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Thursday, 11 April 2019

SENATE TO OVERRIDE BUHARI'S VETO ON CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT


After a thorough review of the 17 bills so far rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate yesterday resolved to override his veto on two critical bills.In a unanimous adoption of a report submitted by its Technical Committee on Declined Assents to Bills by the President, Senate resolved to overrule President Buhari’s veto on the 1999 Constitution (Fourth Alteration, No.28) Bill, 2018.
It will also override the President’s veto on the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill, 2018.The upper chamber also resolved to re-consider and pass 11 of the Bills that the President rejected just as it resolved to withdraw four of such bills.To override a President’s veto, the Senate needs at least two-thirds majority, which amounts to 73 senators to pass a motion to that effect.
Presenting the committee’s report, its Chairman, David Umaru, said the committee, however, observed that some observations by Mr. President were rational and convincing, adding: “As a result, it adopted those observations and reflected them appropriately in the affected Bills.”
Also, rising insecurity in Nigeria was the subject matter of serious and debate at plenary yesterday.Consequently, Senate moved for special consideration in Zamfara State and to set aside N10 billion in the 2019 budget as intervention fund for tackling insecurity and the humanitarian crisis in the state.On management of the fund, it urged the Federal Government to set up an ad-hoc committee to be known as Presidential Initiative on Zamfara with a 10-year lifespan for coordination of programmes to address humanitarian crisis in the state.
These were sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC Zamfara Central), who rose through orders 42 and 52 of Senate’s standing rules to move the motion.He said insecurity in Zamfara State was worsening, which needs urgent national action from legislative intervention.Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, commended Marafa for always bringing security situation in Zamfara to the front burner of discourse.
But Senate President, Bukola Saraki, stressed the need for state policing in fighting crimes at the local level, saying: “From the contributions we have had, I think it is key that we begin to look at the problem and profer long-term solutions.Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has passed the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) from 2019 to 2021.
The House during plenary presided by Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, endorsed a benchmark of 2.3m barrels of crude oil production as daily output target, just as it adopted $60 per barrel, N305 to $1 as official exchange rate, and pegged fresh borrowing to fund 2019 budget deficit at N1.6tr.
This followed adoption of reports of joint committees on Finance, Appropriations, Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Legislative Budget and Research, as well as National Planning and Economic Development on the MTEF and FSP documents.Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Babangida Ibrahim, enjoined the executive to increase the tempo of collectable revenues in all its ministries, departments and Agencies (MDAs) with a view to reducing budget deficit.

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