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Reps probe subsidy payment, ‘missing’ $44m of NIA, DG’s nationality

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday ordered an investigation into the reintroduction of payment of billions of naira as fuel subsidy.

In his opening address to the House which reconvened yesterday after its Christmas break, Dogara charged the relevant committees to unravel the issues surrounding the surreptitious reintroduction of fuel subsidy.

“We expected that with the legislative cooperation given to the executive to effect an increase in the fuel price from N87 per litre to N145, and based on their assurances, fuel scarcity would be a thing of the past. We were also assured that fuel subsidy had come to an end.

“From recent developments on this subject, except the executive adduces compelling reasons why the reverse is the case, we will be justified in feeling betrayed.

“As a parliament, we must unravel the causes of this scarcity and the alleged re-introduction of fuel subsidy. I charge our relevant committees to get to the root of these issues through the instrumentality of oversight to enable the House take an informed position on this totally undeserving precarious situation that our already overburdened citizens are subjected to. This has to be done with minimal delay,” he said.

Dogara charged his colleagues to finish all work on the 2018 budget proposal and ensure that their legislative duties do not suffer as political activities pick up.

“We must remember that we were elected to represent the people for a four year term. The work is not finished. This is the time to conclude many outstanding legislative measures pending before us.

“The economy must remain the central focus of our legislative activities in 2018, in order to consolidate Nigeria’s exit from economic recession. To this end, we must prioritise high economic impact bills and pass them before the onset of political activities. The Committee on Rules and Business is hereby charged to schedule the consideration of these bills at the earliest possible time,” he said.

According to him, the amendment of the Electoral Act must be concluded in the first quarter.

On the killings in Rivers, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Zamfara, Adamawa, Edo and other states, Dogara said there would be no sanctuaries anywhere in the country for killers and other hardened criminals who feed on the blood of other people.

“We have a responsibility to all Nigerians regardless of creed or ethnicity in line with the constitutionally stated primary purpose of the government we serve in, which is securing the welfare, including the lives and property of our people.

“We are all painfully aware of the wave of murders of innocent Nigerians that has been sweeping through the nation. From the senseless killings in Rivers State to the killing rampages in Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Zamfara, Adamawa, Edo and other states; our dear country is now being painted red with the blood of the innocents on account of unremitting bedlam callously promoted by cold hearted merchants of death.”

The Speaker said “those who pride themselves in violence must be reminded of the self defeating nature of violence: the fact that violence only begets violence and that true victory has never been won by violence.”

The House is also set to probe the alleged disappearance of $44 million belonging to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

Adopting a motion sponsored by Diri Duoye (PDP; Bayelsa) during plenary, the House mandated its Committee on National Security and Intelligence to ascertain whether the newly appointed Director General of the outfit, Mr. Rufai Abubakar, is actually qualified to administer such a sensitive outfit.

The committee was mandated to further look into the issue of whether Abubakar, who until his appointment, was a bilingual interpreter to President Muhammadu Buhari is a Chadian based on the story being peddled in a section of the media and among Nigerians.


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