OrderPaperToday – The Senate resumed from its two week recess on Tuesday and has been involved in several legislative activities. It is worthy to note that the chamber has been punctual, commencing it’s plenary a little after 10.00am as against the previous assembly’s resumption at 11.00am.
Below are the highlights of the red chamber’s activities this week:
Senator Elisha Abbo’s assault on a nursing mother gained massive traction this week, causing public outcry over the incident. Both the Senate and the PDP, the political platform Elisha was elected upon, condemned the act and launched investigation.
The Senator apologized for his wrongdoing describing himself as an “ambassador for Christ”. He equally presented himself to the Police for questioning.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan announced the names of principal officers in the Senate. Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi) was named Senate leader, Senator Ajayi Borrofice (APC, Ondo) as Senate deputy leader, Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu as chief whip, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi (APC, Niger) as the deputy chief whip.
Also, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia) serves as minority leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba) as the deputy minority leader, Senator Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT), retains his position as minority whip and Senator Sahabi Yau (PDP, Zamfara) as the deputy minority whip.
Meanwhile, Lawan also set up a six man ad-hoc committee on Media and publicity affairs pending when the standing committees are out in place. The committee will be chaired by Senator Adedayo Adeyeye and members are Senators Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, Uba Sani, Abba Moro, Ifeanyi Ubah and Betty Apiafi.
Senate probes Avastin, Oil tanker explosion
In the course of the week, Senator Aisha Dahiru (APC, Adamawa) presented a motion on an incident in Kaduna state that led to blindness of 10 persons following the injection of Avastin, a drug suggested for causing cancer. The chamber resolved to probe the matter by setting up an ad-hoc committee and urged immediate suspension of its use.
In the same vein, a motion on an oil tanker explosion in Benue state, presented by Senator Orker Jev (PDP, Benue) will be investigated as the chamber urged NEMA and the Ministry of health to wade into the situation.
Primary healthcare and NHIS
107 Senators moved a motion and called for increased funding for primary healthcare centers following inadequacies in meeting up with stipulated responsibilities.
Similarly in the health sector, the red chamber urged the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on settlement of debts owed heath care providers by Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs) within three months.
The chamber promised to probe NHIS activities once it constitutes the standing committees.