House Committee To Assess Safety At Kaduna Airport

House Orders Committee To Assess Safety At Kaduna AirportThe House of Representatives has directed its Committee on Aviation to ascertain the operational safety at the Kaduna International Airport.

The House gave the order in spite of the pass mark given by the Minister of Information on the operations at the airport.

The decision by the Lower Chamber was however, opposed by some lawmakers who argued that the Abuja Airport would be ready and operational soon.

The House Committee on Aviation has been mandated to ascertain if industry standards were complied with at the airport.

The Committee was also directed to assess the extent of work done so far at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and report to the House in one week.

Reps Demand Framework For N500 Billion Naira Social Intervention Fund

House of Representatives, social intervention fund, RepsThe House of Representatives demanded framework and details of 500 billion naira social intervention fund on Thursday in Abuja.

The legislators had directed a joint committee to ensure that the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Social Protection Programmes makes available the framework.

The motion resulted to a heated debate among lawmakers.

While some members supported the bill and sought that the Federal Government stop further disbursements of the fund, other lawmakers however opposed calls for the programme to be stopped.

House Holds Public Hearing On Revenue Leakages In NIMASA

House of Representatives, NIMASAThe House of Representatives says it expects that the revenue generated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) be used for public good and not for private interests.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, gave the charge on Wednesday in Abuja, during the public hearing on revenue leakages and operational deficiencies in NIMASA.

Speaker Dogara expressed hope that with the new leadership in the agency and from the result expected from the investigation, revenue from the agency would flow into government coffers.

The Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Honourable Mohammed Bago, on his part made it clear that the investigation was to ensure that government gets its due.

The Director General of NIMASA, Mr Peterside Dakuku, outlined some of the challenges confronting the agency.

Agreeing with the Speaker, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, said that the government was also carrying out a full investigation into all the operations of the agency.

The House Committee is expected to submit its report to the House for consideration and adoption.

One Year After: House Has Laid A Strong Foundation – Dogara

House of Representatives, Yakubu DogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday said the House has laid a strong foundation in its first year as it strives to make a positive impact on the lives of Nigerians.

Speaker Dogara made the declaration as lawmakers marked one year anniversary of the 8th House of Representatives on Thursday at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Highlighting the achievements recorded so far, he disclosed that the House has received a total of 685 bills since the commencement of the 8th assembly.

Aviation

Hon. Dogara added that the House of Representatives also considered over 530 motions with far reaching resolutions.

According to him, other initiatives include the sectoral debates, the legislative needs assessment of the National Assembly, and the drafting of the legislative agenda of the House of Representatives.

While stating some of the projects the House was trying to achieve, the Speaker commended members of the Lower Chamber for the accomplishments within the period under review.

In their various reactions, the lawmakers revealed plans to do more during the remaining three sessions of their tenure.

Minister Laments Poor Funding Of ICT Sector

Adebayo Shittu, CommunicationThe Minster of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has identified poor funding as a major challenge preventing the rapid development of the information and communication sector.


Mr Shittu made the observation on Wednesday at the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He lamented that the information and communication sector’s allocation is less than one per cent of the national budget.

The Minister noted that the sector has the capacity to create millions of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in Nigeria.

Mr Shittu was speaking in the House of Representatives, as part of the sectoral debate on the diversification of the Nigerian economy.

Reps To Probe Aviation Regulating Agencies

AviationThe House of Representatives has mandated its
Committee on Aviation 
to investigate the activities of the agencies regulating the air transport sector.

The House gave the mandate on Wednesday during a plenary in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The resolution followed the consideration of a motion sponsored by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Edo State, Sergius Ogun.

The Aviation Committee has been directed to ascertain the extent to which the regulatory agencies comply with their responsibilities of ensuring the airworthiness of aircrafts operating within the nation’s airspace.

House Inaugurates C’mtte To Probe CBN Intervention Funds

Intervention FundsThe House of Representatives has set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the disbursements of over two trillion Naira intervention funds by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The decision was reached on Wednesday after the lawmakers considered a motion at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The House observed that CBN has continued to intervene in various sectors of the economy without the expected development and impacts in those sectors.

The Committee will also assess the impacts of these funds on the relevant sectors of the economy and report back to the House in six weeks.

The motion was sponsored by a legislator of Peoples Democratic Party, Ayodele Oladimeji, who is representing Ekiti State.

Lawmaker Urges Executives To Be Cautious In EU Partnership

EPAA lawmaker has warned the executive arm of government in Nigeria to be cautious in signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU).

Moving a motion on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, a legislator from Ekiti State, Segun Adekola, said that Nigeria was not economically ready for such partnership with a weak manufacturing base and infrastructural deficit.

The motion argued that entering into such partnership without full preparation would amount to economic suicide for Nigerian industries and also confine the economy to a mere extension of the European Union markets.

Some lawmakers, however, believed that such caution might be counterproductive unless other African countries involved in the EPA were carried along.

In his response, the Speaker of the House, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, explained that the motion and the issue it presented was still subject to examination by the lower chamber, stressing that it would be dispassionately examined before concrete decisions would be taken.

The House, therefore, referred the issue to the Committee on Commerce and Industry to get the details of the agreement and its implications to Nigeria’s comparative advantage and report back in four weeks.

The EPA is a policy to create a free trade area between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific –ACP- group of states in which negotiations over these trade and development agreements have been on since 2005.

The EPA opens up the European Union markets fully and immediately but allows ACP countries long transition periods to open up partially to EU imports while providing protection for sensitive areas.

Lawmakers Slam 2016 Budget As Debate Continues

2016 BudgetFor the third day running, federal lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives continued the debate on the 2016 Budget.

Unlike previous days, lawmakers set aside party sentiments to dissect and debate the 2016 budget.

There were criticisms and mixed reactions as lawmakers expressed their views on the budget.

Some Senators slammed the budget for not adequately taking into account, development projects in the Ministry of Women Affairs meant to ameliorate the sufferings of women in the country.

Some other Senators who agreed that there was the need to limit the expenditure of monies borrowed to fund capital projects, also stressed the need to diversify the economy, following the dwindling price of oil in the international market.

The lawmakers said that the funds appropriated to the ministries of Agriculture and Solid Minerals does not show government’s seriousness in trying to diversify the economy.

The budget debate was expected to end on Tuesday but was shifted to Wednesday, January 26.

The debate started on Wednesday, January 20 at both the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly in Abuja, with the lawmakers in the Senate sharing divided opinions on the financial plan.

Some opposition lawmakers in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had questioned the financial capacity of the government to fund the budget, considering the fall in oil prices and the deficit in the budget with an initial oil price benchmark of $38 per barrel.

However, some legislators from the ruling All Progressives Congress hailed the budget while describing it as a ‘budget of the people’.

Controversies

Controversies over the budget started after rumours spread that the budget had disappeared.

Few days after that rumour, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, revealed that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Senate, Senator Ita Enag, reproduced a budget document different from what President Buhari originally submitted to the National Assembly.

He said that the Senate would only treat the document presented to the Senate by the President.

To end the controversy, the President wrote to the National Assembly making some alterations.

The President asked the lawmakers to work with the corrected version of the financial plan as his 2016 budget estimates.

Subsequently, the Senate accepted and adopted the alterations in the 2016 Appropriation Bill.

The total budgetary allocation for 2016 is 6.8 trillion Naira, an increase of one trillion Naira from the revised allocation of 5.9 trillion Naira for 2015.

In the breakdown, 2.648 trillion Naira was for recurrent expenditure while 1.85 trillion Naira was for capital expenditure and 1.475 trillion Naira for debt service.

National Assembly Begins Debate On 2016 Budget

BudgetThe federal lawmakers have commenced debate on Nigeria’s 2016 Appropriation Bill after putting behind the controversies surrounding the budget.

The debate session took place on Wednesday at both the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

‘Budget Of The People’

The lawmakers in the Senate had divided opinions on the financial plan, as some opposition lawmakers in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) questioned the financial capacity of the government to fund the budget considering the fall in oil prices and the deficit in the budget with an initial oil price benchmark of $38 per barrel.

However, some legislators from the ruling All Progressives Congress hailed the budget while describing it as a ‘budget of the people’.

In the meantime, the budget debate in the House of Representatives was approached with less passion, as it was kick started by the House’s majority leader.

The debate is coming after weeks of back and forth over the status and whereabouts of the budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In its comments about the budget, the opposition PDP said that the federal budget was a ‘big fraud and a grand plan to mortgage the future of Nigeria‘.

Controversies over the budget started after rumours spread that the budget had disappeared.

Few days after that rumour, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, revealed that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Senate, Senator Ita Enag, reproduced a budget document different from what President Buhari originally submitted to the National Assembly.

He said that the Senate would only treat the document presented to the Senate by the President.

To end the controversy, the President wrote to the National Assembly making some alterations.

The President asked the lawmakers to work with the corrected version of the financial plan as his 2016 budget estimates.

Subsequently, the Senate accepted and adopted the alterations in the 2016 Appropriation Bill.

The total budgetary allocation for 2016 is 6.8 trillion Naira, an increase of one trillion Naira from the revised allocation of 5.9 trillion Naira for 2015.

In the breakdown, 2.648 trillion Naira was for recurrent expenditure while 1.85 trillion Naira was for capital expenditure and 1.475 trillion Naira for debt service.

The budget debate is expected to continue on Thursday January 21.

Lawmaker Seeks Buhari’s Intervention In Delta Power Project

Fed Lawmaker Urge Buhari's Intervention Into Delta Power ProjectA member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Nicholas Ossai, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the operation of the Independent Power Project in Delta State, South-south Nigeria.

Honourable Ossai said the intervention was necessary, as the Federal Ministry of Power and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company had been unable to ensure that the community where the project was situated, benefit from the electricity provided.

He said the Lower Chamber had also intervened in the matter in a bid to forestall a breakdown of law and order as a result of the agitations by members of the community.