CJN appointment, 2023 budget estimates, security top Senate agenda – Lawan

President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the confirmation of appointment of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria and consideration of anticipated budget proposals for 2023 would be the immediate attention of Senate on resumption.

The Senate is expected to resume from its two months annual summer recess on Sept. 20.

Lawan spoke on Friday in Abuja, while responding to questions from Senate correspondents after inspecting renovation work at the temporary venue for the sitting of the Senate in the light of the ongoing remodeling of the main Senate chamber.

Expressing satisfaction on the work done on the makeshift chamber, Lawan said:

“This is going to be our temporary chamber for some time, some months and I’m aware that it will be here that we will conduct the business of the Senate up till next year by the Grace of God. That is not an issue.

“The way this place is renovated to accommodate Distinguished Senators is what matters to us. The chairs here and everything here will be temporary. Ours is to remain focus on what our jobs and tasks are.

“I am happy so far that the renovation here, providing this environment, is going on smoothly, there are few issues that I feel should be attended to but these are not major issues.

“This is also going to be resumption period for us where the last session of the (ninth) Senate will be and that is, this will be our last and final year.

“We have the confirmation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria already waiting. Recall that the President sent the request but that was a day before the Senate went on its annual summer recess.

“Therefore, this is going to be one of the first things we need to do to ensure that the acting capacity does not go beyond the required three months.

“You also know that we are going to receive Mr President for the presentation of the 2023 budget estimates and we expect that the President will be doing that in the first week of October even though it may not be taken place here.

“Imagine that the House of Representatives chamber will be the appropriate place like we have always done. But that is going to be one of the issues that we are going to tackle immediately we resume.

“And of course, our focus has always been that we provide the kind of Legislative intervention that will make Nigerians be safer and of course, provide a better economic environment.

“The security of our country, the security of our people has always been of great concern to us and will remain so and at this point let me commend our Armed Forces and other security agencies for upping the game and doing better in the last one month or so.

“We hope that they will do better than that but I want to assure Nigerians that the National Assembly particularly the Senate will continue to support our security agencies and defence forces to fight for restoration of normalcy in our security situation in the country.

“Our economy is challenged. It’s our focus that we make sure that the economy works for all Nigerians regardless of their socio-economic status.

“We are optimistic that we will be able to pass a budget that will provide for better life for Nigerians.

“It has not been easy but nothing is impossible and no problem is insurmountable.

“We also have so many other issues of ensuring that the 2023 general elections, at the end, the kind of elections that everybody will say, well, I have won fairly or I have lost fairly.

“So we want to ensure that there is very credible elections that will be of integrity and we will support the INEC to the fullest to ensure that the 2023 general elections hold in such a manner that INEC does not lack anything, that Nigerians are able to exercise their franchise and at the end of the day.

“We will have new set of leaders to continue to lead our country.” Lawan said.

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