On Tuesday, 18th January 2022, the Senate and the House of Representatives resumed plenary session from its 4-weeks break after it adjourned on Wednesday, 22 December 2021 and Tuesday, 21 December 2021 respectively, to embark on the Christmas and New year holidays.
At the sitting of the Senate, the President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan (APC: Borno State) in his welcome address, commended the efforts and the determination of lawmakers on the passage of critical legislations such as the 2022 Appropriation Bill, the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the Petroleum Industry Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Speaking on the 2022 Budget, Sen. Lawan noted that the 9th Senate will develop a strategy of engagement with revenue generating agencies in order to boost Nigeria’s revenue generating drive and to reduce significantly borrowings for infrastructural and economic development.
On the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, he highlighted the need of the Senate to effectively supervise the implementation of the law in order to provide better investment environment for the Oil and Gas industry.
In reference to the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Sen. Lawan stated that Senate will expeditiously look into the issue and continue to provide support to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the successful conduct of elections in Nigeria.
According to Sen. Lawan, another key legislation to be considered by the 9th Senate is the report of its Ad-hoc Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution on the Constitution Alteration Bills, for which he anticipates transmission to the State Houses of Assembly in the first legislative quarter of 2022.
Sen. Lawan in his concluding remarks, laid emphasis on the security situation across the country, urging lawmakers to remain focused and determined to work with the Executive arm of government and to provide support to the armed forces, security agencies, and the welfare of citizens.
In the House of Representatives, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC; Lagos) in his welcome address, highlighted two key legislations to be considered within the first legislative quarter. The first is the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021, he stated that the only objective for the re-introduction of amendments to the said Bill, is to address the concerns raised by President Buhari. According to him, the Bill includes many other provisions which he believes will serve Nigeria’s democratic system of governance.
Secondly, the Speaker noted that the House of Representatives will focus on its current Constitution review effort with the intention of forwarding the first set of amendments to the State Houses of Assemblies for consideration. Among others, he stated 2022 is the final year in which the House of Representatives will have to fulfill its legislative obligations and urged lawmakers to ensure that all longstanding challenges of governance are taken into consideration and addressed.