Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have jointly denied reports that a date has been set for the National Assembly, NASS, to reconvene to consider the 2019 budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Meanwhile, a statement early Tuesday confirmed the positions of the leaders of the two chambers.
“The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, have directed that we inform all Senators, Honorable members and the public that a date has not been set for the reconvening of the Senate and the House of Representatives to consider the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2019 elections budget request forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 17, 2018.
“The leadership of the two chambers had met and agreed to reconvene to consider the proposal this week before which a meeting between the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Electoral Matters and officials of the INEC must have held on or before Monday August 13, 2018.”
The statement was signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan, media aide to the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
The inability to reconvene, they noted, was due to committee works which is yet to kick start.
“The joint committees were also expected to meet with the joint Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, Loans and Debts on the Eurobond loan request after which two reports would have been ready for presentation in the two chambers.
“However, no such meeting had taken place yet as a result of which both Senate and House of Representatives cannot reconvene as there is no report to consider.
“Until the Committees have a ready report for the consideration of the two chambers, it will be most irresponsible to recall members from recess especially those that may have travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.”
The National Assembly adjourned for annual recess on July 24, and is officially set to reconvene on September 25.
Reports that NASS would reconvene on Wednesday was widely reported on Monday in the Nigerian media.
It was noted in the reports that the session would consider among other things a N242 billion budget for the 2019 elections.