The Presidency says all is set for President Muhammad Buhari to present 2019 budget before a joint sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday despite ongoing strike by National Assembly Workers under the umbrella of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria(PASAN).
Speaking within Journalists on Tuesday, Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang gave assurances that the President will make it a date with the National Assembly and that the current workers’ strike will not stop the President from carrying out the crucial national assignment of presenting the 2019 Appropriation Bill.
This was as President Muhammadu Buhari formally writes the National Assembly intimating lawmakers about his plan to present the budget at exactly 11am on Wednesday; a request which promptly approved.
In a separate interview, leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila said the National Assembly is eager to receive President Muhammadu Buhari and that “no amount of strike can stop the budget presentation.
He said while the workers have the right to embark on strike to press home their demands,’ it was unacceptable for them to attempt to shutdown the National Assembly and in the process prevent lawmakers from sitting.
The workers resumed their strike on Tuesday after shutting down the National Assembly on Monday for the second time in two weeks over arrears of 28% increase in their salaries since 2010.
The workers had arrived the complex turning the main entrance into a temporary football pitch; making it difficult for those who have business in the premises from gaining access.
The workers’ action clearly took a toll and may have explained why Tuesday’s plenary started almost two hours behind schedule as lawmakers themselves struggled to form the required quorum to begin the business for the day.
In the Senate, only four senators had signed the attendance register at 11:00am for a plenary which eventually began at 12:30 pm.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki immediately read President Buhari’s letter seeking audience for budget presentation on Wednesday.
The senators adjourned without a single word about the workers’ strike.