Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed on Wednesday in Abuja assured that the fresh crisis between the Presidency and Upper Chamber of the National Assembly would be resolved amicably.
The minister gave the assurance when he briefed State House correspondents alongside the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Alhaji Abubakar Malami as well as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Muhammad Bello.
The Federal Executive Council meeting was presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
The Senate on Tuesday frowned at a statement credited to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo that the Upper Chamber had no power to confirm certain political appointments being made by the presidency.
The Senate, therefore, in a four-prayer motion, resolved to suspend all confirmation requests from the executive until decisions of the legislature is respected by the presidency.
The decision of the Senate arose from a motion raised by Sen. Sani Yerima, following a letter requesting the confirmation of Lanre Gbajabiamila as Director-General of the National Lottery Commission.
Mohammed revealed that the threat by the Senate was briefly discussed during the Council’s meeting.
“Clearly it came up at the meeting but the fact of the matter is that we have a very excellent mechanism for resolving whatever issues is between us and the National Assembly and that is being addressed.
“Whatever may be the problem between the executive and the National Assembly we have an excellent mechanism for resolving it.
“I don’t think we need to go to specific statements as to what was said by A or B, we believe that government is not one arm, but the legislative, executive and judiciary arms.
“Whatever might be the problem we are resolving it and we are addressing it,’’ he said.
Abubakar Malami, who also commented on the matter, dismissed the assertion that the Council had never discussed the issue of confirmation of nominations or otherwise by the senate.
He said: “Well the fundamental consideration about the alleged statement is the fact that at no point ever the federal executive council sat down to arrive at the decision in one way or the other as far as the issue of nomination or otherwise is concerned.”
Malami also disclosed that the council approved a National Anti-Corruption Strategy to further consolidate the ongoing fight against corruption in the country.
He maintained that the anti corruption strategy would serve as a roadmap to strengthen the enforcement and sanctions in the crusade against corruption.
“Well, as you are all aware, anti-corruption is one of the major points and major drive of this administration and arising from that the government had overtime recorded very positive progress and development in that direction.
“As it relates to the idea of the prevention of corruption, a lot of policies were put in place and they have proven to be successful.
“Policy relating to Bank Verification Number, Single Treasury Account, policy relating to whistle blowing; policy relating to open government partnership and associated policies have all proven (to be) very effective in establishing transparency, accountability and blockage of linkages associated with corruption,’’ he said.
The FCT Minister disclosed that the Council approved the four memoranda presented by his Ministry.
He stated that the projects approved included final engineering design for ring road number four at a cost of N242 million to be completed in six months.
“Others are final engineering design for sewage system in the FCT at a cost of N241 million to be completed in 9 months and final engineering design for completion of water treatment plant in the city at a cost of N233 million,’’ Bello said.