President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, said this during Wednesday’s plenary in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
He was responding to a point of order by Senator Bassey Akpan who represents Akwa Ibom North-East senatorial district.
Senator Akpan had reminded the senators of their long recess coming up and the need for President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute a cabinet.
“It’s just a very simple reminder to our colleagues that based on our calendar, and we understand your passion towards supporting Mr President to achieve his aim for a new Nigeria,” he said.
“But based on our own calendar, I think we should be proceeding on our long annual vacation in the next two weeks and I also know that in line with your vision for new Nigeria, you believe that we should return the country to January to December budget fiscal period. This cannot be made possible without…
“If we are going on recess in two weeks and by now we have not received the ministerial nominees. It means we have to put ourselves under intense pressure. I’m just calling the attention of Mr President that there is a need for you to urge Mr President to send the list of ministerial nominees so that the Senate can…”
He was interrupted by rowdiness that greeted his comments.
In his response, the Senate President told the lawmakers that the Executive Arm was working to ensure that the list was ready before they proceed on their annual two-month break.
“I think this is to inform this Senate that the executive arm is working hard to get the list to the Senate. I can imagine that before this week runs out, we could get the list. But I want to assure you that once we get the list, every senator here has shown the desire to stay long enough to screen and confirm the nominees in the interest of this country,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Chairman Senate Committee on Media, Adedayo Adeyeye, said the Senate has no constitutional duty or power to hasten the submission of the list.
“That is the prerogative of the executive,” he replied to a question on what the Senate is doing to get the list transmitted in time.
“We are not going to help them to do their job. The Senate cannot generate the list of ministers on its own. It is the prerogative of the president to send his ministerial nominee list to the Senate and when he does that we will consider it. That is our constitutional mandate. It is not even within our powers to even advice. We will wait until the matter is transmitted to us.
“The executive is aware of the timetable of the Senate. There is a particular time the Senate will go on recess. That being in mind they should be mindful of when they will carry out this constitutional responsibility,” he said.
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