The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has set up a committee to resolve issues between the executive and legislative arms of the government, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said.
Mohammed told reporters after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in Abuja that the executive is concerned about its deteriorating relationship with the National Assembly.
“The executive is also quite worried and quite concerned that the relationship between the two arms of government is not as smooth as it is supposed to be.
“In any democracy, it is a continuous struggle for balancing between the Executive and the Legislature because each of them is a creation of the law.
“We must strive at all times to ensure that there is that balance and smooth relationship.
“Just today at the Federal Executive Council meeting, this matter was discussed and a committee is already working on ensuring that we resolve all these outstanding issues.’’
Alhaji Mohammed however did not elaborate on the composition of the trouble shooting committee.
The Senate on Tuesday suspended the confirmation of 27 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s Resident Electoral Commission (REC), officers over what it described as President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sack the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
The upper chamber also on Tuesday summoned the chairman of the presidential committee on anti-corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, whom they accused of making derogatory remarks against the Senate.
Sagay, who commented on the refusal of the senate to confirm the re-nomination of Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the EFCC, was reported to have gone to the press and said that the `senate merely confirms’.
The Senate also turned back the comptroller-general of Customs, Hameed Ali, (an appointee of the President) for not appearing in Customs uniform.
Senators, by a voice vote, had directed him to return to the National Assembly on Wednesday, March 22, in proper uniform designated for the office of Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service.
The House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education also summoned the Minister of Education to explain why the current Permanent Secretary of his Ministry, Jamila Shuara refused to appear before the House over her extension of service.
Mohammed described the protest embarked upon by unions in his ministry as normal in any democratic environment.
He, however, appealed to the unions to show more understanding as the ministry was doing all it could to meet their demands if the nation’s economy improved.
“It is not unusual for unions to call for the removal of ministers. Any minister should expect that.
“They are complaining about welfare but there is a limit to what government can do within the available resources.
“As much as we sympathise with them on the situation, the economy is simply not healthy enough to accommodate what it used to accommodate in the past.
“If anybody is concerned and worried about expenditures in my ministry, they should go and check because it is open.
“We have appealed to them several times but we met a culture that we cannot sustain. If and when the economy improves, we will look into some of the grievances that are genuine.
“We listen to them; they always meet with the Permanent secretary and directors. But once the resources are not there, there is little we can do. We will just continue to plead with them to be patient with us,’’ he said.