Nigeria: Again, National Assembly, Executive Meet Over N500bn Intervention Fund

7 April 2020

Abuja — The leadership of the National Assembly will on today begin another round of meetings with the Executive arm over the latter's request for the approval of N500 billion as COVID-19 Intervention Fund.

THISDAY gathered that the meeting initially scheduled for yesterday had to be shifted at the instance of the Executive due to urgent national assignments carried out by top government functionaries including the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.

The Executive as represented by Ahmed, had last weekend met with the leadership of the National Assembly to intimate it with an Executive proposal to establish a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, confirmed the rescheduled meeting between the Executive and legislature.

He told THISDAY yesterday evening that the adjourned meeting will now hold today and tomorrow.

Abaribe had in response to THISDAY enquiry about the outcome of the meeting yesterday declared "no, the meeting did not hold on Monday, it will now be tomorrow and Wednesday".

THISDAY had gathered weekend that the leadership of both the Senate and House of Representatives were unsatisfied with the presentation of the Finance Minister hence the adjournment of the meeting to this week

Apart from seeking more information on the proposed Fund, the lawmakers were also said to have expressed concern about the disbursement of the COVID-19 fund so far while stressing the need for accountability and transparency.

Leader of the Senate, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, who attended the Saturday meeting told THISDAY after the meeting that "National Assembly leadership at the meeting made some observations and suggested areas that need to be looked up again".

According to him, another meeting has been scheduled for next week "while the National Assembly will reconvene at the appropriate time afterwards".

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