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Ministerial nominees: Presidency backs Senate on screening modalities

By Henry Umoru &

Joseph Erunke

THE Presidency, yesterday, said the modalities set up by the Senate in the screening of ministerial nominees, expected to commence on Tuesday, was in the best interest of the nation.

The Senate action, according to the Presidency,falls within the constitutional powers of the Red Chamber on screening and approval of ministerial nominees.
Senior Special Assistant,SSA,to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters ( Senate Wing), Senator Ita Enang , who spoke to journalists in Abuja, said the upper legislative chamber was constitutionally empowered to set out conditions upon which ministerial nominees forwarded to it by the president could be screened.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, The President, Muhammadu Buhari, The Senate President, Bukola Saraki and former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon at 55th Independence Day ceremony at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, The President, Muhammadu Buhari, The Senate President, Bukola Saraki and former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon at 55th Independence Day ceremony at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.

He said: “The Senate is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Senate is free to set its criteria for the screening of the nominees appearing before it.

He added that on the same template, during screening of any nominee, senators are free to ask any of the nominees , any questions they like, which must be responded to, by the nominee.

His words: “Our job will be to work with the respective senators and work with the respective nominees to make sure that the senators are satisfied and so that they can agree with their nominations.

“We will not dispute with the senate on what it want because it absolutely lies in the heart and minds of the respective and distinguished senators to determine what to ask.

“We cannot from our own end limit the question that senators can ask a nominee, because the senators are free and the nominees will be free to answer the questions since the senators are within their rights to request what they want”.

Enang who said his job is to relate with the senate on matters that proceeds from the president and create a good working relationship between the President, the vice president , all officers of the executive and the leadership of the Senate and the entire National Assembly, expressed happiness that the recent meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and President Buhari has lowered the temperature of conjectural frictions between them in the minds of Nigerians.


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