Senate to fast track passage of Electoral Amendment, PIG, others

Bills before the Senate which have passed the various stages of the legislative process to become Acts of parliament but have not been assented to would not be subjected to public hearing any further in the Ninth Senate, President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan has said.

Lawan said this would save the Senate manhour and resources to be spent on the bills which have already been subjected to the processes in the past Assemblies.

The President of the Senate immediately tasked the trio of Majority Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe and the Chairman, Senate Committee on rules and business, Senator Sadiq Umar to immediately meet and ensure its implementation by the Ninth Assembly.

“I think this is the way to go. Senate leader, you need to take care of this. You and the minority leader and the Senate Committee Chairman on business and rules, you go through and give the various stages of the bills processes in the Eighth Senate but were not assented to,” Lawan said.

He said this while rounding up debate on the bill for the establishment of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Benue State, sponsored by Senator Abba Moro, (Benue South) which passed second reading on Tuesday.

During the debate of the Senator James Manager (Delta South) recalled that the bill had undergone legislative processes be it failed to secure Presidential assent.

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Agreeing with Sanayor Manager that the bill was before the sixth and seventh Senate Lawan said: “A lot of the preparatory work has been done, we do not need to spend time to pass the bill. I am happy that Mr President has already approved the establishment of the institution but I think that this is one bill that deserves all our support.

“Going forward I want to agree with Senator James Manager that those bills that we processed almost through all the states, one we should fastrack them by skipping public hearing that will visit us time and resources that can be avoided given the level of work we have done on them.

“So we need to look at those that were successfully passed by the national assembly but were not assented to and review the observations and objections which were the grounds on which they were not assented to and take them back for Presidential assent without going through again public hearing and all these things but on new bills, we can do that,” Lawan stated.

Some of the bills that qualify for fastrack by the Senate include Electoral Act amendment, Petroleum Industry Governance Bill and it’s ancillary bills amongst others.

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