By Anthony Isaac
The Senate on Tuesday approved a request from President Muhammadu Buhari’s for N850 billion loans from the Capital Market to finance projects in the 2020 budget.
Buhari had in a letter to the Senate read at plenary requested for the loans approval to finance the budget which has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The request was given accelerated approval by the Senate as the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, mandated its Committees on Finance and Appropriation to liaise with the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmad, to get details of the loan.
Earlier, Dr Lawan in his welcome address to the Senators who have been on break since the outbreak of the virus in March, said that the resumption of plenary was aimed at sustaining solutions to the coronavirus pandemic and ensure that it does not create more problems in the country.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the 2020 budget but that the Senate was working with the Executive arm of government to address the problem.
According to him, “government has responded well under the recommendations of scientists and experts. Our sessions have been interrupted, but we have sustained our interventions and collaborations with other arms and agencies of government to mitigate the damage from the pandemic.
“We will continue in our efforts in the interest of our good health, the well-being of our people and the sustainable development of our nation.This pandemic has killed thousands of citizens across the world.
“We have also lost many of our dear compatriots, one of them was the Chief of Staff to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Malam Abb Kyari.
“We condole with President Muhammadu Buhari on this painful lost, just as we mourn other citizens who have died because of the disease.We pray the Almighty Allah will give their families the fortitude to bear the loss and grant them Aljanah Firdausi.
“Let me commend your collective and individual efforts in supporting the people in these uncertain times. Your counsels and gifts during this period are well documented,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Senate also received three requests from President Buhari for the confirmation of nominees to serve on the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC); Federal Character Commission; and the Federal Civil Service Commission.
The requests contained in three separate letters read at the beginning of plenary on Tuesday by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
According to President Buhari, the request for the confirmation of the nominees was in accordance with the provisions of Section 154(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.
The nominees for confirmation as members of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) were: Salamatu Mohammed Bala, Adamawa; Alfred Egba, Bayelsa; Adamu Shettima Yuguda Dibal, Borno; Emmanuel Nwosu, Imo; Oladele Seminu Gboyega, Osun; Bello Abubakar Wamakko, Sokoto; and Ahmed Yusuf, Taraba.
Those nominated to serve as Commissioners with the Federal Civil Service Commission were: Frederick Ekwem, Imo and Abia; and Jonah Madugu, Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau.
Nominees appointed by the President to serve at the Federal Character Commission included: Muheeba Dankaka, Chairman; Henry Ogbulogo, Abia; Salihu Bello, Adamawa; Obonganwan Dborah Daniel Ebony, Akwa-Ibom; Ibeabuchi Uche, Anambra; Mohammed Tijjani, Bauchi; Tonye Okio, Bayelsa; Silas Mfa Macikpah, Benue; Abba Ali Monguno, Borno; Nsor Atamgba, Cross River; and Alims Agoda.
Others were: Tobias Chukuemeka, Ebonyi; Imuetinyan Festus, Edo; Sesan Fatoba; Ginika Florence Tor, Enugu; Hamza Mohammed, Gombe; Diogu Uche, Imo; Lawan Ya’u Roni, Jigawa; Hadiza Usman Muazu, Kaduna; Mohammed Awwal Na’iya, Kano; Lawal Garba, Katsina; Abubakar Atiku Bunu, Kebbi; Idris Eneye Bello, Kogi; Daniel James Kolo, Kwara; Are Miftah Bolaji, Lagos; Nasir Isa Kwarra, Nasarawa; and Suleiman Barau, Niger.
Also appointed are: Abiodun Isiaq Akinlade, Ogun; Olufemi Omosanya, Ondo; Adeoye Abdularazaq Olalekan, Osun; Adeniyi Olowofela, Oyo; Stephen Jings, Plateau; Wokocha Augustine, Rivers; Abdullahi Taminu Tafida, Sokoto; Alhaji Armaya’u Dauda Abubakar, Taraba; Jibril Maigari, Yobe; Sani Garba, Zamfara; and Adamu Mohammed Sidi-Ali, Federal Capital Territory.
After all these, the Senate resolved to adjourn sitting indefinitely, and this was announced by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.