Senate will not override Buhari’s veto of electoral bill

admin10 months ago3 min

OrderPaperToday – The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the Senate will not override the President but will rather expeditiously look into the issues that would be raised by lawmakers after consultations with constituents on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Lawan stated this in his welcome speech to senators who just resumed from the Christmas and New Year recess on Tuesday.

The Senate had earlier entered a closed-door session which lasted for an hour and nine minutes.

The position of the senate is similar to that taken by the House of Representatives also on Tuesday. The Reps opted to reintroduce the bill for reconsideration instead of an override of the President.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter dated Dec. 13, 2021, written the Senate President withholding assent to the Bill passed by the National Assembly.

The President had explained that signing the bill into law would have serious adverse legal, financial, economic and security consequences on the country, particularly in view of Nigeria’s peculiarities.

In his speech on Tuesday, Lawan mentioned that the Senate and indeed the National Assembly worked so hard on the Bill but that having consulted on the issues raised by the President, the Senate would expeditiously look into them., ruling out the option of override.

On the security situation in the country, the President of the senate said “the security situation in our country was still dire. We must remain focused and determined to work with the Executive and also continue to support the armed forces and security agencies”.

On the implementation of the 2022 Budget, Lawan urged the senators to strategise on effective oversight of the implementation of the budget as “this is going to be the last budget that would be fully implemented for 12 months in the life of the ninth Senate. We therefore, need to supervise very closely.”

He also spoke on the state of public debt, saying “our country is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. We have to construct and provide infrastructure in all parts of our country because infrastructure is needed for our nation to develop.”

He added that until more revenues were generated, the country would have to borrow and also resort to other sources of funding infrastructural development. “But we cannot continue to borrow endlessly. It is imperative that we need to improve on the revenue to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio”, Lawan said.

He further said that the report of the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution would be presented to the Senate soon.

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