LIFE SERVICE: Legislators grapple with realities of elections as critical minimum wage and budget bills stall

OrderPaperToday – As the dust raised by the general elections is yet to settle, things are set to get going at the National Assembly this week. Recall that Parliament was earlier scheduled to resume on the 19th of February but failed to do so following the postponement of Presidential/National Assembly elections days earlier. On the new resumption date of 23rd February, both the red and green chamber failed to form quorum, forcing adjournment to 12th of March, 2019.

This legislative week is likely to feature the minimum wage bill, 2019 budget, and importantly, discourse on the just concluded polls.

Another adjournment for Olatoye: Both chambers of the National Assembly will only sit briefly on Tuesday as a mark of respect for a Member of House of Representatives representing Lagelu/Akinyele Federal Constituency, Temitope Olatoye who was shot dead by a group of unknown gunmen on election day last Saturday in Oyo State. He was rushed to University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan where he eventually gave up the ghost.

While full legislative business will kick off in the Senate the following day, Wednesday, the green chamber will spend the day paying tribute to one of their own as legislative work will only fully commence on Thursday.

Minimum Wage Bill: The national minimum wage bill has made swift and tremendous progress at the House of Representatives where it was upgraded from N27,000 to N30,000 and passed before the general elections. It is however, a different story at the Senate where progress on the bill has stalled.

The minimum wage bill has been stuck at the level of the Ad-hoc Committee for over two months. Furthermore, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Senator Olusola Adeyeye gave a gloomy update two weeks ago when he revealed that Senators have been busy with electioneering thereby leaving the bill to pick dust in the shelves of the red chamber. He also added that due to personal health concerns, he might be unable to continue to serve as Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee.

On his part, Senate President, Bukola Saraki expressed displeasure at the slow-to-no rate of progress recorded on the bill, mandating the Committee to conclude its work before this week’s resumption. It is now expected that the Minimum Wage bill will “resurrect” this week at the red chamber.

2019 Budget: The House of Representatives is also setting the pace on the 2019 national budget as the document has reached the Committee level where various MDAs will imminently appear to defend their individual estimates.

The Senate is yet to commence any significant work on the 2019 budget, almost three months after it was laid by President Muhammadu Buhari. With the conclusion of elections, the Senate is set to finally start expedited work on the budget in a bid to catch up with the House.

Elections: Elections have come to an end but fall outs from the process will likely trickle to the Parliament. Some aggrieved legislators are eager to air their frustrations regarding the polls on the floor while some of the winners are itching to engage in banters.

Scheming for Senate Presidency and Speakership: With most of the results of the National Assembly polls announced, members of both chambers who are eying positions of Senate President and Speaker respectively will commence active engagement with colleagues to form alliances and secure support that will help them realize their ambitions for the 9th National Assembly.

 

Editor’s Note:

This Legislative Intelligence Forecast Entry (LIFE) for the week of February 11, 2019 is brought to you exclusively by OrderPaper Nigeria. We cherish your time and value your feedback. We will be glad to receive your comments, questions or enquiries via email: info@orderpaper.ng. Kindly subscribe to our mailing list for up-to-date news and briefs on the Parliament. You can also follow us on social media: Facebook & Twitter @orderpaper; Instagram and YouTube @OrderPaperToday; and WhatsApphttp://bit.ly/2S0mTql

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