*Hails Senate on REMITA
OrderPaperToday – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has proposed approval of the senate as a requirement for the appointment and sack of chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), head of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) as well as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
These measures says the speaker, would insulate these officials from whimsical removal from office and help to strengthen the anti-corruption drive of the current President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Dogara also hailed the motion at the senate last week on the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), saying the fact that there is compliance with a directive of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) that some billons of naira be returned to the public coffers is evidence that the legislature is working hard against corruption in Nigeria.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a national assembly dialogue on economy, security and development organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) in Abuja today, the speaker said “anti -corruption legislation and over-sight would be the major contribution of parliament to the CHANGE that has come to Nigeria.”
The speaker said while the parliament awaits Buhari’s initiative on EFCC and the ICPC, it has become urgent to “strengthen the independence and impartiality of the Heads of these agencies by requiring the consent of the Senate to their appointment and removal from office. This will ensure that they are not whimsically removed when they disagree with a sitting President.”
Dogara also proposed same for the police saying “it has become necessary, in my view, for the appointment and removal of the Inspector General of Police to receive the blessing, of at least, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This will also ensure some measure of operational independence and command integrity.”
The speaker urged Nigerians to be patient with the legislature assuring that the lawmakers were out to contribute meaningfully to the change agenda of the current government.
He said: “But just last week, the Senate passed a Resolution to investigate payment of Consultants involved with the new TSA administration. Twenty four hours later, the CBN ordered the company to return billions of Naira, which the company has since complied with. This has been achieved by just a single motion. Several other examples abound. The legislature may be slow, but its contribution to our democracy and economic development is assured.
“Mr. President should follow up the implementation of the TSA with another bold and courageous move to capture all expenditure by all the MDAs in one single National budget. No longer should the income and expenditure of some revenue earning agencies be an ‘Attachment’ to the National Budget but should be an integral part of it. It should be part of the aggregate figures that make up the Budget. Such agencies should include the NNPC, NPA, NIMASA, Customs and Excise, NCC, etc.”
He also called on President Buhari “as the Minister of Petroleum to as a matter of urgency transmit a Bill to the National Assembly on how his administration intends to reorganize the Petroleum Sector.”