Ahead of National Assembly annual two-month recess, the Nigerian Senate has given President Muhammadu Buhari till Friday, July 26, 2019, to submit his ministerial list for consideration.

The lawmakers will on Friday go on its annual recess and resume in September.

Having won his second term election in February and was sworn-in on May 29, President Muhammadu Buhari is believed to have delayed the submission of the ministerial list.

The president recently argued that he would need time to appoint people he knows as members of his next cabinet.

President of the Senate Dr Ahmad Lawan [Twitter/@SPNigeria]
President of the Senate Dr Ahmad Lawan [Twitter/@SPNigeria]

Reacting to the delay in the submission of the list, the Chairman of the Senate’s ad hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, in an interview with Punch said the Senate would proceed on its annual two-month break this week if the Senate did not get the ministerial list by Friday.

“If the list does not come before Friday, the Senate will proceed on its annual recess. We are not giving the president any ultimatum. The schedule of the Senate will go ahead if the Senate does not receive the list. The list is the only thing that can hold us back.

However, any time they submit the list, we will consider it. It is not our responsibility to put pressure on the President. We can be recalled whenever the list is submitted even if we are already on recess, in the overriding national interest,’’ he said.

Another senator, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Minority Leader of the Senate attested to Adeyeye’s position that that the “Senate will keep to its schedule”, adding that the lawmakers would not postpone its annual recess even if the ministerial list is not submitted by Friday.

Legislators in Nigeria's Senate building
Legislators in Nigeria's Senate building

According to Punch, the Senate would spend at least two weeks to screen the 36 ministerial nominees being expected from the President.

It was also gathered that the members of the senate are already divided on the proposal by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan to postpone their recess n order to attend to the ministerial list.

Some senators who reacted to Lawan’s proposal said the idea of postponing the recess was not yet a resolution of the House, Punch reports.

Two weeks ago, while reacting to a point of order raised by Senator Bassey Akpan, concerning the delay in the submission of the ministerial list, Lawan informed his fellow lawmakers that President Buhari would most likely submit the list before the end of that week.

He added the presidency was working hard to ready the ministerial list before the senate proceed on recess.

This is to inform this Senate that the Executive arm of government is working very hard to get the list of ministerial nominees to the Senate.

“I can imagine that before this (penultimate) week runs out, we could get the list.

“I want to assure you that once we get the list, every senator here has shown and expressed the desire to stay long enough to screen and confirm ministerial nominees in the interest of this country for the country to be taken to the next level.”

Lawmakers want President Muhammadu Buhari appoints his new ministers on time (Premium Times)
Lawmakers want President Muhammadu Buhari appoints his new ministers on time (Premium Times)
Premium Times

Earlier, Akpan had asked Lawan to urge President Buhari to send the list on time before the lawmakers go on recess.

He said, “We understand the passion of Mr President to consolidate on the gains that he has so far attained.

“If we are going on this long vacation in two weeks (July 26), and by now, we have not received the ministerial nominees, it means we will have to put ourselves under intense pressure.

‘‘It is our collective responsibility that we must support Mr President to succeed.

“I am just bringing to the attention of Mr Senate President that there is a need for you to please urge Mr President to send in the list of ministerial nominees so that the Senate can confirm them immediately.”

However, the presidency has reportedly kept mum over the deadline the Senate gave President Muhammadu Buhari on the ministerial list.

When asked whether President Buhari would forward the list of ministerial nominees to the National Assembly before Thursday, July 25, 2019, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, refused to comment.