OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted a motion to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to lay the 2019 Appropriation bill before a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Recall that on Thursday, President Buhari letter of request that he be allowed to make presentation before a joint session of the National Assembly regarding the 2019 budget as read by Speaker Yakubu Dogara had sparked up a heated debate among members following accusations and counter accusations that the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, had said the federal lawmakers were responsible for the delay in the budget presentation.
Presiding officer of the day, Yusuf Lasun and over sixteen members at plenary adopted the motion when raised by the House leader, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Prior to this, there have been uncertainty on whether the lawmakers will observe the plenary considering the blockade by the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) over unpaid arrears and the unusual security beef up at the the National Assembly complex.
However, the plenary started at 12:11pm behind the usual schedule.
Reacting to the blockade, the House leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, in a point of order raised during plenary said “while they have the right to strike, it is illegal to stop staff and members of the National Assembly from coming to work.”
According to him, while we are appealing to the PASAN, it is not right for them to shutdown the National Assembly.
His words: “No matter how good their intention is, it is not proper for them to shutdown the National Assembly”.
Other lawmakers also expressed their concerns.
For Mr. Ossai Ossai (PDP, Delta), the legislative business must continue.
Speaking further, the lawmaker urged the executive to do the needful stressing that appropriations Act cannot be breached.
On his part, the Deputy Speaker harped on the need for the striking staff of the National Assembly to understand the important role of the legislature in democracy.
The lawmakers to this end, resolved to find the missing link between staff and management of the National Assembly; and proffer a lasting solution to the strike action.