A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Abuja - The Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Sen. Ita Enang, said on Tuesday the Senate had no intention to reconvene earlier than February 17 in spite of the rescheduling of the general elections.
He said the Senate would take advantage of the postponement of the elections to consider the 2015 Appropriation Bill in addition to others.
“We are not resuming yet. I have no indication that we would resume but we are resuming in order to work on the budget proposals. We are working on the budget in committees.
“We are going to use the advantage of this postponement of election and take on those bills which we ought to have taken on immediately after the election.
“So, since the election has been shifted forward, we have to shift backward; our plan is on bills that we have to work on before the election,’’ he said.
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The lawmaker also urged the Federal Government, INEC and other major stakeholders to build the confidence of Nigerians and the international community in the country’s electoral process.
“The Federal Government, INEC and every person concerned with the conduct of the elections should build the confidence of Nigerians in all they are doing.
“They should do confidence-building in Nigerians and the international community because the economy of Nigeria is fragile now.
“And if we have a fragile political situation, it could be worse for the economy; it could be worse for the currency.”
The Senate adjourned sitting on January 14 to resume on February 17 after the general elections now rescheduled for March 28 and April 11 for presidential and governorship elections respectively.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Saturday announced the shift by six weeks to enable the security agencies to provide adequate protection for the more than 700,000 staff during the exercise.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections had been fixed for February 14, while Governorship and House of Assembly polls slated for February 28.
Read more on: 2015 elections