Friday, 11 December 2015

Reps pass 130 bills for first Reading in one day

A total of 130 bills passed first reading at the House of Representatives on Thursday, a development the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, described as “unprecedented.”

The Clerk, Mr. Mohammed Sani-Omolori, almost got tired reading out the titles of the bill to cross first reading.

Findings by The PUNCH showed that the House took the step amid rising criticisms that most lawmakers were lazy and had no bills to their names.

“There is a shift from the era of slumbering in the past.

“Members realise that the parliament has come under increasing scrutiny of Nigerians; so, they have to work harder,” a senior official told The PUNCH soon after the bills passed first reading.

The official added that the 8th House also passed more resolutions, “sometimes up to 15 at a sitting,” though most of the resolutions had no effect.

Meanwhile, the House has called on the Federal Government to boost the production of cocoa for export, by providing incentives to cocoa farmers in the country.

Mr. Mayowa Akinfolarin, while moving a motion on the issue, said supporting cocoa farming was in line with the government’s plan to diversify the economy from dependence on crude oil.

“The Federal Government’s efforts to diversify the economy through exportation of non-oil products may be realised through production and processing of cocoa and other agricultural products.

“In terms of earnings of foreign exchange, no other single agricultural commodity has surpassed cocoa. And when it comes to employment, the cocoa sub-sector still offers quite a sizeable number of employment opportunities, both directly and indirectly,” Akinfolarin stated.