As the National Assembly resumes plenary next week, Senate yesterday remained studiously silent on the status of the 2013 Appropriation Bill. The two chambers of the National Assembly passed a N4.987 trillion 2013 budget before going on a three-week recess on December 20 last year.
“We have passed the budget and the budget has to pass through some processes. I will not say anything more on the budget.” Enang also said upon resumption, the Senate would give priority attention to the budget of 31 corporations, which were listed as annexure to the 2013 budget as submitted by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Responding to the zero allocation to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the budget, Enang said: “There was a recommendation that there should not be implementation but only as may be approved.” He listed other issues that would receive urgent attention to include the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), reports on the subsidy probe and the crashes of Dana and Allied aircraft.
Bills that would be given priority, according to Enang are: Education (National Minimum Standards Establishment of Institutions) Act; Federal Universities of Agriculture Act (Amendment); University of Lagos Act (Amendment) 2012; Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, Genocide and Related Offences 2012.
On the amendment of the 1999 Constitution, Enang said: “It is expected that the Constitution review process, having progressed from senatorial districts and state level hearings to the zonal public hearings, we will receive the reports and analyze them and progress to findings and conclusion on sections for amendment for submission to the floor for consideration.”
He said within the period, 163 new bills were presented and considered among which there were 25 executive bills while the rest were senators’ bills. 32 bills were read for the second time and referred to the committees while five were passed.
The bills passed were 2013 Appropriation Bill; the National Automative Council Act (repeal and re-enactment) Bill 2012; The Money Laundering Act (amendment) Bill 2012; the Terrorism Act (amendment) Bill 2012 and the Prisons Act (repeal and re-enactment) Bill 2012.
Enang said that the Senate passed 15 resolutions within the period and these included the sale of Oil Block ‘OPL 245’ to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited; introduction of the N5, 000 notes; the menace of flood and the killings in Mubi, Adamawa State.