The Senate said it would not yield its constitutional powers to the executive arm of the government. This declaration was made yesterday, June 15th 2017, when Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, also stated that the house would not be used as a rubber stamp to the executive arm.
The two arms of the government were reacting to the statement made by Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, the Acting President of Nigeria, that the National Assembly do not have any powers to initiate new projects into the budget.
The Acting President had said: “ This last budget, the President presented it last December. Despite the assurances that it will be passed by February, it was not, until May. “As it turned out, we were quite disappointed that it took a bit of time before it was approved. And thereafter, we had to go into negotiations with the National Assembly in order to get it right”.
He further stated that there were two broad issues about what could be done. “Secondly, do not introduce entirely new projects and all of that or modify projects. This is something that we experienced last year and this year again. It now leaves the question about who is supposed to do what?” However, the Senate warned the executive yesterday not to make a mistake by interpreting its consultations on important national issues to mean that it was ready to code its constitutional powers.
In response to to a Point of Order by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, APC, Kebbi South, Bukola Saraki – the Senate, President noted that Osinbanjo had been quoted out of context. “I am sure the Acting President must have been misquoted because there is clearly no ambiguity in the Constitution of the responsibility of the National Assembly.