Last week began with the news of a party in Dubai organised by House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, in celebration of his mother’s 90th birthday.
Sahara Reporters, an online newspaper, had alleged that the speaker sponsored over 300 allies with public funds, a claim he denied.
Nigerians who aired their views on social media on the issue, said as the nation’s number four citizen, flaunting affluence will make the public lose trust in public officials, especially in Nigeria, a country that tops the poverty table of the world.
The House also discussed the possibility of proceeding on a two-week break over the fear of the new coronavirus that is wreaking havoc across the world. The lawmakers had said the break was to enable the management to install facilities to screen and detect the deadly virus.
The next day, these two news were Mr Gbajabiamila’s first point of call. He said some media reports were capable of causing panic and instability while denying the intent of the House on going on break. “The same House they said has adjourned is currently sitting,” he said.
Also on Tuesday, to the delight of workers, the House passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the Labour Act to criminalise casualisation of workers in Nigeria.
Sponsored by Olawale Raji (APC, Lagos), the bill seeks to prohibit engagement of casual workers beyond six months.
Nigeria’s Central Bank, responsible for injecting dollars into the inter-bank foreign exchange market which it distributes to the wholesale sector, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the invisible segments, was accused of racketeering.
The green chamber thus resolved to investigate CBN and FIRS over the alleged racketeering in the allocation of foreign exchange. This came after it adopted a motion by James Faleke (Lagos, APC).
Also, the House passed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) 2019 budget of ₦346 billion. The budget is due to run until May 31 — a sharp disconnect from the central government’s intention of running a January to December budgetary cycle. Although none of the House members raised an objection.
Following the recent action by police operatives which led to the death of a Remo Stars FC footballer, Tiyamiyu Kazeem, the House mandated its police affairs, justice and human rights committees to investigate and ensure that “justice is not only done but seen to be done” on the tragedy.