Some Nigerians have called on the National Assembly to revisit vital bills which had remained pending as it resumes from its long recess.
Some Nigerians yesterday called on the National Assembly to revisit vital bills which had remained pending as it resumed from its long recess.
The people, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, specifically urged the lawmakers to take another look at the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and Constitution Amendment Bill. Mr Joseph Peter, a civil servant, said that there was an urgent need for the legislators to pass the PIB to give backing to the proposed restructuring of the nation’s oil sector.
He advised that there should be no new conferences and public hearings to amend the Constitution as the assembly had already spent so much, in terms of funds and time, on the amendment.
“They should go through all the submissions of held conferences and make amendments,” he said. Mr Elvis Onoja, a business man, recommended that the PIB and Constitution amendment should not only be revisited, but that there was need for fresh national conference.
According to him, a new conference in line with the agenda of the new government will ensure that all other activities in all arms of government will be guided by the outcome of the conference. “My reason for a new national conference is because the ideologies of the previous administration and the present one defer greatly,” Onoja said.
He said that although some of the recommendations from the 2014 conference were cogent, a new conference would serve a better purpose. “A typical example is the creation of a new South Eastern state in order to give room for equality with the other geopolitical zones and the issue of state of origin or place of residence.
“We should shelve the state of origin and stick with place of residence. “On the issue of the petroleum industry bill, I am of the opinion that it should not only be reconsidered but should be totally restructured; there are too many loopholes in the previously structured one,” he said.
Another respondent, Mr Segun Oyerinde, a lawyer, said that the most important thing was to first, set the national assembly right. Oyerinde insisted that if the national assembly was people-oriented, it would not need to be told that the PIB and the Constitution amendment must be revisited.
“How can they be comfortable knowing the amount of money that had been spent on these bills and many others, only for the bills to be ‘killed’ at the altar of technicalities. “We can no longer accept this from the lawmakers; my take is that all the people-oriented bills that were laid to rest by the 7th Assembly should be top on the list of this assembly.
“It is not by collecting fat salaries and going on vacations, they should come and work and this time, they must get it right,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson of the Senate, Dino Melaye, has dispelled rumours that the National Assembly would not resume on Tuesday. Melaye, who is Chairman, Ad hoc Committee on Publicity, said that the upper chamber was ready to continue its job of ‘’effective legislation’’ from Tuesday.
-Tony Ailemen, Abuja