As the 10th Senate reconvenes following its annual recess, expectations are running high for the expeditious confirmation of Olayemi Cardoso as the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, along with other nominated deputy governors, to initiate their vital roles in the nation’s financial sector.
The Senate resumes plenary after a two-month summer break that commenced on August 7, during which it constituted 74 standing committees and confirmed President Tinubu’s ministerial nominees.
While on recess, President Tinubu endorsed the nomination of Olayemi Cardoso as the new CBN Governor and four new Deputy Governors for the apex bank. They are slated for a five-year term, pending Senate confirmation as mandated by law.
Simultaneously, the federal lawmakers are anticipated to receive and deliberate on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP). These documents serve as the legal foundation for the forthcoming 2024 budget. Traditionally, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approves the MTEF/FSP before transmitting it to the National Assembly.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act stipulates an August deadline for the President to prepare and present the MTEF/FSP to federal lawmakers. However, given the newly constituted cabinet’s limited sittings, the approval and submission of these documents may encounter delays.
The approval of the MTEF-FSP will be followed by a meticulous examination of the 2024 Appropriation Bill, which is expected to be presented to the National Assembly in the near future. If the 10th National Assembly adheres to the tradition of the January to December budget cycle established by the 9th Assembly, various heads of federal ministries, departments, and agencies will soon be invited to testify before Senate standing committees regarding their budget performances.
The Senate will also address any pending communication from President Tinubu and finalize the constitution of the remaining standing committees.
While not officially confirmed, it is speculated that President Tinubu may have sent official communications to the Senate during their holiday, requesting the screening and confirmation of various appointments requiring legislative action.
In addition to the CBN leadership, other fresh appointees include Jamila Bio Ibrahim as the Minister of Youth and Ayodele Olawande as the Minister of State for Youth. Zacch Adedeji has been appointed as Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service for an initial acting term of 90 days, with a subsequent confirmation as the substantive Executive Chairman.
The Senate is expected to undertake confirmation screenings for the Chairman, directors, and members of the reconstituted Niger Delta Development Commission. The nominees include Chiedu Ebie (Chairman, Delta State), Samuel Ogbuku (Managing Director/CEO, Bayelsa), Boma Iyaye (Executive Director, Finance and Admin, Rivers), Victor Antai (Executive Director, Projects, Akwa-Ibom), and Ifedayo Abegunde (Executive Director, Corporate Services, Ondo).