Electoral amendment, PIB and security make Senate priority list for 2021

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The Nigerian Senate has rolled out priority issues on its legislative agenda for 2021.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the legislature would, in 2021, prioritize the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Electoral Reform Amendment Bill, constitutional amendment, security issue as well as give accelerated consideration to measures proposed towards the containment of COVID-19.

Lawan stated this in his 2021 New Year Message to Nigerians.

He said the National Assembly was determined to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which has defied passage for about two decades, by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

“It is our utmost desire to make the passage of the PIB one of the legacies of the ninth National Assembly,” he said.

On Election reform, the Senate President also assured that the Electoral Reform Amendment Bill would be passed before the second quarter of 2021.

The early passage of the Electoral Reforms bill, he said, was necessary in order to enhance the democratic process of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in the country.

Also on the Senate’s priority list in 2021, according to Lawan, is the amendment to the 1999 Constitution.

“We have it on our agenda to pull through the process of constitutional amendment in 2021.

“The process, which started in 2020, requires extensive consultations and the buy in of everybody,” Lawan said.

On COVID-19 challenges, the Senate President said the nation’s apex legislative body would give accelerated consideration to any measure proposed towards the containment of the COVID-19.

“In this regard, the National Assembly is waiting for the Executive to propose supplementary appropriation for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine.

“In the meantime, we should continue to adhere strictly to the non-pharmaceutical protocols as prescribed by relevant health authorities,” he added.

The Senate President noted that the issue of security has always been top on the legislature’s agenda and would continue to be of utmost priority in 2021.

He said the parliament would sustain its collaboration with the Executive for a lasting solution to the country’s acute insecurity.

He said: “Our hope to do all these and accomplish much more in the new year lies in the unity of purpose of the ninth National Assembly.

“The Assembly has been approaching issues in a bipartisan and patriotic manner right from the onset of the current dispensation.

“This is further reinforced by the sustained harmony and tremendous understanding between the Legislature and the Executive which we earnestly believe will continue in the new year and beyond.

“By now, the benefits of harmonious relations between these two arms of government should be clear to all.”

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