The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to appear before it over the poor quality of toilet clean disinfectants used in Nigeria.
The motion was raised by Hon. Sergius Ose Ogun.
The House noted that Sections 88 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) empowers the National Assembly to investigate the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly.
It also said it was aware that Section 17(e) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act, 2018 empowers the Commission to carry out investigations considered necessary or desirable in connection with matters within the purview of the Act.
The House said it was concerned that toilet cleaning disinfectants such as haptic and hypo used in most households in Nigeria are ineffective, poor quality and leave much to be desired.
It said that despite the poor quality of these toilet cleaning disinfectants, there are several television-sponsored advertisements that are misleading unsuspecting members of the public who rely on such adverts product information to make purchases.
Alarmed that most Nigerians utilize these disinfectants in cleaning their homes, offices, hospitals, churches and mosques without getting the value for money spent in purchasing such products, the House urged the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission to appear before the Committee on Commerce to justify the presence of Harpic and Hypo, and other non-effective cleaning disinfectants in the market or otherwise.
It also mandated the Committees on Commerce and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
The lawmaker representing Yagba East/West/Mopamuro constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Leke Abejide on Thursday had a screenshot of his monthly salary displayed on a Channels Television live program.
According to the screenshot, which was broadcast on Sunrise Daily, Abejide earns about N697,000 monthly.
But he did not provide evidence for allowances and constituency projects.
Nigerian lawmakers are believed to be one of the highest paid parliamentarians in the world despite widespread poverty among the general population.
Too much demands
Abejide said being a lawmaker was not lucrative as his constituents expect him to provide for their special needs.
“The allowances you talk about – I have staff, then people in the constituency are also there waiting for me. In a month, I don’t think I have up to N1.5 million. And I have family to take care of.
“So if you are coming to this system and you are someone who has been working on your own and doing business, you will not like to continue. Because the demand that is coming from your constituency in a month is in the range of N30 to N40 million.
“Someone whose children wants to go to school, to hospital, somebody who wants to do marriage, it is only you they will be focusing on. They can’t get the Governor; you are the closest person to them. And if you don’t do for them, then you have not done anything. So that’s the danger in this assembly.
“If you are not a man of means and you come to this seat, in one year people will be stoning you.
“The only difference is constituency project. Mine is N113 million a year. And out of it, government will take 18.5 percent.”
The House of Representatives on Monday secured the cooperation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to make available six million litres of JetA1 (aviation fuel) to aviation fuel marketers chosen by the Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON).
The deal was struck at a meeting with AON representatives at the National Assembly.
Stakeholders present at the meeting included the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Aviation, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NNPC, Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA), among others.
The AON had threatened to shutdown local airline services on Monday but withdrew the threat on Sunday under pressure from the Federal Government.
The airline operators say rising cost of key inputs such as aviation fuel necessitated the intended shutdown.
Part of the resolutions reached at Monday’s meeting, which lasted for over three hours, include that, as a long term solution, the airline operators must commence, as soon as possible, the process of securing a license for the importation of aviation fuel to avoid suspicion over the landing cost of the product and other associated logistic issues.
The Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority was also mandated to, as much as possible, grant waivers that do not touch on the security and safety of the country for importers of the products.
The meeting took off on a rocky note when Speaker Gbajabiamila asked the representative of the CBN governor to excuse himself from the meeting,
The Speaker emphasised that the importance and sensitivity of the meeting required the presence of the CBN governor.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, who eventually walked into the meeting abput 15 minutes later, gave reasons why he had to be represented before his eventual arrival.
In his remarks, Speaker Gbajabiamila said the nation was at a crucial moment as the shutdown by the airline operators amounts to a potential shutting down of the country. “We cannot sit here and watch this happen.
“That is why the presence of the CBN governor is very important because his role is very critical to the resolution of this issue”
The Speaker recalled that certain resolutions that included the sale of aviation fuel at N500 per litre and the granting of aviation fuel import license to the operators was arrived at during the last meeting with the stakeholders while requesting an update on the implementation of the resolution.
The leadership of the House also inquired from the NNPC about the status of the 25,000 tons of ATK approved for the airlines as a palliative in addition to the availability of the product to the airlines for about three months.
Also, the leadership opined that functional refineries should be able to address some of the challenges being faced while asking for the status of the refineries undergoing renovation.
Responding, NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari assured that the three months supply of Jet A1 to the chosen marketers by the AOAN is assured while emphasizing that the price of the product cannot be guaranteed because it is globally market-driven.
“We will make appropriate allocations to the three marketers chosen by the operators and the other,” Kyari said.
On his part, the CBN governor, Emefiele also noted that though the apex bank has no control over the flow of the dollar, he however assured that no operator would be denied facilities by the banks as long as they are creditworthy.
While appreciating all the stakeholders for the efforts put in at resolving the issue at stake, the Speaker said, “Rounding up on a positive note, I appreciate the airline operators for being nationalistic in calling off the strike as I hope that the outcome of this meeting will usher in a lasting solution to these challenges of Jet A1 bearing in mind that there is a laissez-faire economy of demand and supply”.
“This worrisome development in Nigeria, a major producer of oil, is another very sad commentary on the unpardonable failure, corruption, incompetence, negative policies and lack of capacity of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to effectively manage our national economy,” the statement said.
“As representatives of the people, the Minority Caucus is concerned because aviation is pivotal to the operation, sustenance and survival of other key sectors of the economy and any shutdown of flight operations will have devastating spiral effect and worsen the excruciating economic hardship and further escalate insecurity in the country.
“This is because apart from the direct disabling of thousands of aviation related jobs and ancillary businesses, a shutdown of the sector will also have grave negative impact on critical government and public sector activities which are sustained by air travelling.
“It is instructive to note that the aviation sector is no longer an exclusive reserve of the elite, but plays central role in the movement of personnel and equipment that drive and sustain services and operations which benefit the masses in healthcare, manufacturing, education, food production, telecommunication, retailing, banking and finance, hospitality, entertainment, power, security and other key sectors.
“A shutdown of the aviation sector will therefore cripple millions of businesses as well as economic and commercial activities thereby increasing unemployment, worsen the economic hardship, put pressure on our already ailing roads and exacerbate insecurity in our country.
“Moreover, the situation is a huge threat to our national integrity as it erodes the confidence of the International Community and foreign investors in our country thereby encouraging the movement of investments to neigbouring countries.
“The Minority Caucus therefore calls on President Buhari to wake up, note the grave import of the situation and save the aviation sector from imminent collapse by immediately addressing the fuel crisis and other challenges in the industry.
“Mr. President should critically address the crisis in the petroleum industry by reviewing the counter-productive policies and curbing the corruption in his administration so as to save our national economy from collapse under his watch.”
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, Gbajabiamila said he was glad that the Nigerian workers have lived up to expectations over the years, noting that they remain the backbone of the Nigerian working force.
The Speaker said every well-meaning Nigerian must identify with the workers because of their invaluable contributions to nation-building.
He urged Nigerian workers to keep hope alive stating that governments at all levels as well as the private sector are trying to make life better for them.
Gbajabiamila said he was proud of the Nigerian workers because of the way they have been conducting themselves over the years.
The four oil marketers/importers initially fingered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as being responsible for the importation of the Off-Spec fuel have been exonerated by the House Committee on Petroleum Downstream.
The exonerated companies include Duke Oil, MRS Oil and Gas, Oando Oil and Emadeb consortium (Hyde, AY Maikii, Brittania-U) – were
The committee said after thorough investigations the companies were found not have committed any offense and therefore not recommended for suspension.
In adopting the report of the committee, the House asked the NNPC to maintain local supply and distribution of 90 million litres daily across the country until normalcy is restored.
The House also asked the Ministers of Petroleum Resources to expedite the action for completion of the rehabilitation work and ensure upgrading of the major refineries at Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna to meet AFRI5 specification to boost local refining and reduce over-dependence on imported Nigeria to avert a reoccurence.
The House called for the adoption of the 2017 PMS standard (NIS 116:2017) as approved by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), which includes testing for Methanol for future importation of the product into the country to mitigate reoccurrence.
Meanwhile, the House has passed the 2022 supplementary budget which makes provision for petrol subsidy.
The women, under the aegis of Nigerian Women Groups last week protested against the action of the lawmakers after rejecting all bills relating to women.
They had promised to return if the decision was not reversed.
The women during the protest last week said they were disappointed despite having assurances from the leadership of the house on the bills.
The groups demand that the Federal lawmakers take another look at the requests for 111 seats for women, citizenship, 35% representation in party leadership, more appointive positions in government, and vote in favour of these amendments.
The House of Representatives on Thursday called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to urgently deploy physical enumerators and other assistance to conduct new voter registration across all federal constituencies.
INEC had put in place a machinery for a virtual continuous voters registration, but the online process does not seem satisfactory to the lawmakers.
They are worried that the online registration process will not cover all constituencies and lead to disenfranchisement of Nigerians and voter apathy.
The House of Representatives has proposed an amendment to the Criminal Code Act of 2004 to reduce the penalty for attempted suicide.
An amendment bill which scaled second reading during Tuesday’s plenary session seeks to amend Section 327 to prescribe compulsory counselling and community service for a period not less than six months, as against one-year imprisonment contained in the existing law.
Although the bill was not debated, a copy of the lead debate showed that its sponsor, Rep. Ejiro Waive, is of the opinion that suicidal persons are in dire need of effective treatments and counselling.
It’s also his opinion that self-destructive behaviour is often a cry for help.
The House of Representatives committees on Anti-Corruption and Public Service Matters on Tuesday summoned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) for failing to honour an invitation to an investigative hearing.
The joint committee is furious that none of the heads of the agencies was present at its investigative hearing on the High level of corruption on nominal rolls of MDAs.
Deputy chairman of the Committee on Anti-Corruption Dachung Bagos said the joint committee will not hesitate to take further action if the heads of agencies fail to heed the summons.
Those summoned include the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, The Head of the Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, and the Auditor General for the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu.
Others are the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye, the Chief Executive Officer, Federal Character Commission, Muheeba Dankaka.