promotes the existing cordial relationship between the legislative and the executive arms of government.
He submitted: “For those that have been confirmed by this Senate, the message is that they must be prepared to work with the National Assembly. They are the ones to implement programmes and policies. We are going to engage them in oversight and other legislative activities. What we want to achieve is to have a relationship that is based on mutual respect.”
Lawal sought early presentation of the yearly appropriation bills for thorough work.
“It is our desire and hopes that the 2020 appropriation bill would be presented to the National Assembly in the last week of September or at the most, the first week of October,” he added.
He canvassed return to the January to December budget cycle, stating: “It is doable, it is achievable” provided all ends are tidied up.
The senate president harped on a regular and predictable budgeting system to facilitate a speedy revival of the economy.
In addition, the red chamber has announced named chairmen and their deputies for its 69 standing committees before proceeding on recess. It is to resume plenary on September 24.
Lawan, who made the announcement yesterday, picked Mohammed Ali Ndume as chairman of the committee on the army, while Danjuma Goje heads the committee on marine and land transport.
The chairmanship of the appropriation committee went to Jibrin Barau.
Others were Petroleum (Upstream) chaired by Albert Bassey Akpan; Public Accounts by Mathew Urhoghide; Gas Resources allocated to James Manager; Petroleum (Downstream) for Sabo Mohammed; and Power, Steel and Metallurgy were given to Gabriel Suswam.
The list also included Aviation presided over by Dino Melaye; Local and Foreign Debts went to Clifford Ordia, while Obinna Ogba got the headship of Sports, Youths and Development committee.
A breakdown of the slot shows that the North West got 16; South West, 13; North East, 11; North Central, 10; South-South, 10; and nine openings were handed to the South East.
Moreover, 49 of the committee heads were allocated to lawmakers belonging to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), while their Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), counterparts got the remaining 20 positions.