Abuja – The Leader of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, says the National Assembly will prioritise the consideration of the 2019 budget and the passage of minimum wage bill upon resumption.
Lawan, who made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, said the lawmakers would not hesitate in attending to the bills.
He said that though they would be constrained by time in view of preparations for the 2019 general elections, they would work extensively on the bills within the available time.
“We should be able to work hard to pass those bills that are fundamental and central to revamping the economy.
“Bills that are central to re-engineering and reorientating the social environment, and generally making Nigeria a stable and a safe country; we are determined to do that.
“The 2019 budget, for instance, is central even though we have to break at a point; shortly after resumption, say two weeks, maximum three weeks.
“It is my judgment that we will be doing ourselves some good if we take second reading of the budget.
“That is, we will take the debate and general principles of the bill and then refer it to the committees on appropriation of the two chambers at least before we go,” he said.
The leader of the senate further said it was important for the national assembly to consider the minimum wage bill as soon as it is presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the legislature.
He stressed that passing the bill would help bring succour to workers.
“It is crucial that we pass the bill on national minimum wage. I believe that the Executive has played its part.
“I have no idea what it is at the moment, but I believe that it is one of those bills we should expedite legislative process on to get it passed to ensure that there is stability in the workforce.
“The workforce is what we rely on for the implementation of our various programmes and projects as a government.
“I believe that when the bill comes, we should be able to do justice to it within the period we will be around.
“We should be able to slate it for first, second reading at least, and maybe immediately we resume we will pass it through third reading.
“This is to ensure that the workers get a fair deal,” he said.
On the performance of the Senate as the Eight Senate winds up, Lawan said it was unfortunate that the Upper Chamber started on a tumultuous note.
He urged his colleagues to maximise the remaining period up until June to work for the development of the nation.
The National Assembly proceeded on its Christmas break on Dec. 20 to resume on Jan. 16. (NAN)