Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
House of Representatives yesterday indicted its Standing Committee on Finance for failing to attend to the “Capital Expenditure Budget Roll-Over Bill, 2012”, three years after the bill was referred to the Committee. In a rare resolution, the House consequently re-assigned the bill to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration. Hon. Abdulmumin Jibril, representing Bebeji/Kiru federal constituency of Kano and a Speakership contestant in the incoming Assembly is the chairman of the committee. The deputy chairman is Michael Yomi Ogunnusi representing Ifako- Ijaye federal constituency of Lagos State.
The decision of the House to withdraw the bill from finance committee and have it re-assigned was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Sunday Karimi (Kogi/PDP), to the effect. In lead debates, Karimi noted that the Capital Expenditure Budget Roll- Over Bill, 2012 was read a second time on July 3, 2013 and committed to the Committee on Finance for further legislative action. He submitted that order XVII Rule 109 (g) of the Standing Orders of the House provides a time limit of 30 days for a committee to attend to any matter referred to it. “The bill has been pending at the Committee on Finance for more than 60 days”, Karimi told his colleagues. The lawmaker submitted that it was irresponsible for a committee to abdicate its responsibility especially a special issue assigned to it to handle. “It is a sign of irresponsibility for a committee not to attend to issues of this nature.
We have been following up the Committee on Finance but up till today (Thursday), they have done nothing. Mr. Speaker, this is unacceptable and I pray that the bill be reassigned”, Karimi said. Chairman House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Albert Sam- Tsokwa (Taraba/PDP) and chairman House Committee on Public Petitions, Hon. Uzor. Azubuike (Abia/PDP) concurred with the Karimi’s submission. “The worst we can do is to indict the relevant committee for not doing its job,” Azubuike stated. Deputy speaker Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the session, put the motion to question and it was unanimously adopted. The House will now take the bill at the Committee of the Whole to resolve the issue.