LIFE SERVICE: diaspora voting, admission racketeering, BSc/HND dichotomy top on NASS’ agenda this week

Kauthar KhaleelNovember 14, 20234 min

As the Senate continues its interface with Ministers and Heads of Federal Government agencies on the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) this week, OrdePaper’s Legislative Intelligence Forecast (LIFE) Service, by Kauthar Anumba Khaleel, gives a glimpse of other actions to be taken by both chambers of the National Assembly.

2023

IN THE SENATE

The Senate Committees on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions will commence its investigation into alleged admission racketeering involving the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The investigation follows a motion on the need to curtail the practice of undisclosed admission and other unwholesome practices by JAMB and Universities, particularly the University of Nigeria, Nsukka sponsored by Senator Onyeka Nwaebonyi, last week.

The Senate will also begin considerations on diaspora voting, an exercise that is part of the National Assembly’s ongoing review of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 Constitution. The review is aimed at allowing Nigerians in the diaspora the right to exercise their franchise during elections.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The House will take further legislative actions with bills before it as it debates, and hopefully, passes the following bills for second reading: A Bill For an Act to Establish Public Accounts Tribunal which shall be Responsible for the Recovery of Public Funds or Properties Found by the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly; A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Marine Corps to Promote Maritime Security, and A Bill for an Act to amend the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (Registration, etc.) Act.

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Others are, A Bill for an Act to Establish an Agro Processing Export Free Trade Zone, Yewa North/Imeko Afon-Ogun State; A Bill for an Act to Establish the Institute of Debt Recovery Practitioners of Nigeria, to Train, Regulate, License, and Exercise Control over the Occupation of Collection and Recovery of Debt, Levies, Fees or Remuneration by Registered Debt Collectors, and A Bill for an Act to Repeal and Enact the Trade Disputes (Essential Services) Act.

The Green Chamber, in the week, will also move to address career stagnation caused by discrimination between Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor Degree holders in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as push for the creation of awareness programmes for Persons with Disabilities.

Infrastructure-related concerns around the country will also form part of issues to be addressed by the House. These include dredging of Water Channels to Connect Magaji Sabon Gidan Amale and Fada Dam in Gwarzo/Kabo Constituency of Kano State; Dualization of Ijebu–Ode – Ibuefun – Itokin –Agbowa – Ikorodu Federal Road; the Rehabilitation and Dualisation of Magazine Junction GRA Ontisha-33-Otuocha-Omasi-Adani (Anambra State Border) – Adani (Enugu State)-Otukpa Benue State. This is in addition to issues of erosion and flooding.

Further, electricity will feature in the House as it seeks the reconnection of Electricity Supply to Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Consistency of Zamfara, the abandoned Danbatta Power Substation in Kano State as well as call for swift completion of the Ogbomosho Power Station.

The lawmakers will weigh in on the following, the death of Nigerian Medical Student, Chibuikem Emmanuel in the Philippines; alleged revenue leakages and – non-remittance of revenue generated through remittance platforms; the Implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by Multinational Oil Companies and Other Corporate Bodies in the South-South region as well as the state of refineries in Nigeria. It will further push for the extension of rail lines to South-South, south-east, North Central, and North-West geo-political zones of the country, even as it addresses the excessive behavior of the personnel of the Directorate of Road Traffic Service (DRTS), also known as Vehicle inspection officers (VIO) on Abuja roads.

During the week, the following reports will be considered by the House: the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of Standing Orders of the House Representatives; the report on Bill for an Act to Establish the Agency for National Ethics and Values Compliance to Control Unethical Behaviour and Enforce Compliance with Principles of the National Ethics; and the report of A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Council for Psychologists charged with the Responsibility of Advancing the Study, Training and Practice of Psychologist Profession.

 

Kauthar Khaleel

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