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Senate seeks emergency on federal roads, berates FG over insecurity

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Reps move to resolve govt, labour’s minimum wage impasse

The Senate yesterday resolved to convince the Federal Government to immediately declare a state of emergency on federal roads and improve funding for the legislature.This followed a motion by Senator Gershom Bassey on the deplorable state of federal highways that are in need of urgent attention, especially within the current budget cycle.

It also mandated the Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Petroleum Down Stream and National Planning to investigate non-remittance of the five per cent user charge on pump price of petrol and international vehicle transit charge accruing to FERMA and other established state road maintenance agencies.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, noted that every part of the country suffer deplorable state of roads and charged the committees to take the instruction seriously and swing into action by attending to the issues associated with the motion.

While seconding the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North) asked the PPR and PRA to release all the funds provided for FERMA to do its job effectively.

Relatedly, Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Mohammed Ali Ndume, yesterday berated the Federal Government for what he described as its half hazard commitment to the fight against terrorism for setting aside only one per cent of the national budget for that cause.

Ndume, who addressed National Assembly Correspondents in Abuja yesterday, said so far, the international community that are not affected, have donated $547m or over N140b equivalent, while the Federal Government appropriated a paltry N38b for the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
He wondered why a country in a war situation could budget N10.3 trillion and offer less than one per cent to defence, insisting that does not show that the country was serious about overcoming terrorism and other security challenges confronting it.

“Defence is allocated N100b. I was hoping that its 10 per cent only to discover it is one per cent of N10.33 trillion, which is N30b, that means it is not even up to 1 per cent. Right now, internally displaced persons (IDPs) are moving from unsafe zones to where they think area safer zones and that is putting more pressure on government,” he said.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has assured that it would leave no stone unturned to resolve the impasse between labour unions and government over the implementation of the N30, 000 national minimum wage.

Chairman, House committee on Labour, Muhammed Wudil, who spoke during the inaugural session of the committee, argued that the implementation of the minimum wage was in tandem with the wishes of the National Assembly.Wudil said but for an official engagement involving labour leaders and Federal Government officials, the committee would have waded into the matter yesterday, but promised to convene a meeting with labour union leaders soon to achieve the objective.


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