Budget 2017, Onnoghen, Magu top agenda as Senate resumes

The Senate during a plenary

• Senator lauds increase of education vote by N57b

The nominations of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as well as the 2017 budget, are some of the key issues that would take immediate attention of the Senate when it re-opens tomorrow.

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki is expected to read the two pending letters from President Muhammadu Buhari to extend his holiday in London and the nomination of Justice Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

A lawmaker said that the screening of Onnoghen would be treated as a matter of urgency since his tenure as an Acting Chief Judge of Nigeria had expired February 10.

Also, the various committees are expected to start submitting reports to the committee on appropriations, based on earlier schedules.

However, checks revealed that the three weeks earlier given to committees to conclude work on the defence of budget proposals by MDAs might be extended for at least one more week.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliu Saabi Abdullahi said: “simultaneously, the Senate will also begin to consider several economic reform bills that form the basis of the Red Chamber’s priority economic agenda.

On the nomination of Magu, the Senate leadership, it was learnt had already directed that the earlier letter by the Director of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, should be properly reviewed with a view to finding out whether the service had found another dimension to it.

The nomination, which ought to be referred to the Senate Committee on Anti Corruption, might attract the attention of the whole Senate.
Meanwhile, the Senate has explained why government raised the allocation to education by N57 billion.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary), Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko said the Federal Government was prepared to address successive shortfall in the allocation to the education sector through 2017 budget.

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