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Senate empowers INEC to determine transmission of election results 


…allows political parties to devise modalities for primaries  


The Senate has empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the procedure for the transmission of results during the general elections. 


This was just as it also allowed political parties to determine the modality for holding primaries for aspirants to all elective positions.  


The amendments were made on Tuesday by the Senate to some clauses of the Electoral Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) bill 2021, passed on July 15, 2021.


The chamber explained that the decision to subject the amended clauses of the bill to re-committal was reached after critical examination by the Senate Committee on INEC.


The chamber added that some fundamental issues which required fresh legislative action were observed by the Senator Kabiru Gaya-led Committee in the bill. 


Accordingly, the chamber in a motion for re-committal,  re-amended certain aspects of the bill contained in Clauses 43, 52, 63 and 87, respectively. 


The upper chamber in Clause 52 of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill passed  almost three months ago, had approved that “the Commission (INEC) may consider the electronic transmission of results, provided the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the National Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.”


The Senate, however, on Tuesday amended the clause when the bill was subjected to re-committal to provide that, “subject to section 63 of this bill, voting at an election and transmission of results under this bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission.”


The chamber also amended Clause 87 to allow political parties to determine the modality for holding primaries for aspirants to all elective positions. 


Members of the Conference Committee on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021, are expected to meet with their counterparts in the House of Representatives to harmonise the two versions passed by both chambers.






Special Assistant (Press)

to President of the Senate 


Tuesday, October 12, 2020.

Senate confirms Justice Baba Yusuf as FCT Chief Judge


The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf as Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory. 


Hon. Yusuf’s confirmation followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters. 


Chairman of the Committee, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, in his presentation, said that his nomination satisfies the requirements of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and the Senate Standing Orders, 2015, as amended. 


The lawmaker stated that the nominee has a wide range of experience, comportment, exposure and possesses the requisite leadership qualities of a Judicial Officer to effectively superintend over a court of such magnitude and complexity.


He recalled Baba Yusuf was appointed as the Acting Chief Judge of the Court on August 1, 2021;  a position he held until his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari. 


He disclosed that there was no petition or adverse report against the nominee, adding that, “record checks and other forms of investigations carried out by security agencies, did not reveal any negative trace against him.”






Special Assistant (Press)

to President of the Senate 


Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

Senate debates 2022 appropriation bill


The Senate on Tuesday commenced debate on the 2022 appropriation bill presented to the National Assembly last week by President Muhammadu Buhari. 


President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over plenary, said the debate on the bill which is slated for two days continues on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.  


President Buhari had on Thursday last week presented a N16.39 trillion budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year. 


He said out of the total expenditure of N16.39 trillion Naira proposed for the Federal Government in 2022, N768.28 is for Statutory Transfers; N6.83 trillion is for Non-debt Recurrent Costs; and N4.11 trillion for Personnel Costs.


Others are N577.0 billion for Pensions, Gratuities and Retirees’ Benefits; N792.39 for Overheads; N5.35 trillion for Capital Expenditure, including capital component of statutory transfers; N3.61 trillion for Debt Service; and N292.71 billion Naira for Sinking Fund to retire certain maturing bonds. 


He explained that the expected total fiscal operations of the Federal Government would result in a deficit of 6.26 trillion Naira, an amount representing 3.39 percent of estimated GDP.


According to him, the figure is slightly above the 3 percent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007. 


Senators who took turns to contribute to the ongoing debate on the 2022 appropriation bill were each allowed to speak for 3 minutes. 


Leading debate on the general principles of the bill, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said the 2022 Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability places Defence and Internal Security as top priority signaling the administration’s firm commitment to the security of life, property and public safety, nationwide. 


According to him, the fiscal operations of the federal government which would result in a deficit of 6.26 trillion naira can be tackled either by increasing taxes, cutting expenditure and borrowing. 


He, however, explained that increase in taxes was not feasible because the majority of Nigeria’s population are made up of the poor. 


The lawmaker observed that it is more dangerous to sack workers in bid to cut down on government spending, warning that doing so would expose the country to political and economic turbulence. 


He added that the country’s last option of borrowing would allow the nation survive the present challenges and stabilize the polity and economy. 


“In the 2022 budget, deficit spending has become necessary in order to ensure that the economy does not relapse into another recession after strongly coming out of the last one with a respectable 5 percent growth in the second quarter of this year.


“Deficit financing is mainly to fund capital expenditure. This new borrowings totaling N5.01 trillion naira, N90.73 billion naira from Privatization Oroceeds and 1.16 trillion naira drawdowns on loans secure for specific development projects. 


“Although there is a growing concern over this administration’s resort to borrowing to finance fiscal gaps, let me state here that the debt level of the federal government is still within sustainable limits”, Senator Yahaya said.


Other Senators who spoke during the debate include the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South), Aliero Adamu (Kebbi Central), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto North), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun Central), and Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South). 






Special Assistant (Press)

to President of the Senate 


Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

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