By Mustapha Usman
The leadership of the National Assembly, led by Senate President Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the National Assembly while he was away in London.
Inside sources said shortly after the president met the duo in closed door, the president isolated Mr Saraki for another meeting, which they said borders on passage of 2017 Budget and screening of acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The Senate had earlier on Tuesday fixed Wednesday for Mr Magu’s screening.
Three months ago, the Senate refused to screen Mr Magu, saying that its action was based on a security report by the State Security Services, SSS.
However, the Senate had then given approval for the screening of the four members of the EFCC board whose names were sent alongside Mr Magu by then acting president, Yemi Osinbajo.
The SSS security report, among others alleged that the acting EFCC boss is occupying a N20 million per year accommodation, allegedly rented for him by someone under EFCC investigation; lives a flamboyant lifestyle and flouted the president’s order against public officers flying first class when he went on pilgrimage.
But in a letter to the Senate in January, Mr Buhari re-nominated the anti-graft chief for the position.
After the closed door meeting with the president, Mr Saraki, who was accompanied by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, said they were delighted that the president was back in his office.
“The president met with us. We were there for over 40 minutes. I was not talking to myself. So, you know he was responding.
“We were engaging. He engaged us very well. We discussed issues of national interest, we are well happy to see him back, he is back at the office, and he is doing his work.
“Budget is ongoing. The economy, things that we passed in his absence including the CJN issue; issue to do with the Eurobond.
“Just general issues that are pending and some other issues like the ambassadorial nominees, stability in the Niger Delta – a lot range of issues we covered in the short period of time,” he said.
On the 2017 budget proposal, Saraki said that it would be passed before the end of March.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Dec. 14, 2016, Buhari presented a budget of N7.30 trillion for 2017 before a joint session of the National Assembly.
Also, Dogara pledged that the National Assembly would continue to collaborate with the presidency to achieve the desired goal of uplifting the quality of life of all Nigerians.
“We expect to cooperate more than we fight in the interest of our people to ensure that there is progress. It is one government, there is no division.
“If he (President Buhari) fails we all failed.
“So, it is in realisation of this that we always extend the needed support to ensure that he succeeds so that our government will be rated as a successful one,’’ he said.