Senate bans media houses from using camera to cover its proceedings, postpones passage of 2017 Budget

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 4 May 2017 | 1,839 times

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•The Senate during plenary.

The Nigerian Senate has barred media houses from using camera during plenary sessions, describing the use of camera to cover legislative sessions as a new form of terrorism

The Senate recently began a review of media regulations covering Senate activities, banning cameramen from the chamber. No cameraman from broadcast media was allowed to cover Thursday’s proceedings.

The Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, said that the measure was informed by allegations that cameramen are causing a nuisance and disturbing Senate activities.

However, journalists covering the National Assembly have described the decision as unacceptable and incomprehensible. ‎They called for a return to the status quo ante‎.

Meanwhile, the Senate has stepped down but deferred the submission, consideration and passage of the 2017 Budget, saying that the report is now expected to be laid next legislative day, Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

The laying of the report of the Committee on Appropriation was included in the Order Paper for Thursday’s plenary session but the Senate stepped it down.

The Senate cited that the inability of the Committee on Appropriations to conclude work on the document was responsible for the action.

Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, who made the disclosure in plenary on Thursday, said members of the Senate Committee on Appropriation were currently meeting with their counterparts in the House of Representatives on last-minute harmonisation of the 2017 Budget.

Responding, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu reiterated that “the 2017 Budget will indeed be passed way ahead of the June 30th 2017 constitutional deadline.”

News Express reports that Senate President Bukola Saraki had earlier promised that the National Assembly would pass the 2017 Budget by the middle of March – some two months ago.

Source: News Express

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