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Showdown in the making as NASS resumes


Abdulmumuni Jibrin

Abdulmumuni Jibrin

• It Is Usurpation Of Legislative Powers – Golu
• Jibrin Insists Dogara Must Go, Circulates Letters

Come Tuesday, attention will be on the two chambers of the National Assembly, as they resume to confront serious economic challenges, and proffer a way forward from the present economic recession.

A major issue to tackle is lawmakers’ response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s reported proposal for emergency powers to redirect the economy.Already, there are signals that many lawmakers may not be favourably disposed to granting the request, which they claim would infringe on their constitutional roles.

The bill aimed at granting the president emergency powers is titled: “Emergency Economic Stabilisation Bill 2016,” and is billed to be presented to the National Assembly as soon as the lawmakers get down to business.

The objectives of the bill includes; shoring up the value of the naira, creation of more jobs, boosting of foreign reserves, reviving the manufacturing sector and improving power generation in the polity. Vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Yusuf Yusuf, for instance, is of the view that the bill is uncalled for, saying the president already has numerous powers to deal with the economic challenges.

He said: “I think Mr. President has enough powers to do whatever he wants to do. The basic problem is an attitude factor, how we apply the laws, how we respect the laws.
“So, the question of requesting for economic emergency powers, I don’t think in my opinion should arise.”Yusuf, representing Taraba Central said, the National Assembly would be ready to assist the president to tackle the economic situation in any other way than to give him sweeping powers.

But the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun has explained why the president is requesting for emergency powers. She said on Friday that the purpose is to address the long procurement process, to cut down the speed of contracts awards.According to her, the procurement process was put in place to address normal times and not an emergency situation such as the country has found itself.

“The procurement process was put in place for normal times, advertise, give three months, send in bids, evaluate bids and so on and so forth. There are some provisions in the procurement process for emergency situations. That emergency process means you would not necessarily have to advertise and wait. So, what government is asking for, which is why there is discussion about seeking emergency powers, are some of these things we have to look at now,” she said

In the House of Representatives, it appears lawmakers would be divided on the request, perhaps, along party lines. The Chief Whip, Alhaji Alhassan Ado Doguwa hinted that members of the ruling All progressive congress (APC) would be disposed to accede to the wish of President Buhari on the emergency powers.

But the chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, Timothy Simon Golu disagreed. He maintained that granting President Buhari emergency powers to tackle the economic recession was uncalled for.He warned against such move, saying it holds the prospects of turning President Buhari into a dictator that could not be tamed with the check and balances mechanism under a constitutional democracy.

Golu who represents Pankshin/kanke/ kanam on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said: “That would not work because it is like he is making the request stage by stage, so that after granting that one, he would now come up with another one that seeks to allow him to prepare the budget and approve it himself.”Doguwa, however, allayed the fears that granting emergency powers to president Buhari could be abused, maintaining that the request will be considered on its merit.

Meanwhile, sacked chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Dr Abdulmumini Jibrin has enjoined his colleagues to ensure that Speaker Yakubu Dogara and some of the principal officers are made to face the wrath of the law over the alleged budget padding saga.Jibrin, in a letter to his colleagues, called for the resignation of Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, Chief Whip, Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader, Mr Leo Okuweh  Ogor.He hinted that such powers might include granting the president the powers to channel recovered loot, running into billions of naira, to cushion the harsh economic climate.

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  • Salih

    Himmmmmmm. Almighty Allah please take control of this Country.

  • Darlynstar

    Bingo asking for emergency powers…na wa ooo…let him activate his brain and use it….there is no need for emergency powers…what is it with this man dark desire for absolute power

  • Timothy Aremu

    Has such emergency powers been given to previous president. If NO he should not be granted. Period

  • KWOY

    The Guardian is one of the most mature & objective media houses in Nigeria, & I respect it’s views on many issues. But other media houses are not so objective. And 2015 exposed the media so much. This message is for the benefit of the public:

    “Noting that the fourth estate of the
    realm has a big role to play in this crusade, he said he was also aware
    “today that most media houses have an editorial policy and clear leaning
    towards sectional and myopic perspectives. Tribal and nepotic leanings
    are present in most issues debated or reported in our media.”

    He said “The government-owned media
    showcase the activities of the government with little or no critique in
    contrast to the harsh realities faced by millions of subscribers of
    these news media.

    “Newspapers and media owned and operated by politicians are mostly
    reflective of the interest of their principals as opposed to the need to
    permanently side with the truth and Justice.

  • Bashir Adesanya

    When there is a natural disaster, won’t the NASS give such powers? So, why won’t they give such in this case after the “Artificial Economic Disaster” activated by the mass robbery of the treasury by the previous administration? Objectively, the public procurement process on ground was not meant to deal with emergency times like this…for the economy to gain some weight, the executive arm need to make some quick fix which cannot be achieved under the stutus quo!

    Those who are expressing reservations about such emergency bill are those who still do not trust the personality of PMB, and that’s a few they had been nursing prior to his emergence as president. Needless to say that their fears include introducing Sharia, turning Nigeria into a Muslim country, breaking the North away from the country etc…all this are mere sentiments which has nothing to do with contingencies of governance at this crucial time.