By Henry Umoru
The 2024 budget presentation, inauguration of committees, confirmation of appointments, grievances over juicy committees, consideration, and possible approval of 2023 – 2025 MTEF and FSP, are among top on the agenda as the Senate resumes plenary today after its seven weeks annual long recess.
In line with the Senate legislative calendar, the Red Chamber adjourned plenary on Monday, August 7, 2023 to Tuesday, September 26, 2023 after the screening of 48 ministerial nominees forwarded to it by President Bola Tinubu in July and confirmation of 45 nominees for appointments.
They also released the names of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the standing committees.
As the Senators begin their legislative work today, the first assignment for Senate President Godswill Akpabio will be reading of communication from President Tinubu, the inauguration of 74 Standing Committees he announced last month and confirmation of recent appointments made by President Tinubu among others.
Chairmanship positions of 48 of the 74 standing committees were assigned to Senators elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, while their counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and five other minority parties shared the remaining 26.
Eighteen of the 26 standing committees allocated to Senators on the platform of the minority political parties are as follows: PDP, four; Labour Party, LP, two; Social Democratic Party, SDP, one; Young Progressives Party, YPP and All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, also got one each.
One other assignment that would require the attention of the Senate is recent appointments made by President Tinubu, requiring its confirmation such as two ministerial nominees for the Ministry of Youth Development, the newly appointed Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Governor, Mr Olayemi Cardoso and four newly appointed CBN Deputy governors.
Other national issues for legislative attention of the Senate are the consideration and possible approval of the 2023 – 2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP, expected to have been transmitted to it by the President ahead of the presentation of 2024 budgetary proposals, next month.
What may also rear its head is the quagmire following the composition of the committees as some members are not happy.
According to the Standing Orders, no member of the Selection Committee shall serve as chairman of a committee and no Senator shall serve in more than seven Committees.
The Special committees that must be announced within the first fourteen legislative days following the first sitting of the Senate are the Committee on Selection; the Committee on Rules and Business and the Senate Services Committee.
Other Special Committees are Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions; Public Accounts; Committee on National Security and Intelligence; Committee on Legislative Compliance and Committee on Media and Public Affairs.