OrderPaperToday– The Senate has explained why it reneged on its words not to hold any budget defence session or any dealings with the interim management board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying it was because President Muhammadu Buhari conferred legitimacy on the team by asking that the previous board members confirmed by the Senate be suspended.
Buhari had written to the lawmakers asking that that the list approved by the Senate should be kept in abeyance because of forensic investigationis ongoing in the commission and that it would be best for the interim team that started it to complete the task before a change of management can be effected.
Spokesman.of the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki (APC, Nasarawa) explained in a press briefing on Thursday, “I remember vividly that I said that we will not have anything to do with the interim management committee but later, Mr. President wrote officially and unofficially, withdrawing those we had cleared.
“In his letter, he said the list should be kept in abeyance because as an executive arm of government, they have discovered some fraud in the NDDC and has ordered forensic audit so both the forensic audit and the incoming management cannot take place at the same time.
“If they are doing that, we have no reason not to support them. That is why we have every cause and reason to entertain the IMC few days to defend the budget.”
Asked if the 9th Senate will introduce a fresh Petroleum Industry Bill or include inputs from previous assemblies, the spokesperson said “We are going to reintroduce the first reading to third reading. We may have one or two things to change in the bill because the life of the 9th Senate is entirely a different assembly altogether.
“There may be one or two things that we discovered in the petroleum industry that we need to infuse for the betterment of the oil sector in Nigeria and we will not hesitate to bring it and anything that will bring Nigeria back, we remove it.”
When quizzed if there is a resolution between the leadership of the National Assembly and Buhari in respect to the sack of security chiefs, he said the matter could not be handled immediately.
Akwashiki explained, “We are lawmakers and we know a lot of people asked for the sacking of security chiefs in this country but in another way, you do not just go and say you sack this person just because you want to have security in 24 hours. Uou have to be careful in doing so.
“The outcome of that meeting, nobody knows because it is security wise. It is only them that know what they have discussed. We are still working.”