Ahmad Lawan, President of the 9th Senate has warned that no appointee of President Muhammadu Buhari is above scrutiny.
Mr Lawan gave the warning on Wednesday while weighing in at recent confrontations between committees of the legislative arm of government and appointees of the president.
This is not the first time he is issuing the warning, he had recently warned presidential appointees to cease confronting members of the parliament as further more won’t be tolerated.
The latest of such hostility involved Chris Ngige, the Labour Minister and James Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives. The duo during a recent public hearing exchanged amusing but scornful verbal attacks on each other.
In the warning issued in a statement, the Senate President who also heads the National Assembly, said although the parliament has expressed willingness to work with the executive, appointees of the president are not immune to scrutiny.
“At the close of Senate plenary yesterday, I spoke on the need for the appointees of the President to avoid needless confrontations with the Committees of the National Assembly as nobody is above the scrutiny of the National Assembly,” Lawan said.
“Engagements with Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government by the Committees of the National Assembly are carried out to serve public interest and in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“We want to work in harmony with the executive arm, but It takes both arms of Government to work together in a cordial and harmonious way. We are desirous of working together with the executive arm, and we expect that the Executive arm would be desirous of working with us.
“Nobody should feel that he is above the scrutiny of the National Assembly. The function of the National Assembly is enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, it is important that whoever takes public office also understands that there has to be this type of engagement on behalf of the Nigerian public.
“As a part of this engagement, we have mandated relevant Committees on Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream); and Gas to engage the Executive arm of Government, particularly the NNPC and DPR, on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to be submitted to the National Assembly.
“Such engagement between both arms of government would reduce the time needed to carry out legislative work on the bill when it is finally sent to the Legislature for consideration and passage. It is our hope and desire that we are able to break the jinx that has visited the PIB since 2007.
“The PIB has defied passage and assent, this time around we want to work assiduously with the Executive arm of Government to ensure that we pass the PIB and that the President signs it into law, because we have everything to lose if not passed this year.
“If we are able to do it, we will get more revenue into the coffers of the Federal Government, as well as attract and retain investments into the oil and gas sector in Nigeria,” he added.