Reps Effect Withdrawal Of Sack Threat To FCT Doctors

 

Following the intervention of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) have withdrawn a circular, mandating members of the FCTA chapter of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to go back to work within 48 hours or consider themselves sacked.

After a meeting between the House Health Services Committee led by its chairman, Rep. Tanko Sununu, officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Friday, it was also resolved that a Committee of five persons be set up comprising a member of NMA, two members of the NARD FCT Chapter and two FCTA staff, which will look into the issues relating to the payment of the doctors and report back.

READ ALSO: Buhari Commiserates With Senator Ben Murray-Bruce On Loss Of Wife

It was also resolved at the meeting that FCT Administration should source funds from alternative sources to pay a flat rate to 36 Doctors that have not been paid between six to seven months pending when the issue is resolved.

The Nigerian Medical Association, led by its President Dr. Francis Faduyile informed the House Committee that the national body had directed all his members on strike to resume duties at their posts while the association continues with the negotiations with the FCTA on behalf of the striking doctors.

He expressed his gratitude to the National Assembly especially the House of Representatives for the proactive measures taken to intervene in the matter and in ensuring the national emergency as regards the cover-19 is well contained within the nation.

Reps To Set Up Committee To Investigate Multichoice, Other Service Providers

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives chamber in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives has resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to look into the payment plan of Multichoice and other direct-to-home broadcast service providers to implement a Pay-As-You-Go Tariff Plan.

The lawmakers came to the resolution at plenary on Tuesday.

They expressed concerns that DSTV and other Direct-To-Home Service Providers have deliberately refused to implement the Pay-As-You-Go Tariff Plan but rather charge users on a fixed monthly tariff plan, unlike what is obtainable outside Nigeria.

Read Also: Another Case Of Coronavirus Confirmed In Lagos

Representative Idem who raised the motion, informed lawmakers that DSTV operates a Pay-As-You-Go Tariff Plan in other countries but has chosen to exploit Nigerians through a fixed monthly plan.

According to him, Nigeria is the biggest market for DSTV and deserves to be treated better.

The motion was supported by lawmakers who described the action of DSTV as an abuse and unfair treatment to Nigerians.

Reps To Suspend Plenary For Two Weeks Over Coronavirus

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives chamber in Abuja .

 

The House of Representatives has passed a resolution to suspend plenary for two weeks to enable the management of the National Assembly, put measures in place against the spread of coronavirus in the country.

This was part of the resolution of the house, following a motion of urgent public importance by representative Uyime Idem, and seconded by Ndudi Elumelu, on the need for immediate action to prevent any new cases of the virus.

Rep Uyime called on the Federal Government to release more funds to the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in order to quarantine, treat, and contain the COVID-19 situation.

READ ALSO: Village Head, One Other Killed In Zamfara Attack

The lawmaker added that the situation is so dire globally that 3,000 people have died and over 90,000 are infected with the virus.

He called on the leadership of NASS to set up an ad-hoc committee to liaise with relevant health agencies to ensure the virus is contained.

Also, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu called on NASS management to put mechanisms in place to ensure the virus doesn’t find a place in the National Assembly.

No date for the suspension has been set yet.

Extrajudicial Killings: We Must Fix The Nigeria Police, Restore Public Confidence – Gbajabiamila

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for an immediate fix to the Nigeria Police institution in a way that public confidence can be restored.

He stressed that a lot will be achieved if issues regarding recruitment and training, remuneration and welfare, responsibility and accountability are honestly tackled.

This is coming on the heels of the recent killing of a footballer playing with Remo Stars Football club, Tiyamiyu Kazeem, in Sagamu, Ogun State.

At a public hearing by the House Committee on Police Affairs chaired by Rep Usman Bello Kumo, the Speaker bemoaned the recent alleged extrajudicial killing of Mr Kazeem by men of the Nigeria Police.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Court Finds Olisa Metuh Guilty Of All Charges In N400m Fraud Case

Gbajabiamila noted that when the agencies that should protect the lives and property of the people “become predatory, they lose the faith of the public and become incapable of delivering on this responsibility.

‎”More than any other institution of the State, it is the police force that relates to the citizens daily. In many communities across Nigeria, the Police Force is the only representative of the Nigerian state, and the connection between our citizens and the state is often defined by their interactions with the Nigeria Police.

“It is unfortunate and entirely unacceptable that the relationship between the police and many of these communities are now defined by fear, mutual antagonism and an absolute loss of faith in the ability of the police to protect and to serve.

“In the last few days, we have all witnessed as the city of Sagamu in Ogun State has been unsettled by an orgy of violence resulting from the extrajudicial killing of a young footballer by officers of the Nigerian Police.

“Reports of police harassment of young people have become so rampant that they barely even break through the news cycle except when public anger becomes so great that it results in a breakdown of law and order.

“We can no longer stand for this, and we will not. This House of Representatives has a responsibility to speak for our citizens and we will continue to do so even when it is inconvenient,” Gbajabiamila said.

The speaker also said that although the public hearing with the theme ‘Repositioning the Nigeria Police for an Enhanced Delivery’ might come with some uncomfortable truths, the Nigeria Police should take home the contributions of stakeholders as they would be the ultimate beneficiaries.

“We cannot build people, particularly the police, ‎in a situation where they can barely get themselves together. If I ask the police what’s the situation with the insurance of the police personnel, I know very well the likely answer I’ll get, because it will be in the negative. If you ask what is the pay, or welfare package of a policeman, I know the answers we’re going to get, they’re not going to be encouraging.‎”

“When the public are as afraid of the police as they are of the criminals, and perhaps even more so, the very fundamentals of our nationhood are at stake. We are confronted with an urgent need, deserving of our utmost attention and dedication.

“We must fix the Nigeria Police, restore public confidence and make the institution once more deserving of the true faith and support of the Nigerian people,” he stressed.

Are You Midwives Of Good Things For Nigeria? Lumumba Asks NASS


 

A Kenyan professor of law, Patrick Lumumba, has called on Nigerian lawmakers to work for the betterment of the people.

Lumumba, former Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja during the launch of the House of Representatives’ Green Chamber’s publication.

He reminded the lawmakers that they are the “successors of Nigeria’s great leaders,” asking them to reflect on what they have done for the country.

READ ALSO: Senate Moves To Establish Commission Against Illegal Use Of Guns

 

 

The former Director told the House of Representatives that “you must ask yourself, now that you have been given the honour and privilege of serving Nigeria, are you, honourable members or horrible members?”

According to him, the services they render to the people while they are lawmakers would determine if they are honourable members, adding that “we want to see honourable members, not horrible members.”

This is as he called on members of the lower chamber, now that Nigerians have given them the chance, to reflect on whether they are “the midwives of the good things for Nigeria or are you midwives that kill the children of the creator.”

Also, he said that Nigeria should be at par with several advanced nations.

UPDATED: House Of Reps Asks Service Chiefs To Resign

A file photo of the service chiefs during a meeting with the President in Abuja.

 

 

Members of the House of Representatives have called on the service chiefs to resign their positions.

This formed part of the resolutions reached after the lawmakers had a debate on the nation’s security during Wednesday’s plenary in Abuja.

A member of the House, Abubakar Fulata, had informed his colleagues in the chamber that the service chiefs had outlived their usefulness.

According to him, it will be to the detriment of the country if these men keep doing the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result in tackling the security challenges Nigeria is grappling with.

The lawmaker stressed the need for the service chiefs to resign since President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sack them.

He also called for the redeployment of soldiers serving in various theatres of war in the North-East region of the country.

The military personnel, Fulata noted, have stayed too long at the war front and were exhausted.

He added that the soldiers should be replaced to improve the onslaught against insurgents in the region.

Presiding over the plenary, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila put the question, as moved by Fulata, to the lawmakers whether the service chiefs should resign and leave their offices.

Although there was a divide among the members in their response, a majority of the lawmakers answered in the affirmative and the resolution was passed.

While the performance of the service chiefs became a focus at the House chamber, national security formed a major discussion in the Senate.

Like the green chamber, the red chamber asked President Buhari to declare a national security emergency.

Some lawmakers – Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, as well as Senators Musa Sani, Betty Apiafi, and Solomon Adeola, asked the President to sack the service chiefs.

They also called for the resignation of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.

The service chiefs include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas.

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.