From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, yesterday, adjourned plenary till February 19, without debating the general principles of the N8.83 trillion 2019 budget submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2018.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at plenary, announcd the adjournment at the end of yesterday’s legislative business.
The four week period is to create time for lawmakers contesting in the elections to campaign, while those not contesting, will engage with heads of the various Ministries Departments and Agencies at committee levels.
Meanwhile, in the chamber, 68, out of the 109 members, are contesting in the February 16 National Assembly election for return bids. Eight others are contesting for the March 2 governorsip, election.
About 33 senators not contesting for any elective positions are expected, by the planned legislative arrangement, to keep the budget defence sessions alive while their colleagues dig it out in their various constituencies.
Some of the 33 senators who are not contesting any position in the elections and are chairmen of standing committees include Sha’aba Lafiagi (National Security and Intelligence), Abu Ibrahim (Labour), Emmanuel Paulker (Establishment) and Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Environment ).
Others are Ahmed Sani Yerima (Marine Transport), Olugbenga Ashafa (Land Transport), Lanre Tejuoso (Health), Gilbert Nnaji (Communication), Tijjani Kaura (Police), Kabiru Marafa (Petroleum Downstream), among others.
Unlike in the past, Senate didn’t discuss the arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, the travails of Dino Melaye and recent attacks on the ancestral home of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.