NASS To Visit Plateau Over Killings – Dogara

The National Assembly said it was planning to pay a condolence visit to Plateau State.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said this in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he and the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

Dogara did not give the details of the meeting, however.

Persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen had sacked 11 villages in Plateau State over the weekend, with death toll put officially at 86 by security agents.

 

He said, “We met with the President to, first of all, commiserate with him and get a briefing from him.

“As part of the briefing, he explained how steps were being taken to forestall reoccurrence and restore sanity, because this is a great concern to him and to us also.

“We will see what can be done with NEMA and security agencies. We will all work towards it. Nobody is happy with it and we will all come together to ensure that we restore sanity.

“We commiserate with all families. It is our own intention to also go and pay our own condolence visit to the people of Plateau.”

Dogara advised Nigerians to learn how to live in peace, saying it is the only way communities can be secure.

“My advice to our people — not just Plateau State, Benue, Zamfara, Taraba — virtually all communities faced with this situation, especially in the North, I think the issue of securing our communities, living in peace must be taken as a project.

“It is something each and every one of us must invest in, whether as traditional rulers, as community leaders, councillors, chairmen, all strata of society must invest in peace building.

“That is the only way we can live in a secure community and ensure that we progress as a country,” he said.

Saraki also said that the President briefed them on the steps being taken to restore peace to troubled spots.

“Our general appeal at the end of the day is that we all live together in peace and harmony and we will continue to do our best to see that this kind of thing does not happen again,” Saraki said.

Plateau Killings: Saraki, Dogara Meet Buhari

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have met with President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings in Plateau State.

Both leaders of the National Assembly arrived at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Discussions at the meeting focused on ways in which the Legislature and the Executive can work together to resolve the security issues in the country.

The two leaders of the National Assembly also received a briefing from the President on the steps being taken to tackle the crisis.

The Presidency also confirmed the meeting in a tweet.

Presidency Nigeria

@NGRPresident

President @MBuhari met with Senate President @bukolasaraki and Speaker House of Reps @YakubDogara this morning at the State House, on the Security situation in Plateau State.@AsoRock & @nassnigeria working together to end the killings,restore peace and ensure justice

Dogara Condemns Plateau Attack

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara. has condemned the killing of at least 86 people in the Church of Christ In Nations (COClN) and Regional Church Council (RCC), in Barikin Ladi Local Government Area, Plateau State.

Dogara made the condemnation in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan. on Sunday in Abuja. He said it was reprehensible that people who gathered to bury their dead would be gruesomely murdered in that manner.

”Our security agencies must rise up to the task of securing the lives of citizens of this country.

“The attack reportedly lasted from 1:00 p.m. noon of Friday, and lasted till about 8:00 p.m. on Saturday.

”Where was the Police and other security agencies that they failed to respond to stop the killings?

“This further strengthens my constant call for an overhaul of the entire security apparatus of this country. It just isn’t working,” he said.

He said that rising level of violence and gruesome killings of innocent and helpless citizens posed serious threat to Nigeria’s democracy and must be stopped.

The killings of the people mourning their dead were reportedly carried out by suspected armed herdsmen.

 

Ramadan: What Muslims Should Do For Nigeria – Dogara

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has urged Muslim faithful in Nigeria to use the period of fasting to pray for peace, unity, security, socio-economic development and political stability of the country.

In a statement on Wednesday to mark the commencement of this year’s Ramadan, the Speaker also enjoined them to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness, self-discipline, tolerance, righteousness and sympathy for the less privileged in the society which the Ramadan fast teaches and promotes.

While describing Ramadan as a period for spiritual rejuvenation and enrichment, Dogara enjoined Nigerians to devote themselves in the worship of the Almighty and imbibe the lessons of love and peaceful co-existence with one another.

“In the spirit of Ramadan, I want to enjoin Muslims in Nigeria to maximize the spiritual and physical benefits associated with the holy month as well as assimilate the Ramadan’s ethical principles of sharing, caring, love, tolerance and piety”.

“The Ramadan fast is a very significant act of worship, being one of the five pillars of Islam, as such, I urge Muslim faithful to use the one month period in devotion and supplication in order to achieve the blessings inherent in the holy month and to pray God to restore peace, unity and stability across the country”.

2018 Budget to Face Further Delay Despite Passage

The 2018 budget is set to face further delay despite its passage by the National Assembly yesterday.

Our correspondents report that after the passage of the budget in the House, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, announced the setting up of a conference committee to harmonize some ‘little changes’ in the budget with the Senate.

Some of the changes, it was observed, had to do with the title of the Appropriation Bill and the date it is to take effect.

The lawmakers agreed that the budget should commence immediately after the president assents it into law. The harmonization process may take days to be completed.

Further hurdle before the budget also include, transmission of a clean copy for presidential assent, consideration by the executive prior to the assent. In 2017, the budget passage and assent lasted for May 11 to June 12.

The 2018 budget details

The 2018 budget was passed by both chambers of the legislature yesterday; six months after President Buhari presented the proposal.

The fiscal document was premised on the exchange rate of N305 to a dollar, benchmark of $51 per barrel and 2.3 barrel per day of crude production.

The budget details showed that the ministry of works, power and housing would spend N682.9bn under capital projects, while the ministries of transportation and education got N251.4bn and N102.9bn respectively.

Under the service wide votes, N350bn was approved for special intervention programme; N193.3bn for power sector reform programme; N78bn for Operation Lafiya Dole and other military operations; N65bn for the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

Others are N2.3bn as entitlements of former presidents and heads of states as well as ex-vice presidents and chief of general staff; N10bn for the settlements of MDAs’ electricity bills; N4bn for Treasury Single Account (TSA) operations, among others.

How N/ Assembly added N508bn to budget

The National Assembly increased the budget figure from N8.6trillion presented by President Buhari to N9.1trillion with an increase of N508bn.

At both chambers, chairmen of Appropriations committees, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe) and Mustapha Bala Dawaki (APC, Kano) explained how the N508bn was added.

The increase, they said was a collective agreement between both the Executive and the Legislature as a result of increase in oil price benchmark.

They said the increase was applied in some critical sectors such as reduction of deficit, N50.88bn; security, N46.72bn; health, N57.15bn and power, works and housing, N106.50bn.

Others are infrastructure for the 12 newly established universities and meal subsidy for unity schools, N15.70bn; judiciary, N10bn; Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), N44.20bn.

Buhari’s $496m fighter jets request dumped

It emerged during the consideration of the budget that Buhari’s $496m request for the purchase of Supper Tucano was not included.

President Buhari had in a letter dated April 13, this year requested for the inclusion of the $496m in this year’s budget. The President in the letter explained that the money was wired into the US government directly.

Speaking during the consideration of the budget, Goje said “The $496m was not included because of the budget size. We thought it should come in through supplementary budget.”

Again, N/ Assembly raises own budget

The budget of the National Assembly was increased from N125bn to N139.5bn under statutory transfers. The parliamentarians had last year increased their budget from N115bn to N125bn.

Unlike last year, detail of the National Assembly budget was not made available to the public. It’s a one line item in the budget.

Contacted, Senate Spokesperson, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger) said details of the National Assembly budget would be made available at appropriate time.

Saraki wants supplementary budget for fuel subsidy

Speaking after the passage, Senate President Bukola Saraki demanded for the submission of a supplementary budget on fuel subsidy.

“ In the area that we could not address, which is the issue of fuel subsidy, I want to make an appeal again that the Executive needs to look into this for the interest of transparency where an expenditure close to over N1 trillion must be captured in the budget,” he said.

SOURCE: DAILYTRUST

We Reported IG’s Maltreatment Of Melaye To Buhari – Saraki

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

The meeting was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after Buhari returned from his weekend trip to his hometown, Daura in Katsina State.

At the end of the meeting, Saraki and Dogara told State House correspondents that they reported the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to the President over his handling of the case involving Senator Dino Melaye and his disdain for the National Assembly.

They also said the meeting which was at the instance of the President discussed the issue of the 2018 Appropriation Bill still before the National Assembly, the recent invasion of the Senate during which the mace was taken away and the fallouts or Buhari’s recent visit to the United States of America during which he met the US President, Donald Trump.

They, however, said the issue of the impeachment process being contemplated in the National Assembly over Buhari’s approval for the payment of $496m for fighter jets before he sought the approval of the Federal lawmakers was not discussed at the meeting.

“We came on the invitation of Mr. President. He wanted to brief us on his trip to the United States and also the issue of the budget.

“We also talked on the issue of concerns to us: the invasion of the National Assembly, which he showed great concern and he said action will be taken to investigate that,” Saraki said.

Read also:Buhari, Saraki, Dogara meet inside Aso Rock

When asked when the budget will be ready, Saraki said, “Hopefully, it should be laid this week. If it can be laid this week and passed early next week. We are hoping it will be laid this week.”

Saraki said the President saw the invasion of the Senate as an embarrassment to the country and promised that the incident would be properly investigated because it was not just about the National Assembly but about the country.

When asked what was being done to improve the relationship between the executive and the legislature, Saraki said the National Assembly had always been ready to support the Executive.

“Our being here was the initiative of Mr. President to brief us on his visit to America and to engage in discussions and I think that is a good sign.

“We, at the National Assembly, have always been ready to give all our support to the executive and we will continue to work along those lines.

“As I said, the presidential system that we operate, we sometimes have the responsibility to check the excesses of the executive. So, there will always be times we will disagree but by and large, we will always work for the interest of Nigerians and always keep on moving on,” he said.

Dogara Warns Police To Thread Caution In Melaye’s Trial

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has urged the police to prioritise the health and safety of a senator, Dino Melaye, who is in their custody.

Mr Dogara stated this on Thursday during plenary while responding to a point of order raised by Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi) who urged the house to intervene in the senator’s ordeals with the law.

Mr Dogara, while admitting that nobody is above the law, however said that he had not seen any country where anybody ”had been arraigned in court on a stretcher.”

Mr Melaye was arraigned for attempted suicide and other charges at an Abuja court on Wednesday while lying on a stretcher. Immediately he was granted bail in the sum of N90 million by the judge, he was rearrested by the police and transferred to Lokoja, Kogi State, where he is facing criminal charges.

“I have not seen in any country where someone is arraigned in court on stretchers when he or she is not fit to plead guilty or not guilty. If anything happens to him, (Dino) the responsibility will be on the security agency,” Mr Dogara said.

Mr Karimi said Mr Melaye is being persecuted for his political beliefs and that it could happen to any lawmaker.

He appealed to the House to look at the issue and make sure due process is followed, a prayer which the Speaker said is being handled by the Senate.

The embattled senator’s ordeal started last week last week when the Nigerian Immigration Service stopped him from travelling to Morocco.

He was detained for some hours and later released.

Operatives of the Police Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) later besieged his Maitama District residence in a bid to rearrest him. He however submitted himself to the police.

But a distraught Mr Melaye reportedly jumped out of a moving police vehicle while trying to escape being taken from Abuja to Lokoja, Kogi State, by the police to face trial.

He was rushed to Zankli Hospital and later taken to the National Hospital by the police who monitored him on his sickbed until Wednesday when he was arraigned for attempted suicide and destruction of public property, among other allegations.

He was arraigned in an FCT Magistrate Court after he was confirmed fit for trial, the police said.

He was again taken to another court in Lokoja by the police, Thursday morning, where he was charged for separate offences.

Mr Melaye had earlier gotten a court judgement directing the police to arraign in Abuja rather than his home state where he claimed his life is in danger. The police have ignored the ruling.

The senator had repeatedly linked his travails to the state governor, Yahaya Bello. The latter has denied the allegations.

Mr Melaye over the weekend escaped an attempt by some of his constituents to recall him as the process did not sail through.

Reps Move To Veto Buhari On Critical Bills

The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to draw up a list of bills the National Assembly passed but which have not been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The move is preparatory to a possible override of the President’s veto on such bills.

The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, specifically directed the Chairman, House Committee on Rules/Business, Mr. Orker Jev, to compile the bills and forward it to the floor for members to look at them and decide whether to override Buhari’s veto on them.

The decision followed a point of order raised by the Chairman, House Committee on Public Petitions, Mr. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, who complained that several bills passed and forwarded to Buhari were neither signed into law nor returned to the National Assembly.

Nkem-Abonta, a Peoples Democratic Party member from Abia State, recalled that some of the bills dated back to 2017.

He argued that this was contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the House and Senate rules, which provided that there “shall” be communication from the President to the National Assembly on such bills within 30 days of their passage.

Nkem-Abonta noted that the President was expected to either sign a bill or communicate the withholding of his assent within 30 days.

He added that where the President withholds his assent, the National Assembly still reserved the power to accept his reasons for withholding assent or proceed to override his veto.

Nkem-Abonta sought that the provisions of Section 58 of the Constitution should be invoked in respect of the bills.

Section 58 (1-5) read, “(1) The power of the National Assembly to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and, except as otherwise provided, by Subsection (5) of this section, assented to by the President.

“(2) A bill may originate in either the Senate or the House of Representatives and shall not become law unless it has been passed and, except as otherwise provided by this section and Section 59 of this Constitution, assented to in accordance with the provisions of this section.

“(3) Where a bill has been passed by the House in which it originated, it shall be sent to the other House, and it shall be presented to the President for assent when it has been passed by that other House and agreement has been reached between the two Houses on any amendment made on it.

“(4) Where a bill is presented to the President for assent, he shall within thirty days thereof signify that he assents or that he withholds assent.

“(5) Where the President withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by each House by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required.”

The House sustained Nkem-Abonta’s point of order.

However, Dogara intervened to say that Buhari has always communicated his decisions on bills to the National Assembly, with reasons, where necessary, why he would not sign them.

Dogara Woos Swedish Investors In Power, ICT Sectors

The Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has urged Swedish businessmen to invest in Nigeria to create job opportunities for its teeming population.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Turaki Hassan, in Abuja on Thursday said Dogara made the call when he received the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Inger Ulvedt, in his office.

The speaker said that Nigeria was the second largest trade partner to Sweden in Sub-Sahara Africa and had an existing cordial relationship between both countries and their citizens.

“Swedish companies or corporate citizens are not strangers to business in Nigeria; whether it is in the area of telecommunications, we remember Ericson handsets.

“I commend the ingenuity and creativity of the Swedish people in the area of automobile and in the area of power generation; they are doing a wonderful work.

“We cannot help but call for more engagement in this direction and more flow of foreign direct investment in Nigeria.”

He said that the desired direct investments were in agriculture “to provide employment for the people, in the area of infrastructure, power, renewable energy, ICT, industries, especially the automobiles’’.

Dogara pledged legislative support for agreements needed to be domiciled in Nigeria, saying that the legislature would give the power of law to treaties and agreements between both countries.

He commended the Government and people of Sweden for their humanitarian aid to victims of Boko Haram terrorism in the North-East.

He said that terrorism was a global phenomenon which may be locally grown “but its devastating consequences would be felt in another country’’.

Dogara said that a global problem required global response and that there was need for the international community to organise a donor-conference for the North-East as it was done for countries under terror attack.

Earlier, Swedish ambassador had said that her country was interested in collaborating with the Nigerian government in various sectors to broaden existing bilateral agreements between both countries.

Ulvedt said that Sweden was supporting Nigerian students in innovation at University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto.

She said that her country had been the biggest donor to the Nigerian humanitarian trust fund for the victims of violence in the North-East.

The ambassador said that small houses, schools, hospitals, among other social infrastructure had been built as part of the support.

NAN

Death Of 21 Bauchi Students, A Monumental Loss, National Tragedy – Dogara

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara on Tuesday evening broke down in tears after receiving the sad news of the demise of 21 students of Government Secondary School Misau, Bauchi state in a ghastly motor accident.
The students, who were accompanied by three teachers and their driver, were on their way to Kano State for an educational excursion when the unfortunate incident occurred.
A statement issued by the Speaker’s Special Adviser on Media & Public Affairs,  Mr. Turaki Hassan quoted him as saying; “I am deeply saddened by the untimely and sudden death of these children. They died while  pursuing education and in a quest for  knowledge as future leaders of our country.”
“This is a national tragedy of  monumental proportion and a huge loss to the country. These children embodied our hopes and aspirations for a better society and their sudden death is a big loss to Nigeria because only God knows what they could have become in the future.”
“I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to their parents, students and teachers of Government Secondary School Misau, Misau Emirate Council and the entire Bauchi State over this  tragic incident.”
Hon Dogara said no amount of words would be enough to console their parents but prayed that God gives them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“May their gentle souls rest in perfect peace and may we never witness this again.”