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Lawmakers discuss President’s communication on Tucano Aircraft

The House of Representatives is to consider national interest in taking decision on the President’s communication to the legislature on the procurement of the Super Tucano Aircraft.

This followed a motion sponsored by the House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, requesting the house to include the four hundred and ninety six million dollars already used by the presidency to buy the Aircraft into the 2018 budget.

Most of the questions demanding for answers were whether the President followed the normal procedure in the payment for the aircraft or not and whether the communication will be entertained or not.

The motion has generated a heated debate on the floor of the House, with some members insisting that the President should be advised to send another letter in form of a bill before the communication could be treated.

Some members like Munir Baba from Katsina State and the Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun from Osun State insisted that the President had not contravened any Provisions of the Constitution in his communication.

The procedure to bring a substantive Bill is belated as the time of Public Hearing has passed, hence the written communication. Lasun said.

Aminu Shagari from Sokoto State faulted the procedure but appealed to the lawmakers to treat the letter with a national interest.

Shagari pleaded with the sensitivity of the Members to allow the request from the President in light with the fact that the request is to beef up security for the nation, even though the powers of the National Assembly has been breached by the process.

Mr Benjamin Wayo from Benue State said issues relating to appropriations, are not treated by way of motions but rather in the form of Bills.

Rulling on the matter, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara acknowledged the views of the opposition but however appealed to the lawmakers to patriotically consider the letter to deal with the security issues in the country.

My ruling is that we refer the matter to the committee on Rules and Business, to look into the archives to confirm if there has been any similar precedence in the past for them to adopt. Dogara stated.

Although the matter was referred to the House Committee on Rules and Business, the report of the committee will guide the lawmakers on the line of action to be taken on this critical request.

Source: Voice of Nigeria