The Red Chambers will today resume its plenary sitting after 4-weeks recess. During the 4-weeks break, several issues of national importance came up, some of which may be discussed by the lawmakers. They include: 1. President Buhari’s Vacation Extension letter: Before the lawmakers went on recess, the president sent a letter seeking for 10 days vacation. But on the expiration of the vacation, the President Buhari also sought the Senate approval to extend his vacation due to medical reasons. On resumption today, February 21, the Senate may discuss the letter sent by the president.
2. Buhari’s Health: Last week, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of House of Reps, Yakubu Dogara visited President Buhari – who is on a sick leave – in London. National issues were reported to have been discussed. The state of health of President Buhari may be subjected to discussion at the plenary today.
3. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s Letter to Confirm Justice Walter Onnoghen as CJN: Two days to the expiration of the tenure of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, acting President Yemi Osinbajo sent his name to the Senate to screen and confirm Justice Onnoghen, a Cross River State indigene, as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria. Before Onnoghen’s name was sent to Senate for approval, there were series of backlash. This backlash came close to the expiration of the approved three months for a chief justice in an acting capacity.
However, the National Judicial Council last week extended the tenure of the acting chief justice until his confirmation as the substantive CJN. 4. The 2017 Appropriation Bill and other bills: The chairman of the Senate Committee on media and publicity Aliyu Abdullahi in a statement on Sunday, February 19, said issues arising from the 2017 budget will be addressed. 5. Naira crisis and CBN New Forex Policy: The Central Bank of Nigeria in apparent response to the cries of Nigerian over the suffering occasioned by the scarcity of foreign exchange, has released some amendments to the current policy. The CBN said in order to ease the difficulties encountered by Nigerians in obtaining funds for foreign exchange transactions, it would henceforth be providing direct additional funding to banks to meet the needs of Nigerians for personal and business travel, medical needs, and school fees, effective immediately. This may also be part of the discussion at the Red Chambers today. 6. Paris Club refund misappropriation by Governors: The Nigerian Senate may torchlight on the Paris club refund which many believed the governors have squandered.