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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The @HouseNGR has urged the @cenbank to suspend its recent directive to banks on cashless policy, which seeks to have individuals and corporate organisations charged for deposits and withdrawals respectively.
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.
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.