The Presidency has said that the Senate is empowered by the constitution to set its criteria and conditions for the screening of prospective ministers.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, stated this on Friday while speaking with reporters in Abuja.
The Senate has set October 13, 14 and 15 as the dates for screening of 21 ministerial nominees submitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Enang, who was answering question on the demand of the Senate that ministerial nominees must submit certified true copy of their assets declaration forms, said the Senate is free to set its criteria for the screening of ministerial nominees appearing before it.
According to him, the nominees are expected to comply with whatever standard, principles, measures, norms or conditions set by the Senate in the course of their screening.
“The Senate is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and it is free to set its criteria for the screening of the nominees appearing before it. Our job is to make sure that we work with the respective senators and the nominees to make sure that the senators are satisfied and agree with the nomination.
“We will not dispute with the Senate what they want because it absolutely lies in the heart and mind of the respective and distinguished senators to determine what questions to ask.
“The senators are free to ask questions just like the nominees are equally free to answer them.
“The senators are within their rights to request for what they want,” Enang said.