SENATE THIS WEEK: $5.5bn loan approval, Ndume’s return and IGP’s gaffe

OrderPaperToday – The dramatic return of Senator Ali Ndume after a 90-day suspension; the tango between the Senate and Inspector-General of Police as well as the Maina probe which beyond all expectations, went into closed door supplied some excitement in the Senate this week.

The return of Ndume…

Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) finally returned from his 90 legislative days suspension. He was however not received with warm hugs or claps but rather a rebuff from the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki. Ndume inflicted the suspension on himself when he drew the attention of the Senate to a media report on alleged non-payment of duty on an important SUV by Saraki; and alleged certificate forgery by Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi).

In fact, his return is rather on a shaky ground because an appeal has been filed against a high court ruling that granted his reinstatement. The Borno-born senator received an embarrassing snub from Saraki when he asked for a minute silence for late Sen. Isiaka Adeleke. Unperturbed by the cold reception, Ndume said he was adjourning his return to chambers for a Hajj performance to offer thanksgiving to his creator.

Jibes for IGP Idris…

The Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who is still enmeshed in a cat-and-mouse game with the Senate presented an opportunity for tongue-lashing from senators. He duly received jibes over the withdrawal of security aides of the serving governor of Anambra state, Willie Obiano, who is aspiring for another term in office. The lawmakers were marveled at Mr. Idris’s audacious action and requested a 24 hour reinstatement of the governor’s security aides.

Maina brouhaha becomes a closed door affair…     

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami appeared before the Senate ad hoc committee investigating the illegal reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, a wanted fugitive who was reabsorbed into the civil service in an elevated position. The appearance was however, behind closed doors. And as Mr. Malami moved to his car, he snubbed questions from anxious journalists and maintained a vague smile. Neither him nor the committee made a comment on the much publicized and publicly anticipated probe, which is now feared to be sliding into the category of a ‘family matter.’


Approval of foreign $5.5bn loan…

During the course of the week, the red chamber approved the request of $5.5billion external loan by the Federal Government to fund the 2017 budget and refinance domestic debts through the request of Euro bond for the international capital market. However, the federal government, like Oliver Twist, is seeking approval for another $500million from the World Bank. According to the ministry of finance, the World Bank loan is for a social safety net program which seeks to target poor household particularly in the North- East region.

Malaria upsurge and equitable healthcare…

The Senate during the week resolved to evolve a roadmap to ensure equitable distribution of federal health facilities across the country. This followed by a motion raised by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo), who noted that there was no proper template or records of the locational distribution of federal health facilities across the length and breadth of the country. The Committees on Health (Secondary & Tertiary); and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases were then mandated to catalogue all existing Health facilities reflecting their locations, size, nature of services rendered, years of construction, present condition and other challenges.

In a similar fashion, the Senate urged the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure free supply of anti-malaria drugs to all public health facilities across the country. In addition, the senators asked the Federal Government to embark on mass mobilization that will provide adequate information to all Nigerians on how to take appropriate and effective malaria preventive and treatment measures. These recommendations followed a motion moved by Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso (APC, Kano).


 Help for Yobe fire victims…

Following a cry for help by the Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe) over a fire disaster that occurred at the Central Market Nguru, Yobe State, the Senate urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide necessary interventions to the affected traders, and extend aid to victims in other markets across the country that have suffered similar fate.


Facebook Comments


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here