Apparently, “the country is suffering” because the urgent matter of the election’s budget, has not been approved.
The Presidency has urged the National Assembly to reassemble for the purpose of disposing of urgent matters begging for the lawmakers’ attention.
The Senior Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, warned that the lawmakers’ holiday, which began on July 24 and billed to end on September 5, would delay the approval of a supplementary budget needed to fund the 2018 budget and the 2019 general elections.
Enang spoke to journalists in Lagos at the weekend.
He said, “In fairness to the National Assembly, they scheduled to consider these matters on the 24th, 25th and 25th of July, but certain unforeseen events happened that they had to adjourn. Therefore, they did not deliberately keep these matters and go away.
“The matters include virements, settlement of appointments, supplementary budget, borrowing plan, Independent National Electoral Commission’s fund and so on.
“I want to say that we are appealing to the National Assembly, that we accept that it was not intended by them that the country should suffer. They had made plans to approve this before the exigency that made them to adjourn, but I want to appeal to them, that they should consider reconvening for the purpose of considering these urgent matters which are capable of making the government not to perform and deliver on time.”
He explained that supplementary funds would enable INEC to commence preparations for the 2019 polls.
He added, “The money that is intended to enable INEC to prepare for the 2019 elections will not be released and the virement that is supposed to enable funds to be available to other sectors of the economy will not be available and, so, the budget cannot really start performing.
“We are appealing to the Senate leadership and all caucuses of the National Assembly to see this as a clarion call for the good of the nation.”
He appealed to the lawmakers to reconvene and deal with the urgent matters.
He identified other issues begging for the National Assembly’s urgent attention as key appointments for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission; Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; as well as Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and Code of Conduct Bureau appointments.
The Senate had on July 24 proceeded on recess after 14 senators defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
The House of Representatives is also on recess.
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