House Concurs To 14 Bills Of The 46 Rushed Through By Senate

House Concurs To 14 Bills Of The 46 Rushed Through By Senate

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed 14 of the 46 bills submitted by the Senate to it on Wednesday for concurrence.

The lower chamber, which also passed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), okayed the 14 bills without following the regular legislative procedures.

Despite objection raised by some members, majority of the members who attended the last legislative sitting through voice vote, supported the passage of the 14 bills.

The bills passed included the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies (Establishment) bill, National Social Welfare Commission (Establishment) bill, Labour Safety and Health bill, Acts Authentication Act, 1962 (Amendment) bill and Nigerian Football Association Ac.t, Cap. N110, LFN, 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) bill.

Others are: Corporate Manslaughter bill, 2015; Animal Health and Husbandry Technologists (Registration) bill, 2015; Criminal justice (Release from custody) (Special provisions) amendment bill, 2015; Border Communities Development Agency (Amendment) bill, 2015; Hydro-Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (Amendment) bill, 2015; Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (Fiscal Incentives, Assurances and Guarantees) bill, 2015; Engineers (Registration, etc.) amendment bill, 2015 and Proceeds of crime bill, 2015.

The resolution was sequel to the motion sponsored by Albert Sam-Tsokwa, Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, to suspend Order 12, Rules 80, 81, 82 and 88 of the House.

Tsokwa, who called for the passage of the bills, noted that there was limited legislative time available to the House, adding that the time and resources the Senate deployed in considering the bills should not be a waste.

While speaking, Betty Apiafi (APC-Rivers), who raised Point of order 89, expressed concern over the suspension of relevant House Rules.

She, however, urged the House to initiate a conference committee in line with extant rules, adding that other contentious bills should be refer to the 8th Assembly for further legislative action.

The Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Act (amendment) bill, 2015 was, however, withdrawn following a motion sponsored by Leo Igor, deputy House Leader.

While reacting to the media report on the 46 bills passed by the Senate within 10 minutes, Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Speaker who presided over the plenary session, argued that the reporters failed to appreciate the good intentions under which the Senate considered fast tracking the passage of the 46 bills.

“Now that the House is taking steps to concur with some of the bills, the headline will be that the House passed the bills in five minutes,” he said.

Before adjourning, the House passed the ‘bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation Act, 2006 and re-enact the NDIC bill and for other matters connected therewith’.

The passage of the 46 bills in the Senate in Wednesday raised eyebrows as it represented the last piece of legislative work done by the upper chamber.

The House had on Tuesday suspended the consideration of clause 209 of the PIB, due to contentious issues.

However, on resumption of the consideration of the adhoc committee’s report, the outgoing members chorused ‘yea’ when the deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who presided put the questions on each of the clauses.

According to Ihedioha, the House took painstaking steps in constituting the adhoc committee on PIB in order to reflect the diverse interests of the country.

“I want to believe that the House has done its best and represented our constituencies very well. Barring last minute unforeseen circumstances, today may be our last sitting day,” he said.

He had on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the politicking during the bill during the consideration of some clauses.