OrderPaperToday – This week, the Onnoghen saga is set to finally make a big bang entry into the National Assembly and dominate events in parliament. Nevertheless, the minimum wage bill and the budget are also on the horizon for engagement. Here is a preview of the week in the National Assembly.

Corruption, justice and Onnoghen: In last week’s edition of LIFE Service, we predicted that the National assembly would break its silence on the Justice Walter Onnoghen saga if it took an unprecedented turn. That is now the case following the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari last Friday. Despite adjourning for the election last Thursday till February 19th, the Senate will cut short its break and reconvene on Tuesday in a bid to intervene in the matter while the House will also hold a similar special sitting. There is also a possibility for a joint sitting by both chambers over the issue. Already, presiding officers of both chambers, Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara have released strongly worded statements condemning the suspension of Walter Onnoghen. The parliament will witness acute polarization along pro and anti Buhari lines, fueling the already tense partisanship extremity (APC versus APC) that has dictated activities in the legislature in recent months.

Minimum Wage for workers: Last week Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari sent an amendment bill on the national minimum wage act that seeks to increase the national minimum wage from the current N18,000 to N27,000. The bill which has been committed to an Ad-hoc Committee in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively enjoyed a robust debate on the floor of both chambers. While some legislators praised the proposed new minimum wage, others were pessimistic over the impact of N27,000 with many angling for N30,000 instead. The House would hold a public hearing on the bill this week. Sources have it that the bill may be passed this week, a move that will certainly delight workers.

Debate on 2019 Budget: The Senate has sustained its silence on the 2019 budget. On the other hand, the House of Representatives has begun work on the budget even though it suspended deliberations last week due to a claim of irreconcilable differences in the figures. The government denied the claims though. However, the budget debate could feature again this week in the green chamber.

Credit: Sunday Aghaeze

Adjournment for elections: Although, the Senate is expected to cut short its break to attend to the Onnoghen issue, it would likely adjourn again after Tuesday’s emergency sitting. The House would also emulate the Senate in the course of the week and adjourn to allow members campaign for the impending general elections.

 

Editor’s Note:

This Legislative Intelligence Forecast Entry (LIFE) for the week of January 29, 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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