Reps Panel Directs NERC To Suspend Increase In Electricity Tariff

 

The House of Representatives Committee on Power has asked the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to suspend the planned increase in electricity tariff.

The committee Chairman, Aliyu Magaji, gave the directive during a meeting with the Minister of Power and the NERC on the rationale behind the increase when the house had already passed a bill which criminalises estimated billing.

NERC had earlier announced that the increase would take effect from the 1st of April.

Meanwhile, the House committee also condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to transfer the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Limited from the Ministry of Power to the Ministry of Finance.

Details later…

National Assembly Raises Its Own Budget From N125bn To N128bn

 

 

The National Assembly has raised its budget allocation for 2020 from N125bn to N128bn.

Earlier, the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations made the recommendation in its report on the 2020 Appropriation Bill which was passed on Thursday, December 5th.

This increment forms part of the increase in the size of the national budget, which has been raised from the proposed N10.330,416,607 to N10.594,362,364.

READ ALSO: Senate Passes 2020 Budget

On October 8, 2019, N125bn was proposed for the Parliament under statutory transfers, this formed part of the appropriation bill laid by President Muhammadu Buhari before a joint session of the National Assembly.

In passing the budget, the representatives insisted that the 2020 budget will run from 1st January to 31st December 2020, thereby returning the country to the January to December budget cycle.

Also increased within the 2020 budget was the benchmark price of crude from 55$ to 57$. However, the exchange rate at N305 to 1$ was retained.

Senator Ibrahim Jibrin, the Senate chairman committee on appropriations explained that budget figures were increased to allow for interventions in critical areas of national security, road infrastructure, health, social needs, water as well as mines and steel development.

Reps Pass N10.59tn 2020 Budget

 

 

The House of Representatives has passed the 2020 budget of 10,594,362,364,830 naira.

During plenary on Thursday, the lawmakers insisted that the budget will run from 1st January to 31st December 2020, thereby returning the country to the January to December budget cycle.

READ ALSO: Senate Passes 2020 Budget

In the budget, the ministry of works gets the highest capital allocation of 315,563,564,269 while education gets a capital budget of 84,728,529,572.

The health sector follows closely with a capital budget of 59,909,430,837.

The national assembly also increased its budget from 125 billion to 128 billion.

Xenophobia: Reps Seek Investigation Into Locking Up Of Shops Owned By Nigerians In Ghana

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives Chamber in Abuja on September 27, 2019.

 

The House of Representatives is calling for an investigation into why Nigerian shops were locked up in Ghana by Ghanaian traders.

The incident occurred on Tuesday the 3rd of November and at least 600 Nigerian shops were affected.

Lawmakers at plenary on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to quickly attend to the matter to avoid future xenophobic attacks.

READ ALSO: House Of Reps Increases 2020 Budget To N10.6tn

The matter was raised as a motion of urgent public importance by the House Committee Chairman on diaspora, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe.

The House also mandated the Committees on Diaspora Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and Treaties, Protocols, and Agreements to “consider and investigate the recent developments among traders in Ghana and ensure that another xenophobia attack on Nigerians is prevented.”

Reps Seeks To Abolish Acceptance Fee Into Tertiary Institutions

 

The House of Representatives is asking the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities’ Commission to immediately abolish the payment of acceptance fees into tertiary institutions.

This resolution follows a motion raised by Representative Chinedu Martins.

READ ALSO: Our Educational System Is On The Verge Of Collapse – Chidoka

He attributed the poor access to tertiary education by Nigerians to the requirement for payment of the non-refundable acceptance fees as a condition for admission.

Honorable Martins expressed worry that if the practice is not checked, the poor in the country will be unable to access tertiary education, especially considering examples of schools demanding as high as N70,000 as admission fees, compared to the minimum wage of N30,000.

Reps Committee To Engage US Congress Over Air Force Tucano Aircraft

 

 

The House of Representatives Committee on Air Force is to engage with the United States Congress committee on Air Force affairs, regarding the Super Tucano aircraft which Nigeria had paid for last year.

This was revealed on Wednesday during the inaugural meeting of the committee.

Present at the meeting was the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar.

According to the Reps Air Force Committee Chairman, Mr Shehu Koko, the engagement with the US government would be to emphasise on the need to speed up the process of the purchase and delivery in view of the current security challenges in the country.

READ ALSO: We Are Very Concerned About The Security Challenges In The FCT – Lawan

Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff says the force is currently engaged in six major operations in the country.

He also revealed that that the Air Force has flown about 65 thousand hours across the country  in the last 5 years to ensure security and over 21 thousand hours in the north east alone.

The Service Chief appreciated the National Assembly for passing the bill on Air Force Institute of Technology which he says will add value in terms of research and development and discontinue the  dependence on other countries for aircraft maintenance.

Lawmakers Begin ‘Speedy’ Debate On 2020 Budget

PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Less than 24 hours after President Muhammadu presented the 2020 appropriation bill to the National Assembly, lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives have opened debate on the budget proposal.

The lawmakers are currently making submissions on the bill with some warning of the consequences of the huge deficit and non-performance of revenue-generating agencies.

READ ALSO: Budget 2020: We Dare Buhari To Make Presidency’s Allocation Public – PDP

In the upper chamber, Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi is asking the upper chamber to enact or amend relevant laws to drive revenue generation while minority leader Enyinnaya Abaribe has strong words about the budget proposal describing it as unsustainable.

He explains that the budget has no focus and appeals to the senate president not to be in a hurry to pass it but to look at the facts on the ground.

But Senate Deputy Whip Abdullahi Aliyu disagrees maintaining that the budget indeed has a focus and that it is hinged on sustaining growth and job creation.

Apart from the budget debate, the Senate also confirmed the appointment of Adeleke Adewolu as an executive commissioner on the governing board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In the House of Representatives, plenary commenced with representative Chinda Kingsley raising a point of order quoting order 12 rule 8.

He stated that the details of the appropriation bill is not contained in the bill and asks the house to suspend debate until the Minister of Finance submits the details of the house.

Kingsley was however ruled out of order by the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who explained that the general principles of the bill are to be debated and not the details.

Nigeria Loses Five Trillion Yearly To Oil Theft, Reps Lament

 

The House of Representatives has resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to ascertain the quantity of oil stolen on a daily basis and the people responsible for the theft within the country. 

The Reps decision followed the adoption of a motion on oil theft in Nigeria moved by Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji who represents Aguata federal constituency, Anambra State.

Hon. Umeoji had stressed that Nigeria losses about N5 trillion yearly from oil theft, an amount which the government desperately needs to finance the budget.

READ ALSO: Bill To Repeal Fire Service Scales Second Reading In House Of Reps

The lawmaker noted that about 22 million barrels of crude oil, amounting to about N1.3 trillion of crude oil were stolen in the Niger Delta in 2019 alone.

According to him, “Oil theft is not only an economic loss but also causes environmental damage due to breaches on oil pipelines and the incidents are on the upsurge.”

Asides ascertaining how much oil theft goes on in the country daily, the committee is also mandated to determine the volume of oil extracted in the country on a daily basis, as well as to determine the quantity of oil sold at the internal markets and the quantity consumed locally.

Lawmakers Ask CBN To Suspend New Charges On Transaction

 

The House of Representatives on Thursday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the new charges placed on Nigerians under its new cashless policy, with immediate effect. 

CBN had announced an increase in charges on withdrawals and deposits exceeding N500,000, however, in a plenary session, the Lower House ordered the apex bank to suspend the policy until appropriate consultations have been concluded.

This was affirmed via a series of tweets on the official Twitter handle of the House of Representatives.

READ ALSO: NEC Approves N100bn For Implementation Of National Livestock Transformation Plan

The tweets read:

House Of Reps Resumes Plenary

Reps Ask IGP To Shut Down Edo Assembly
File photo

 

After about eight weeks of recess, the House of Representatives has resumed plenary.

The resumption comes a week ahead of that of the Senate.

While it is unclear what would be topping the agenda of today’s plenary, one of the issues to be discussed could include the 2020 Appropriation Bill, among other things.

Read Also: [Xenophobia] Buhari Pledges ‘Solidified’ Nigeria-South Africa Ties As Ramaphosa Apologises

The National Assembly had repeatedly asked the Executive to submit the budget either by the end of September or by the first week of October to enable to them pass it before the end of the year.

They are, however, yet to receive the budget from President Muhammadu Buhari.

More to follow…

Court Stops NASS From Taking Over Edo Assembly

National Assembly Releases Details Of Its 2018 Budget

The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the National Assembly to halt its plan to take over the legislative functions of the Edo State House of Assembly.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the order at the resumed hearing in the case filed by the Edo State Government, challenging the decision by the Senate and the House of Representatives to step in if the governor fails to send another proclamation letter for a fresh inauguration of the Edo Assembly.

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Upholds Petitions Challenging Sanwo-Olu’s Victory

Justice Taiwo on Wednesday, however, ordered the parties in the case to maintain status quo pending the determination of the case.

A federal high court sitting in Port Harcourt had earlier given an order restraining the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki from issuing a fresh proclamation letter as directed by the Senate.

The court also restrained the clerk of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, their servants, agents, officers or privies from interfering or taking over the legislative functions of the Edo State House of Assembly.

The orders followed requests sought by the Deputy Speaker of the Edo House of Assembly, Honourable Yekini Idiaye; and the member representing Ikpoba-Okha constituency in the Edo Assembly, Honourable Henry Okhuarobo.

PDP NWC Suspends Elumelu, Six Others

ICYMI: PDP Seeks Prayers For National Rebirth At Easter

 

The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and six others.

The six others are Hon. Wole Oke, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu, Hon. Anayo Edwin, Hon. Gideon Gwadi, Hon. Toby Okechukwu and Hon. Adekoya Abdul-Majid.

They had been summoned on Thursday by the NWC over the role they were alleged to have played in the minority leadership tussle at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

According to the NWC, their action was an act of insubordination, hence they are to proceed a month-long suspension.

Read Also: Minority Leadership: Reps To Investigate Rowdy Session

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the incident.

The incident occurred on Wednesday after Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, ignored a list by the PDP in which Kingsley Chinda was nominated as the Minority Leader of the House.

He rather chose to use another list submitted by lawmakers from all the other opposition parties in the House.

Subsequently, Ndudi Elumelu was announced as the Minority Leader – a situation that led to protests as some aggrieved lawmakers attempted to take the maze.

Meanwhile, the Speaker has announced Alhassan Ado Dogowa as the majority leader, while Hon. Peter Akpatason (Edo) will serve as the Deputy.