Senate hints at next action after Buhari’s refusal to sign Electoral Bill

December 22, 2021
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A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Senate on Wednesday hinted at its next line of action after President Muhammadu Buhari declined his assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

While the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, informed his colleagues of the President’s decision via a letter read on Tuesday, the matter became a major subject of deliberation when the lawmakers resumed plenary.

Shortly after Lawan led the principal officers into the chambers and the commencement of the day’s proceedings, the lawmakers went into a closed-door session that lasted more than 30 minutes.

When the session was over, the Senate President briefed that the lawmakers deliberated on issues bordering on the workings of the Red Chamber, in particular, and National Assembly in general.

He added that they discussed how to respond to the letter from President Buhari on the bill, as part of the way forward.

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The Senate, in its resolution, agreed to consult with the House of Representatives in January 2022 when both chambers would be in session.

According to the lawmakers, the constitutional provision serves for the Senate and the House of Representatives to jointly take the appropriate action.

The lawmakers also resolved to consult with their constituents during the recess, since they have a role to play as major stakeholders in the laws being made in the National Assembly.

Apart from the electoral bill, the Senate considered the report of its Committee on Appropriations on the 2022 Appropriation Bill, presented by Senator Barau Jibrin.

Senator Jibrin moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the committee, and this was seconded by Senator Stella Oduah.

After the lawmakers deliberated on the bill, Senator Barau Jibrin laid and presented the report. Thereafter, the 2022 Appropriation Bill, 2021 (SB. 829) was read the third time and passed.

“This is one of our greatest legacies by the grace of God, bringing back the budget cycle to that desirable and repeatable January to December budget cycle,” said Senator Lawan.

“We promised Nigerians in 2019 that this Senate and indeed the National Assembly will bring back that cycle of the budget so that our economy is better influenced and supported. We thank God Almighty for making it possible for us to achieve that in 2020, 2021, and 2022 budgets that we have done.”

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