The Senate is expected to receive the list of ministerial nominees from President Muhammadu Buhari this week. President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan stated this on Wednesday.
This is even as the Senate Wednesday gave its ad-hoc committee 24 hours to screen nominees for appointment as non-executive and executive commissioners of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, as forwarded by President Buhari.
Lawan said this while responding to a point of Order raised by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan, PDP, Akwa Ibom North East who expressed worries over the delay in the presentation of the list by the Executive to the legislative arm.
According to Lawan, the Executive is working hard to ensure that it makes available to the Senate the list before the end of this week.
Earlier, Akpan, who came under Order 43 dealing on personal explanations, had said it was worrisome that the list was not yet made available to the Senate, especially against the backdrop of the fact that in the next two weeks, the lawmakers will embark on the traditional two months recess.
He said there is the need for the Executive to hasten the process of forwarding to the Senate the ministerial list, so their long holiday not to be affected.
Senator Akpan said: “Mr President , in view of the yearly long recess both the Senate and the House of Representatives will embark upon in two weeks time, there is need to urge President Muhammadu Buhari to forward the much expected ministerial list to the Senate for screening and confirmation.
“This is very important because if such list is not made available for the required legislative attention before we embark on the long recess, there will be no ministers and by extension, federal cabinet for the President to work with till September.
“Making the list more urgent now from the President before our long recess, is the fact that if is not made available, concerted efforts being made by both arms of government to return the yearly budget cycle to January- December will be defeated.
“On this note, I call on the President of the Senate to inform the President Muhammadu Buhari of the need for the list before we embark on recess.”
Speaking further, President of the Senate, however, said he had it on good authority that the list will be out before the end of this week.
Lawan said: “Let me on the strength of this notion, inform the Senate that the Executive arm of government is working very hard on the ministerial list.
“In fact, the list, based on information at my disposal, will be forwarded to us by the President before the end of this week.
“May I, therefore, appeal to us all to be ready to make the necessary sacrifice in terms of sufficient time, to be spent in carrying out thorough screening and confirmation of appointments of the expected ministerial nominees.”
It would be recalled that the Senate had said on Tuesday that it was not in the position to draw a ministerial list for Buhari.
Speaking with journalists, Senator Adedayo Adedayo, Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs Committee, APC, Ekiti South had said: “That is the prerogative of the executive, we are not going to do their job, I’m not going to say anything about that, the Senate cannot generate a list of its own.
“It is the prerogative of the President to send the list of his nominees to the Senate and when he does that, we will look at and consider it. That is our constitutional mandate but it is not within our power to even advise or anything, so we will wait until the matter is…. I will not say anything more than that.
“Let me tell you one thing, the executive is aware and most Nigerians are aware of the timetable of the Senate.
“There is a particular time of the year the Senate will go on a recess. That being in mind, they should be mindful of when to carry out this constitutional responsibility because the Senate itself has its own timetable.
“Like the judiciary is right now on recess, a lot of judges have travelled out except those handling election matter. So in the same way, there will be a time, very soon when the senate will go in recess.
“I think the The Executive are mindful of this to know the timetable if the Senate and it is left to them to adjust to that timetable or not. When the matter comes before us, we will look at it and carry out our constitutional responsibility.”
Meanwhile, the Senate was given 24 hours to screen nominees for appointment as non-executive and executive Commissioners of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC as forwarded to it by President Buhari.
To fast tract the process of screening the nominees and ensure that the one day deadline was realized, President of the Senate, Senator Lawan, Wednesday, announced an Ad-hoc Committee to carry out the assignment.
The Committee is saddled with the responsibility of inviting and screening the nominees, including Aliyu Saidu Abubakar from North East; Professor Millionaire Abowei (South South); and Abdulazeez Mohammed Salman (North Central) as non-executive commissioners. They are all new nominees.
Engr. Iba A.S. Maska, who will be serving second term as executive commissioner, is also to be screened and confirmed.
The decision of the Senate was sequel to executive communication by President Buhari on the request for confirmation of the nominees in accordance with Section 8(1) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Act 2003 which was read by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abullahi APC-Kebbi North during plenary.
After the Leader had read the letter, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, announced the names of the ad-hoc committee and asked them to report back within 24 hours.
The seven-man committee has Senator Teslim Folarin (APC Oyo Central) as chairman while Senators James Manager (PDP Delta South), Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC Kwara Central), Oluremi Tinubu (APC Lagos Central), Obinna Ogba (PDP Ebonyi Central), Barau Jibrin (APC Kano North) and Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC Taraba Central), as members.
President Buhari’s letter on the nomination of the directors, was read on Tuesday by the President of the Senate on the floor of the upper legislative chamber in Abuja.
Also, the President has requested for the confirmation of Professor Habu S. Galadima as the substantive Director-General, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Jos “in accordance with Section 5(2) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Act”.