With Electoral Act 2022, you’re duty bound to deliver creditably, Lawan tells INEC
• Senate reshuffles heads of committees, screens CJN Ariwoola today
• Gbajabiamila orders discharge of all pending priority bills
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to leverage the new Electoral Act 2022 to deliver free, fair and credible elections.
Stating that the commission has no excuse not to perform creditably, Lawan expressed the willingness of the National Assembly to support the electoral umpire in ensuring that next year’s polls are transparent and credible.
While welcoming lawmakers back from their two-month recess, he reminded his colleagues that 2023 is a momentous period for Nigeria, as elections would hold nationwide, with Nigerians expected to exercise their franchise.
Lawan, who also underscored the need for improvement in the country’s revenue earnings, warned that unless prompt action is taken to stop crude oil theft, the menace might stagnate the economy and drive it into a coma.
He recalled that the Senate during the recess showed serious concerns about the security situation in Nigeria and had two engagements with the Office of the National Security Adviser, Chief of Defence Staff, service chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Director General of Department of State Services, Director General of Nigerian Intelligence Agency and other heads of security agencies.
The Yobe legislator submitted that the meetings, which were held on August 5 and September 12, were to ensure that the defence and security agencies improve on their operational strategies to secure citizens and the country at large.
Lawan noted that the intervention was yielding fruitful results, even as he added that the upper legislative chamber will continue to engage defence and security agencies through its appropriate committees to ensure that follow-up engagements are sustained.
MEANWHILE, the Red Chamber has said it would screen Justice Kayode Ariwoola for the post of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) today.
He was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2022 to replace Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad, who had resigned.
Lawan, who made the announcement at the plenary said the exercise would be conducted in the open gallery.
BESIDES, the Senate President effected minor changes in chairmanship positions of the chamber’s standing committees.
Consequently, former Senate Leader, Senator Abdullahi Yahaya (PDP Kebbi North) now chairs the Committee of Agriculture and Rural Development. Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi West), who was Chairman of, the Committee on Aviation, has been moved to chair the Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti South) formerly with the Committee on Diaspora and Inter-Governmental Agencies is chairing the Committee on Aviation.
Erstwhile Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Ibrahim Danbata, is to head the Committee on Security and Intelligence, while Senator Michael Nnachi (PDP Ebonyi South) is the new Chairman of, the Committee on Diaspora and Inter-Governmental Agencies.
ALSO yesterday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, ordered the Committee on Rules and Business to discharge all overstayed priority bills with the various committees.
He said the bills include legislation to implement essential reforms to national security architecture and those that aim to effect needed reforms of critical government institutions, as well as others that seek to improve national ability to meet human capital development targets.
Addressing plenary while welcoming back members from recess, Gbajabiamila stressed that the Green Chamber had very little time left to finish its works
He observed that access to education, more than anything else, remains key to unlocking prosperity and improving social mobility outcomes in any society, hence the need to resolve the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.
According to the Speaker, evidence abounds that the current framework of government-sponsored tertiary education is no longer working as it should, and has not worked for a long time.