The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara on Thursday, 20th July, 2017 received a communication from the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo seeking for approval of N135billion virement for 14 Ministries alongside the Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation. In the letter addressed to Mr. Speaker, Osinbajo averred that the crux of the virement is to improve the wellbeing of the Nigerian citizenry.
The letter read in part: “You will recall that the 2017 Appropriation Bill was signed into law on June 12, 2017. However, prior to the signing, discussions and serious consultations were held between the Executive and the leadership of the National Assembly on some critical priority items for which adequate provisions had not been made in the 2017 Appropriation Act…in the light the above I implore you to urgently consider this virement proposal in order to support our collective efforts to improve the wellbeing of citizens.”
The Speaker referred the communication to the House Committee on Appropriation for swift legislative action.
Meanwhile, a Bill emanating from the Senate seeking for concurrence by the House on making provisions for food and social protection justiciable in Nigeria, failed to scale through following vehement opposition from Members of the House led by Hon. Edward Pwajok. The members argued that the Bill itself is problematic both in content and intent. They added that sections (33) to (46) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic succinctly capture the Fundamental Rights to be enjoyed by the citizens of Nigeria. Stating that if Bill is passed the way it is, would rather create chaos and anarchy in the country.
Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta urged his colleagues to sieve the contents of the Bill and find a way to harmonize the version of the House with that of the Senate to secure a workable social protection framework for Nigerians. “Let us not throw away the baby with the birth water,” he implored.