Thursday, July 9, 2020

Senate drills ministerial nominees today, cuts recess

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The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has disclosed today has the start for the screening of the 43 ministerial nominees forwarded yesterday by President Muhammadu Buhari for confirmation.

He said thus after reading the names of the nominees during plenary, said the Senate would suspend all other activities to ensure that the nominees were screened ahead of the annual vacation of the National Assembly, which was scheduled to begin on Friday.

To do a thorough screening, the Senate has also resolved to suspend its Rules, cut short its annual recess by one week, screen the nominees into late hours of the day as well as carry out the exercise on Fridays, which are not sitting periods.

According to the Senate, the annual recess which ought to begin this week, will no longer be possible as they will continue next week.

Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, while briefing journalists after plenary, said the Senate would suspend its rules and recess period for one week to enable it screen the 43 ministerial nominees.

According to him, the Senate has vowed to thoroughly screen all the ministerial nominees to ascertain their qualifications.

He also said lawmakers would not spare any of the nominees that falls bellow standard, adding that they would sit beyond 2pm and also on Friday and Monday.

He said nominees will not be accorded ‘’bow and go’’ status normally accorded to former senators or House of Representatives members.

Adeyeye said: “The Senate is very serious about going ahead with the ministerial screening and confirmation without delay. We have postponed our recess till end of next week. We have suspended a lot of our rules, we don’t hold plenary on Friday and Monday.

“We want to hold plenary everyday, we want to make a lot of sacrifices. We shall sit till very late to conclude the confirmation. We are ready to work at unusual hours, we want to do a thorough confirmation.

“We promised to work for Nigeria, we are going to work at unusual hours because we want the process to be thorough.

“We shall reject nominees, who in our opinion performed below expectations, we reserve the right to reject such nominee. It isn’t just a ritual, it is a serious Senate. If it wasn’t going to be serious, we can pass everybody in one day, but the Constitution doesn’t allow us to do that. “The Constitution doesn’t make it mandatory to attach portfolio. As at today, no rule, no law, mandates the President to attach nominees. We shall look at their qualifications and security reports.”

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