Senate President Lawan says Buhari getting bad advice on signing bills

Lawan says some officials have made it their business to stop Buhari from signing some bills from the National Assembly.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan (right) says President Muhammadu Buhari's decision to sign bills or reject them is sometimes influenced by officials that are not cooperating with the National Assembly to ensure a transparent process [Twitter/@Buharisallau1]

The lawmaker made his sensational claim on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 during a public hearing on three health bills organised by the Senate Committee on Heath.

The 62-year-old expressed displeasure that the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunmibe Mamora, and other ministry officials failed to show up for the public hearing.

He accused some ministry officials of making it their business to frustrate bills passed by the National Assembly by ensuring they are denied presidential assent.

"Sometimes, the National Assembly will process a bill and the bill would be taken to Mr President for his assent, and somebody will just go round and mis-advice that the bill shouldn't be assented to, mostly ministry people.

"So, it is always in the interest of government and good governance that when there is a public hearing, the ministry and government officials, the technical people should be around to hear the views of the people," he said.

The Senate President said any objections that officials have to bills should be voiced in full view of the public so that they can also listen to arguments.

The bills considered for public hearing on Tuesday are Federal Orthopedic Hospital Kuta, (Establishment) Bill; National University of Health and Medical Sciences, Suleja (Establishment) Bill; and Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Abeokuta, (Establishment) Bill.

Lawan said the bills are primed to improve on the nation's need to grow the health sector, especially in helping to enhance the quality of personnel.

"Manpower in the health sector is a regular focus, because of its ability to make the difference between life and death," he said.

The Senate Committee on Heath concluded its two-day public hearing on the bills on Tuesday, after which they will be considered for a third reading and passage by senators, before they land on President Buhari's table for assent into law.

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