Piqued by the alleged reintroduction of fuel subsidy and scarcity of the product, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has charged the relevant committees of the House to unravel the causes and claims.
He said this on Tuesday, during his opening remarks at the resumption of the House of Representatives from its Christmas break.
According to him, except the Executive aduces compelling reasons why the reverse is the case, it will amount to a betrayal to still pay subsidies after they had been assured that it had been ended.
“We expected that with the legislative cooperation given to the Executive arm, to effect an increase in the fuel price from N87 per litre to N145, and based on their assurances, incidents of fuel scarcity would be a thing of the past.
“We were also assured that fuel subsidy had come to an end. From recent developments on this subject, except the Executive aduces compelling reasons why the reverse is the case, we will be justified in feeling betrayed.
“As a parliament, we must unravel the causes of this scarcity and the alleged re-introduction of fuel subsidy. I charge our relevant Committees to get to the root of these issues through the instrumentality of oversight to enable the House take an informed position on this totally undeserving precarious situation that our already overburdened citizens are subjected to. This has to be done with minimal delay.”
Hon Dogara charges his colleagues to finish all work on the 2018 budget proposal expeditiously and ensure that their legislative duties so not suffer as political activities pick up.
“We must however remember that we were elected to represent the people for a four year term. The work is not finished. This is the time to conclude many outstanding legislative measures pending before us.
“The economy must remain the central focus of our legislative activities in 2018, in order to consolidate Nigeria’s exit from economic recession. To this end, we must prioritise high economic impact Bills and pass them before the onset of political activities. The Committee on Rules and Business is hereby charged to schedule the consideration of these Bills at the earliest possible time.
“The Electoral Act Amendment process must be speedily concluded, this first quarter. Same with Constitutional alteration process, especially those on electoral matters. The Rules of the game must be clear to the actors early enough before the game begins. This is absolutely necessary in order to improve on the standards we set in the last general elections.
“Furthermore, the practice of divesting various Ad-Hoc and Standing Committees with jurisdiction over referrals that have refused or neglected to submit their Reports on various Bills and Resolutions would continue in the new year. We would strengthen the Rules and Business Committee of the House, which is the secretariat of the Committee of Whole, to consider the Reports divested from various Committees. Indeed, all Ad-Hoc Committees that have not submitted their Reports within the time frame given to them, and without getting an extension of time from the House would be divested of jurisdiction and that without further notice.”