OrderPaper’s LIFE proves accurate as NASS debate predicted issues

David OputahMarch 19, 20246 min

OrderPaper in its LIFE Service, last week, predicted that the issues of Insecurity and kidnappings; Epileptic power supply; Budget Padding allegations against the Senate by Senator Ningi; Investigation of Ways and Means by the Senate; and Implementation of student loan policy would be front-burner issues at the National Assembly last week. This article details how the prediction fared.

Last week, the National Assembly found itself embroiled in a flurry of legislative activities, precisely as predicted by OrderPaper in its Legislative Intelligence Forecast Entry (LIFE).

In a testament to its foresight and keen understanding of Nigeria’s political landscape, the issues highlighted, including insecurity and kidnappings budget padding allegations against the Senate, and the student loan policy, indeed took centre stage, reaffirming the insightful foresight of OrderPaper.

Insecurity and kidnappings

Among the issues highlighted in the LIFE, the menace of insecurity and kidnappings which continues to plague various parts of the country, posing a significant threat to lives and livelihoods, has indeed captured significant attention within the hallowed halls of the assembly.

Lawmakers engaged in intense deliberations on strategies to address this pressing issue, reflecting the urgency of the matter and the legislature’s commitment to finding viable solutions to the recent abductions of students in Kaduna and Sokoto states and the attacks in Benue.

To curtail this ugly insecurity trend, Rep. Austin Achado (APC, Benue) presented a motion of urgent national importance on the need to address the attacks on the Mbaikyor community of Gwer East local government area of Benue state.

Lamenting the attack by bandits, Rep Austin noted that last week Thursday 7th of March 2024, twenty people were killed, a ninety-year-old set of twins were burnt beyond recognition, an eight-year-old was gruesomely murdered, Fifty houses including the village market were burnt, and the whole community sacked leaving many injured.

He expressed dissatisfaction that security agencies in the state did not promptly respond to the distress call within the Three hours that the attack lasted, adding that security forces arrived at the scene of the incident Twenty hours after the bandits fled.

On its part, the Senate resolved into a closed-door session to meet with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, and the Commissioner of Police, Benneth Igwe.

OrderPaper recalls that the Senate, on Wednesday, February 28, summoned Wike and Igwe over the level of insecurity in the FCT.

Speaking after the closed session, Wike said the Senate was pleased with the FCT’s improving security situation.

Senate suspends Ningi over allegations of N3.7trn padded budget

Budget Padding allegations by Senator Ningi

In a surprising turn of events, the budget padding allegations against the Senate by Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central) became a lightning rod for debate and scrutiny within the assembly as predicted by LIFE. The accusations sparked intense discussions as lawmakers grappled with the implications and ramifications of such allegations on the integrity of the legislative process.

OrderPaper recalls that Senator Ningi, who was the Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum, had during an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, on Saturday, alleged that the Federal Government was operating a budget different from the one passed by the National Assembly.

According to him, the National Assembly debated and passed N25 trillion as a 2024 budget and not the N28.7 trillion that is being implemented by the Federal Government.

The Senate was thrown into a rowdy session when the issue was brought up.

In its decision, the Senate, following a motion raised by Senator Solomon Olamilekan (APC, Ogun West) on an urgent need to address the false allegation by Ningi voted in favour of a three-month suspension of the Senator maintaining that should he tender an apology and show some remorse, the matter will be deliberated within the Senate and he will be called to return.

Federal Government Student Loan Launch Indefinitely

Implementation of student loan policy:

The long-awaited implementation of a student loan policy garnered significant traction during the week.

First, the Federal Government announced the indefinite postponement of the scheme, just 48 hours before its scheduled launch.

Akintunde Sawyer, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, revealed this development during an exclusive interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday.

According to Sawyer, the loan, previously set to kick off on Thursday, had been deferred due to ongoing adjustments surrounding the launch.

While that was generating debates, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu forwarded a letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives, seeking a repeal and re-enactment of the Act.

President Tinubu’s letter came in during Thursday’s plenary at both chambers a day after the announcement of a temporary suspension of the commencement of the scheme.

The criticisms levelled at the qualifying requirements for applicants, repayment plans, and governance structure following the law’s signing may have some bearing on the president’s decision.

The President’s letter which sought an expeditious consideration of the bill was read for the first time at the Senate and was subsequently passed for a second reading.

At the Green Chamber, the letter was read on the floor of the House by the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas and passed for a second reading.

The alignment of these front-burner issues with OrderPaper’s LIFE predictions underscores the platform’s unparalleled insight into Nigeria’s legislative landscape. By accurately anticipating the issues that would dominate the national assembly’s agenda, OrderPaper continues to serve as a vital resource for policymakers, analysts, and citizens alike, facilitating informed discourse and shaping the trajectory of governance in Nigeria.

David Oputah

Oputah David M is a Bloomberg-trained Journalist with a diversified experience in online journalism and newsroom management. He is a 2023 MTN Media Innovation fellow!

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