Senate President Ahmad Lawan led the Principal Officers into the Chamber, took the official prayers and began the day’s proceedings at 10:33am.
CLOSED DOOR SESSION
Senate went into a closed door session at 10:34am.
The Senate resumed plenary at 11:15am.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan reported that the Senate in a Closed Door Session deliberated on issues bordering on the workings of the Senate in particular and National Assembly in general.
The Senate also, in a Closed Door Session discussed how to respond to the Letter from Mr. President, C-in-C on the Electoral Bill Amendment. The Senate consequently resolved to consult with the House of Representatives in January 2022 when both Houses will be in session as the Constitutional provision serves for the Senate and the House of Representatives to jointly take the appropriate action.
The Senate resolved to also consult with constituents during the recess since they have a role to play as major stakeholders in the laws that are made in the National Assembly.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS
Senator Frank Ibezim moved for the adoption of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 21st December, 2021.
Senator Betty Apiafi seconded.
1. 2021 Appropriation Virement Proposal by Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi.
Senate resolved to:
i. Commit the Virement request by the President to the Committee of Supply for consideration and approval.
The Senate resolved into the Committee of Supply to consider the Virement request.
Senate in the Committee of Supply and Plenary approved Schedules 1 & 2 as recommended.
CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT
1. Report of the Committee on Appropriations.
2022 Appropriation Bill, 2021 (SB. 829) by Senator Barau Jibrin.
Senator Barau Jibrin moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Appropriations on the 2022 Appropriation Bill, 2021 (SB. 829).
Senator Stella Oduah seconded.
Senator Barau Jibrin laid and presented the report.
Senate resolved into the Committee of Supply to consider the report.
Senate reverted to plenary to report progress.
The Senate in the Committee of Supply considered and approved Schedules; Parts A – K as recommended, Aggregate Expenditure as recommended, Clauses 1-14 as recommended, Short & Long Titles as recommended, Explanatory Memorandum as recommended.
2022 Appropriation Bill, 2021 (SB. 829) was read the Third Time and PASSED!
Speaking after the passage of the 2022 budget, the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan said “Let me commend our Committees, all our special and standing Committees for working so hard to pass the Budget before the Christmas Break. This is one of our greatest legacies by the grace of God, bringing back the Budget cycle to that desirable and repeatable January to December Budget cycle.
“We promised Nigerians in 2019 that this Senate and indeed the National Assembly will bring back that cycle of the Budget so that our economy is better influenced and supported. We thank God Almighty for making it possible for us to achieve that in 2020, 2021 and 2022 Budgets that we have done. We are not alone in this. The Executive has also shown commitment, willingness and the capacity to work with us at our own speed to ensure that the Budget is passed before Christmas. Let me also commend the Senate for standing tall in commitment. Otherwise, some would have been impossible.
“We are rounding the year on a very high note. We have passed the Petroleum Industry Bill, now an Act, something that could not be passed for over twenty years. We have passed the Supplementary Appropriation of 2021 as well to enable the Executive, particularly this Administration to fund the security agencies as well as provide some resources to fight the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“We have also passed the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria Amendment Bill, something that will go a long way to ensure that those who want to cheat the leaders of Nigeria through AMCON are not given the opportunity to do so. That will save Nigerians from those kinds of criminal tendencies. But we recently also passed the Climate Change Bill and Mr. President has signed them.
In fact, all these I have mentioned, Mr. President has signed them. These are great achievements that the Senate promised to Nigerians to do because they are fundamental and strong killers of our Legislative agenda. Today, by the Grace of God we have passed the Budget for 2022 and that’s a huge, a very big milestone, very historic and this is something that we are supposed to ensure that as long as we are in this Senate up to our tenure, that we pass the Budget as regularly as we have established.
“Let me also say that we passed the Electoral Amendment Bill, but we know that there are some reservations raised by Mr. President and we have stood down, worked on it to await when we will reconvene together with our colleagues from the House of Representatives so that we look at the issues raised and then as a National Assembly, we address the situation in whatever way it is appropriate. I believe that this National Assembly and particularly this Senate has done so much. Like the Lizard, if we have to wait for too long maybe nobody would say we have done a lot but I am sure this Senate and indeed the National Assembly has done so much in the area of Legislation. In fact, critical legislative Interventions.
“Finally, I want to once again commend Nigerians for showing patience and of course we enjoy the advice and will continue to urge that the National Assembly, this Legislature is for you Nigerians, it doesn’t belong to anybody else, it is not for us members of the National Assembly. So Every Nigerian is supposed to support the National Assembly in whatever possible ways to make it stronger, to make it better, to make it more productive. Where we have done what should be applauded, please give us the credit so that we are encouraged to do those things that will make Nigeria better.
One promise we stand by is that this Senate is going to be the Senate that will work for Nigerians and we are not going to get tired in that direction, we will continue to do that by the grace of God. And of course Nigerians, this is your Legislature and you need to develop it. Make it develop faster than the Executive Arm of Government. The Executive Arm of Government is already probably over developed.
“Lastly, I want to also commend all those people who have shown interest in what we do. When we call for public hearings, please attend them, don’t wait until after we have passed our bills then you go out there criticizing us. Attend the public hearings where your views can be carried along, where your opinions will matter and make a difference. So many Nigerians, civil society organizations have demonstrated that willingness and I want to encourage such organizations and individuals to continue to be part and parcel of our journey, of our story to make Nigeria great and better.” – Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
Senate adjourned plenary at 12:45pm.
Senate resumed plenary at 2:00pm
Senate President Ahmad Lawan led the Principal Officers into the Chamber, took the official prayers and began the day’s proceedings at 2:04pm.