A Member Of The Lower Chamber Got The Bitter Side Of His Colleagues Over His Motion Asking For Subsidy Removal As House Calls For New Revenue Allocation Formular
House of Representatives yesterday appeared divided over a motion calling on the Federal Government to exercise restraint in the removal of fuel subsidy and introduce a less restrictive and stringent conditions for the setting up of refineries in the country. The other prayer of the motion entitled “alleged plan to remove fuel subsidy” sponsored by Hon. Albert Adeogun, also called on the Federal Government to fast track the repairs of the refineries to enhance local production of petroleum products and eliminate the need for subsidy or reduce it to the barest minimum.
Before the lawmaker could move the motion on the floor however, his colleagues had started booing him and shouting “no”, “kill it”. Moving the motion despite the hostility of his colleagues, Adeogun said the removal of subsidy would lead to the scarcity of petroleum products, trigger a rise in transportation costs and cause untold hardship to Nigerians. “Subsidy on petroleum products was introduced in Nigeria as a palliative measure to ease the
sufferings of Nigerians whose livelihoods are largely dependent on the use of petroleum products.
“Subsidy removal will ultimately result in inflation and increase in price of goods and services, thereby aggravating
poverty across the country”, he said. Raising a point of order to counter the motion, Hon. Her man Hembe said the motion was too speculative and should not be considered.
Also speaking against the motion, House Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said that the motion was anticipatory and was not factual adding that “I stand here to stay, Mr. President has said that he will not remove subsidy”. Minority leader of the House, Hon. Leo Ogor, speaking for the motion, Said it should be given fair hearing adding that “we are being judgmental over a colleague”.
Following pressure from his colleagues, Adeogun was forced to step his down motion down.
However, the House passed a resolution urging President Muhammadu Bu- hari, to, as a matter of urgency, submit to the National Assembly proposal for a new revenue allocation formula for the country.
The resolution followed a motion to the effect entitled “call for a new revenue formula (RAF) for the federation” sponsored by Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye.
While moving the motion, the lawmaker said, “section 6 (1) (b) of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act, Cap. R7, laws of the federation ofNigeria, 2004 prescribes for a certain committee within the agency to review the revenue allocation formula from time to time, to reflect current realities.
“The effectiveness of the current applicable formula, which is over thirty years old, would appear doubtful to reflect the realities facing the financial needs of the three tiers of government”, he argued.
He said that the provision in the 1992 Act, which prescribed for the deduction of various percentages totaling about 7.5 per cent, also referred to as special fund, had been adjudged unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
“Section 162 (2) of the constitution requires the president, on the recommendation of the revenue mobilization allocation and fiscal commission to submit a proposal for a new revenue allocation formula to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law”, Agunsoye submitted.
Speaking for the motion, House leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, while commending the mover of the motion, said that the call for a new revenue allocation formula was one that should have been done by previous assemblies.
Speaking against the motion, Hon. Tahir Monguno, said that as a matter of law, the move for a new revenue allocation formula cannot be done by way of a motion adding that any tier of government which is not satisfied with the current formula, was free to seek redress in court.
The motion was however adopted by the House after it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
– Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja