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Friday, June 1, 2012

Senate tasks Jonathan on unsigned bills

Senate President, David Mark
National Assembly has insisted that it will create agencies through legislation when necessary despite the failure of the executive to sign some bills passed by the legislature.

While declaring open the public hearing on the Erosion Control and Prevention Commission Bill, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, said agencies would be created if they needed to be created, regardless of the current posture of the executive.

He recalled the exchange between members of the National Assembly and President Goodluck Jonathan at the Democracy Day symposium, where members complained of the failure of the President to sign crucial bills passed and sent to him by the legislature.

He said, “And in response, the President said that is because we are creating agencies. We will continue to create agencies if it is important because that is why we are here. So we have to do our job.

“If agencies are to be created they need to be created. Just to add to that most of those bills have nothing to do with agencies. I remember we have the State of the Nation Address Bill, it has nothing to do with agency and it has not been signed.

“We have the National Health Bill; it has nothing to do with an agency. It has not been signed. We have the Air Force Institute of Technology Bill and Tobacco Bill. A whole number of Bills that would have changed a lot of things for this country have not been signed.

“So, my advice to the executive arm of government is to dialogue with the legislature in matter like this and find a common ground instead of shifting blame because the making of laws is dynamic.”

He said the issue raised by the President on the Appropriation Bill was also a distortion of facts.

Ekweremadu said, “The President said that we tore the Appropriation Bill into pieces which made it impossible for implementation. That is not so. I am aware that the 2012 Appropriation bill was returned to the Executive substantially the same way they brought it.

“So we are challenging them to ensure that that Bill, the 2012 Appropriation Act is fully implemented.

“We did that, we gave them back the Appropriation Bill the way it came mostly because all the years they have been complaining that they could not implement the budget because of the input of the National Assembly.

“So this year we said we are not making any input, we are going to give you the Bill the way you brought it as a challenge to ensure that it is implemented. So we expect them to implement it 100 per cent because that is their own vision.”