The Presidency has appealed to the National Assembly to suspend the ongoing recess and attend to requests by President Muhammadu Buhari pending before the legislature.
The National Assembly was billed to proceed on holiday on Thursday but the lawmakers went on emergency recess on Tuesday following the alleged clampdown on President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
But the Nigerian Police denied knowledge of any clampdown on Saraki’s home while it said other agency could have been responsible for the alleged clampdown on the home of Ekweremadu.
One of such requests is the one asking the lawmakers to vire funds in the 2018 Appropriation Act to fund the supplementary budgets of the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
Buhari had recently presented a N228bn supplementary budget to the National Assembly, asking the legislature to re-allocate part of the N578bn voted to the projects inserted by the lawmakers into the 2018 Appropriation Act.
On Thursday, the Presidency pleaded with the lawmakers to reconvene and approve Buhari’s requests in the interest of the country.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, warned that delaying the approvals would frustrate some organs of the government.
Enang said, “The executive – President and ministers – will keep working with the legislature with respect due their offices and persons, and keep working with them as legislators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who make laws for the executive to execute irrespective of their individual political decisions while leaving all options open for conciliation.
“We will be praying the legislature – the leadership and membership – to consider that there are many matters of very urgent nature which are pending before the legislature and unless (they are) considered, the functioning of certain institutions of the government will be hampered.
“If you recall, a lot of the funding for the 2018 budget was budgeted to come from some external sources. The request for approval to raise funds from these external sources is before the legislature and unless (it is) considered, it may hamper the level of implementation. Again, before the legislature proceeded on vacation, Mr President also laid before them the request for virement, this also will be affected.”