Major deliberations in House of Reps last week

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Twitter handle of Femi]
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Twitter handle of Femi]

The House of Representatives began last week’s legislative business with the launch of the maiden Green Chamber magazine. It said it wants to use the publication to tell its own story, away from the dependence on reportage by mainstream media.

Represented by the minister of information, Lai Mohammed, President Muhammadu Buhari at the event said, contrary to widely held belief, lawmakers are not overpaid. He added that the magazine would allow lawmakers to correct this “wrong perception.”

Also speaking at the launch was ex-Kenyan anti-corruption chief, Patrick Lumumba. He charged the lawmakers to put the people first and shun selfish gains. Are you honourable members or horrible members? he asked rhetorically.

Upon resumption of plenary for the day, the House began deliberations by bemoaning the difficulty Nigerians encounter in registering for the National Identity Number. The House, therefore, said it would investigate the cause of the challenge.

While that lasted, the House Committee on Defence, as directed by the whole House two weeks before, amidst worsening insecurity, went on a fact-finding mission to the northeast.

Also at the committee level, the House Committee on Finance ordered the Centre for Management Development (CMD) to remit within three weeks ₦542.4 million to the treasury, a backlog of unremmited 25 per cent of the centre’s IGR between 2012 and 2018.

Furthermore, the House accused the executive of shortchanging them as well as the judiciary. It said this was because the ministry of finance had failed to fully disburse amount allocated to both arms, in contravention of the Constitution which backs first line charge for both arms.

The House went further by urging the federal government to appoint more Supreme Court judges due to the low number of the apex court’s judges. Luke Onofiok who moved the motion said he observed that the court has 13 judges (which cannot form two panels of 7) when it should have a maximum of 21.

The House committees on Air Force and Judiciary also began a probe into the ₦10 billion building project by the Air Force. This came to be after a company, Blue Boulevard Limited, petitioned the House, accusing NAF of breach of contract on the project.

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