President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the legislature to ensure speedy passage of the five executive bills before it in order to help his anti-corruption war.
The five executive bills now before the National Assembly include: the Money Laundering and Prevention Bill of 2016, Mutual legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2016, the Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Bill, 2016, the Statutory Budget of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and Bills for Acts for domestication of agreements for avoidance of double taxation between Nigeria and South Korea, Spain and Sweden respectively.
The President made the appeal during a dinner at the presidential villa, Abuja on Monday to mark the 2016 democracy day and his one year in office. The dinner had members of the federal legislature and some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in attendance.
While pledging his administration’s commitment to the law of separation of powers, President Buhari expressed his gratitude to the lawmakers for the thorough but speedy scrutiny and passage of the 2016 budget.
“Let me again appreciate the work of the National Assembly for the painstaking and consensual work they did with the Executive to deliver the 2016 Appropriation Act. It is on record that this is one rare occasion where the Appropriation Act was assented to with the schedule( details). This is a good start in our journey of change.”
The president then drew the attention of the legislators to the five executive bills with particular emphasis on the FCT Appropriation Bill, 2016 and the Statutory Budget of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), 2016. He stated that if their budget was not passed, they would be unable to execute their project and run the affairs of their offices.
“I am conscious that on June 9, 2016, the National Assembly will complete one legislative year. May I appeal to you to consider and pass these submitted bills, particularly the statutory budget of the FCT, the NDDC Budget and the budget of statutory corporations. These bodies cannot execute their statutory mandate nor incur expenditure for the year unless their budgets are approved by the National Assembly.”
Speaking earlier at the dinner, Senate President and chairman of the National Assembly, Bukola Saraki, thanked the President for the invitation and called for more interaction between the various arms of government in order to strengthen and solidify democracy in the country.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, National Chairman of the party, John Oyegun, and leader of All Progressive Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, were among the dignitaries that attended the dinner.