Senate President Ahmad Lawan has revealed how some government officials advised President Muhammadu Buhari to decline in assent to some bills passed by the National Assembly.
Lawan made the claim during a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Health over an Act to amend the Orthopedic Hospital Management Board Act No. 21 of 1979 and for other related matters to provide for the establishment of the Federal Orthopedic Hospital, Kuta (Niger State), Bill 2021 and the National University of Heath and Medical Sciences Suleja, Niger State, (Establishment), Bill 2021.
“I have a written speech for this event but before then where is the Minister of Health or Minister of State Health? Or is there anyone representing the Ministry of Health?
“This is an anomaly and we don’t take it lightly because sometimes, the National Assembly would process a Bill and the Bill will be taken to Mr. President for his assent and somebody will just go round and misadvise him that that Bill should not be assented to.
“And this is done mostly by Ministry officials. So, it is always in the interest of government and good governance that when there is a public hearing – the ministry, government officials, the technical people – should be around to hear the views of the people.
“And if they have any objection, they should say so in the presence of everyone, they should listen to arguments.
“Therefore it is sad that neither the Minister, nor the Minister of State, nor anyone from the Federal Ministry of Health is here to attend this particular public hearing. And nothing should happen to our Bills.”