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Gbajabiamila sanctions 20 bills for senate’s concurrence

By Msugh Ityokura and John Akubo, Abuja
09 November 2021   |   4:03 am
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday, signed 20 bills passed by the lower chamber for onward transmission to the Senate for concurrence.

Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. Photo/FACEBOOK/SPEAKERGBAJA

• Panel decries spillover of naval projects
• Suspends budget defense over alleged misappropriation

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday, signed 20 bills passed by the lower chamber for onward transmission to the Senate for concurrence.

Among the bills are the Armed Forces of Nigeria Trust Fund Bill 2021, which seeks to establish the Armed Forces of Nigeria Trust Fund, to provide special financial support for the nation’s military.

Also passed was the National Agricultural Development Fund Bill 2021, which seeks to establish the National Agricultural Development Fund, to provide funding for agricultural development. This was also passed on October 13, 2021.

Other bills signed by Gbajabiamila were: National Assembly Library Trust Fund Bill 2021; Chartered Institute of Forensic and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria Bill 2021; National Biotechnology Development Agency Bill 2021; South West Development Commission Bill 2021; North Central Development Commission Bill 2021; North West Development Commission Bill 2021, and the South East Development Commission Bill 2021.

Also on the list were the Federal College of Education (Technical) Ago, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State Bill 2021; Federal College of Agriculture, Malumfashi, Bill 2021; Federal College of Education (Technical), Keana, Nasarawa State Bill 2021; Federal University of Agriculture and Entrepreneurship Saki, Oyo State, Bill 2021; Federal University of Education Pankshin, Plateau State, Bill 2021; Federal Polytechnics Act (Amendment) Bill 2021; and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Act (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The House also decried spillover of projects by some contractors handling Nigerian Navy projects.

Chairman, House Committee on Navy, Yusuf Adamu Gagdi, who spoke during the Navy’s budget defence in Abuja, lamented deliberate ploy by contractors to waste taxpayers’ money.

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, had appeared before the committee to defend the service’s 2022 budget where he called for more equipment for the Navy.

“Henceforth, the National Assembly will not hesitate to call to order any government agency, and in this case, the Nigerian Navy, where it fails to check any erring contractors,” Gagdi said.

The initial proposal was N220.236 billion, but the Ministry of Finance, according to Gambo, reduced it to N25.8 billion, which is equivalent to only 11 per cent of what the Navy needs.

MEANWHILE, the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment has suspended the budget defense and presentation of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment over what it described as vague documentation and misappropriation of N177 million from its 2021 Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

In his submission, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf said the documents presented by the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, and her team suggested funds retained by the Department of Weights and Measures (a key revenue-generating division of the ministry) were misappropriated because they were not captured in figures.