SENATE yesterday concurred with the resolution passed by the House of Representatives a fortnight ago, in which it asked President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before the joint session of the National Assembly to brief it on the state of the nation. The House had on September 22, 2016, urged the president to hold an emergency joint session with the National Assembly with a view to formally presenting the legislature and by extension, the entire Nigerians with information on the true state of the economy as the nation goes through its worst economic situation in 29 years. Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara had said if the president appeared before the National Assembly’s joint session, it would provide the entire government structures with opportunity to have equal knowledge and perception about the state of the economy and simultaneously provide them with the synergy to resolve the crisis. Dogara’s call, which was contained in his welcome address to his colleagues when they resumed from an eight-week recess fortnight ago, later became a resolution adopted by the House of Representatives, but requires the concurrence of the Senate to make it effective. Dogara said: “The recent retreat by Mr. President with his cabinet and sundry statutory appointees is most commendable. It is in this regard, that I urge Mr President to consider holding a joint emergency session of the National Assembly to brief both the Legislature and indeed Nigerians of his plans to pull Nigeria out of recession. “This will provide opportunity for all stakeholders to be on the same page and to act in concert for urgent national recovery. It will also further consolidate existing ongoing consultations between the Presidency and the National Assembly on the way forward.We must never miss the opportunity the present travails offers us to launch Nigeria into its rightful destiny and place among the comity of prosperous nations. “As representatives of the people we are well acquainted with the alarming state of the citizens penury. We will therefore collaborate with the Executive in fine tuning any observed limitations in policy formulation and implementation to ensure speedy delivery of services to our people.” However, the decision to concur with the House of Representatives’ resolution by the Senate followed a motion by the Deputy Senate Leader Ibn Na’Allah, which drew the attention of the Senate to the resolution of the House on September 22. Na’Allah moved that the “Senate do concur with the House of Representatives’ resolution passed on Thursday, September 22, 2016 to wit: invite the president- commander-in-chief to address a joint session of the National Assembly to intimate it with plans to get the country out of recession to enable the House take further legislative action.” After moving the motion, Senate President Bukola Saraki put the motion to a voice vote and was accordingly passed without any dissenting voice. If the president eventually accedes to the request, he will be expected to furnish the National Assembly with information on the date of his appearance.
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