© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has given a marching order to the adhoc committee on Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, to submit its report within 21 days.
Tambuwal, who gave the directive while declaring open the fourth legislative session of the Seventh Assembly on Tuesday in Abuja, noted that the 23-member adhoc committee headed by Ishaka Bawa was inaugurated with the view to fine-tune the PIB which has scaled through second reading.
The leadership of the lower legislative chamber, however, denied the allegation of demands by members of the House for gratification before the law is passed.
It was alleged that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, are being asked for cash to pass the PIB, an allegation the House leadership denied.
According to the Deputy Leader of the House, Leo Ogor, said that nobody needs to pay the legislators before they do their job.
“You don’t need anybody to give you a dime to do your job. I am giving you my assurance vis-a-vis that of the Speaker that the PIB will be passed. Final touches have been put into that bill and I want to also state that I’m not aware that anybody is asking anybody for a dime. You don’t need anybody to give you a dime to do your job,” he said.
Ogor further said every lawmaker swore an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of Nigeria; therefore, it will be an aberration if anyone asks for money before doing his own job.
Meanwhile, Tambuwal in his remarks noted that desperation has taken over some people despite the fact that the election year 2015 is still premature based on the prescriptions of the Electoral Act and INEC Regulations and Guidelines.
He stressed the need to give sufficient attention to the serious security challenge of insurgency and terrorism and the general volatile political atmosphere.
According to the Speaker “the people should be our prime focus because without the people there will be no country and therefore nothing to represent or to govern.”
He further described the security situation in the North east of the country as “alarming” and of “grave concern”
Tambuwal welcomed the decision of the federal government to establish a Special Forces Unit to tackle insurgency and terrorism in the country.
Speaking on the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents, the Speaker announced that the House will contribute the sum of N200 million to the terror victim support fund, aimed at supporting persons suffering from the negative consequences of insurgency and terrorism in the country.
Tambuwal directed the House Committee on Defence to liaise with the leadership of Senate and its Committee on Defence to give maximum support to the Federal Government in order to put an end to insurgency in the country.
Tambuwal, who commended the federal and Lagos State governments for making all efforts necessary to contain the Ebola virus disease, said the synergy between both governments has shown that when the true Nigerian spirit is called to duty, nothing is unassailable.
To further strengthen the fight against the dreaded Ebola virus disease, the speaker, instituted a Special Ad-hoc committee on Ebola, which he said will work closely with the Ministry of Health and the 6-man Committee on Ebola to enhance legislative liaison and to provide all the needed legislative support for the fight against the disease.
He commended the Committee on Health for successfully handling the strike action of the Nigerian Medical Doctors, and also the Committee on Sports for resolving the crisis that rocked the Nigeria Football Federation, thereby saving the country from been banned by the world football governing body, FIFA.