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Reps move to stop terrorism, kidnapping

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House of Representatives

• Query use of Italian firm for P’Harcourt refinery TAM
• Accuse SPIP of over-reaching its mandate
• Senate urges govt to suspend excise tariff hike

The House of Representatives yesterday passed through second reading a Bill, which seeks to repeal Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 and enact Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill.

Kayode Oladele in his debate said that measures to combat kidnapping and hijacking were incorporated in the new bill.

He added that the bill would provide measures for detection, prevention, enforcement, combating and prohibition of acts of terrorism for effective implementation of international instruments on the prevention and combating of and suppression of the financing of terrorism.

The bill was later referred to the House Committee on National Intelligence and Security for further legislative action.

Besides, the House has queried the resolve by the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to engage a team of consortium to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries.

An ad-hoc committee of the House led by Mr. Garba Datti, which is probing into expenditure on the TAM of the nation’s refineries, wondered why the corporation engaged Italian oil major, Eni, as part of a consortium of firms to carry out repairs on the Port Harcourt Refinery with two refining plants.

Some members of the House, who spoke on the issue, said the Italian oil major should not have been involved in the renewed effort to repair the refinery and warned against politicising TAM of refineries which had been the bane of the oil sector in the country.

Also, the House ad-hoc committee investigating the legality and modus operandi of the special presidential investigation panel has accused the panel of over-exercising its mandate.

Yesterday’s session witnessed series of turning and twisting from members of the panel as they sought to know the core mandate of the panel.

But the Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar and the Secretary of the panel, Akinbola Adeniran, stated that the panel had not exceeded its mandate in any way.

Abubakar and Adeniran said the panel was set up by the President to attend specially to specific mandated cases but declined stating the mode of operations on the premise that divulging such sensitive information, would put their operations at risk.

In another development, the Senate yesterday urged the Federal Government to suspend the implementation of the proposed excise tariff hike to save local distillers of beverages from possible extinction.

It mandated its relevant committee to initiate a public hearing between the Federal Government and all relevant stakeholders in the beverages industry for full understanding of the challenging issues.

These resolutions were sequel to an adopted motion titled “Urgent need to review the proposed Excise Tariff Increment in order to save Local Distillers of Beverages from looming extinction” sponsored by Benjamin Uwajimogu, representing Imo North Senatorial District.

Uwajimogu said that if the proposed hike was not reviewed, one of the consequences would be the potential loss of, at least, 250,000 jobs as manufacturers within this sub-sector would be left with no option than to massively lay off workers, thereby worsening the already unemployment rate in the country.


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