The National Assembly resumed for the 2019 year on Wednesday 16 January after more than three weeks of recess. The opening day however saw both chambers of the National Assembly adjourning plenary in honour of late Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s first Executive President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and Hon. Ayeola Abayomi, both of whom died during the period of their recess.
Despite the slow start, the Senate confirmed Elder Monday Udo Tom as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission and Engr. Kennedy Izuwah as Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC). The Senate also received requests from President Buhari to confirm Modibbo Hamman Tukur as Director of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Nigeria’s arm of the global financial and intelligence units and Major General Paul Tarfa (Rtd) as Chairman of the Governing Board of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) in addition to ten other nominees as Members. Both chambers also received an Executive Bill titled “Food Security and Quality Bill, 2018” that was transmitted by the President on Thursday 17 January 2019.
However, early hopes of the passage of the 2019 budget appears dashed in the House of Representatives after Members drew attention to the shortage of copies of the budget in circulation thereby forcing consideration of the budget to be postponed. At the House of Reps, members were able to adopt its report on the Companies and Allied Matters Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill. Although the Bill was passed by the Senate in March, 2018 and is expected to pass third reading stage the next time it is scheduled at the House plenary, its passage is anticipated to be a significant milestone to the 8th Assembly’s legislative agenda to adopt reforms or laws that improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.