Legislative Agenda: Senate to focus on anti-corruption, education




The Senate on Thursday resolved to focus its legislative agenda on mitigation of poverty, corruption and revamping of education, among other developmnent programmes.

It also resolved to stimulate fiscal prudence, promotion of unity among Nigerians and housing as interventions for Nigerians.

The resolutions was made after a debate on the presentation of a report of the ad-hoc committee on Legislative Agenda for the 9th Senate.

Leading debate on the report at plenary, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger), said that it was important for the Senate to focus on how to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

He said that the senate must provide legislative interventions to use agriculture as a veritable tool to achieve the aim.

“The Senate must focus on providing interventions on food security and development of the solid minerals sector,” he said.

Sen. Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo), said that the Senate should be concerned about the growing public debt of the country occasioned by external borrowing.

He also raised concerns on the inability of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation(AGF) to audit agencies of government yearly.

He said that the agencies were not accounting for monies allocated to them at the end of the year.

This,he said was because the Federal Audit Bill passed by the 8th Senate had not been signed.

He said that  if the bill is signed into law, it would strengthen the AGF to audit the agencies of government.

In his contribution, Sen. Orji Uzor- Kalu (APC Abia), said that the Senate should focus on how best to ensure implementation of the budget for Nigerians.

According to him,senate must work towards ensuring that 70 per cent of the budget be channeled to capital projects and recurrent 30 per cent.

He said that the 9th senate must work towards having a working economy for the people by developing legislative interventions that would foster creation of small industries for employment generation.

Also, Sen.Dino Melaye (PDP Kogi), said that the legislative agenda should focus on how best to drive the unity of Nigeria.

He also said that there was an urgent need to revamp the educational sector, health sector and intensify the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Melaye said that the major areas where corrupt practices were endemic were in government procurement processes and the petroleum sector.

He maintained there was no technology deployed in the country to determine the volume of crude oil production in Nigeria.

Other senators hinged their contributions on the need for the Senate to focus on providing legislative inputs on how to improve the power sector, ease of doing business and development of science and technology.

President of the Senate Ahmad lawan, who presided over the debate that said 45 senators contributed, commending the committee for their input on the agenda.

He said that the senate was hopeful that the issues reflected in the agenda when worked upon would make a difference in the life of Nigerians.

Lawan, who decried the high number of agencies of government,said that there was the need to trim the number of agencies given the paucity of funds to manage them.

He said the funds used in running the agencies could be channeled into capital projects.

Lawan, therefore, charged the various committees to look at the areas of concern to them in the agenda and design ways of improving the life of Nigerians.

Earlier, the senate had mandated Committee on Finance and National Planning to look into the Medium Term Expenditure Framework submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.(NAN)