This week’s edition of NaijaOnPoint.com, TNG’s National Assembly Snippets will feature the following stories;
*Untold story of how lawmakers from a section of the country sealed PIB, Electoral Act
*Only thee Senators out of 15 from South East voted for e-voting
*Bill seeking an increase in 13 percent derivation to 50 percent in NASS for review
Untold story of how lawmakers from a section of the country sealed PIB, Electoral Act
…with the backing of their governors
…with 240 lawmakers against 120 from southern Nigeria no bill can fly except north supports it
…as some southern Reps vow to adopt ‘siddon look’ approach
…. constitution review too will go same way
The Electoral Act Amendment 2021 and the oldest Bill in the parliament, Petroleum Industry Bill, otherwise known as PIB have been finally passed but the echoes and manners of its passage is still reverberating across Nigeria.
The grand plot was hatched two weeks ago in the outskirts of Abuja close to the famous Zuma Rock along Abuja-Kaduna road.
A Nigerian owned multi-national company organised a retreat for lawmakers from a section of the country and key governors were all in attendance.
The Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum, a former Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe was there to give a direction.
He didn’t mince words, they will give a direction when a Bill is submitted on restructuring.
Hear him: “a lot has been said about the Petroleum Industry bill, but I will not dwell on that. But there is something that will come before you very soon. The last time Mr. President met with a delegation from the South, he made a statement.
“He said that if a bill is presented before the National Assembly on the question of restructuring and the Assembly passes it, he will have no objection than to sign it. It then means that the matter may not be too far.
PIB was extensively discussed at the retreat and other vital national issues as a direction would be delivered on what to do.
The lawmakers already had a direction on what to do and how to go about it provided it suits a particular section of the country.
The same week, Southern lawmakers met at Transcorp and the coordination to say the least was shanty.
A few days to the passage of both Bills the president had a dinner party with all parliamentarian. It’s not unusual.
A source privy to this development told TNG that” honestly majority of us southern lawmakers knew nothing about our agenda as there was no strategy as to how to achieve our goals.
“In the House all the southern Reps put together are just 120 while the north has 240 so tell me how anything can fly without the support of the north.
“By the time we start the consideration of Constitution review most of us from the south will adopt the ‘siddon look” approach as nothing can fly without the required number.
“They have the number to swing anything in there favour with the backing of their governors and their leaders.
“They met outside Abuja and shot the first arrow without missing but the most painful part of it is that our speaker knows what to do but his hands are tied behind.
“He is a true democrat but unfortunately he does not have the number to give him teeth to bite so this trend will continue.
Another lawmaker from the North Central geo-political zone apparently feeling very disappointed said” did you know that INEC was not even invited because the commission had said times without number that they can perfect e-voting.
“The excuse given by the speaker that they don’t want any bias did not go down well with us and even the NCC director was using 2018 data when as at 2020 more than 300 million Nigerians have active mobile phones and the man said nothing reasonable.
Only three Senators out of 15 from South East voted for e-voting
As the controversial Electoral Act Amendment passage continues to generate tension across Nigeria, it has been revealed that only three Senators from South East out of 15 voted in support of the Bill for e-voting.
A top ranking member apparently disappointed told TNG that”we are talking about betrayal by our South West colleagues what about our southern eastern senators that could not do the right thing.
“They opened their eyes and voted for a suicide mission in 2023 that will swallow them all.
“It was only Senators Eyinnaya Abaribe, Sam Egwu and Francis Onyebuchi that did the right thing.
Bill seeking an increase in 13 percent derivation to 50 percent in NASS for review
A Bill seeking an increase in 13 percent derivation to 50 percent is among bills scheduled in the constitutional review of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
Read details below:
The Bill with the long title of ‘A BiLL :FOR AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 162(2) AND (4) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999, CAP C23, LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA, 2004.Sponsored by REP. O. K. CHINDA.ENACTED by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as follows:1.
1. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, Cap C23, 2. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 hereinafter referred to as “the3. Principal Act” is hereby amended as set out in this section. 4. 2. Section 162 (2) of the Principal Act is amended by replacing the 5. word “thirteen” in the proviso thereto with the word “fifty” immediately 6. after the words “less than” and deleting the word “natural” immediately 7. before the word “resources” and adding the word “whatsoever” 8. immediately after the word “resources”, that is to say: 9. S.162(2): “The President, upon receipt of advice from the Revenue 10. Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, shall table before the11. National Assembly proposals for revenue allocation from the 12. Federation Account, and in determining the formula, the National 13. Assembly shall take into account, the allocation principles, especially 14. those of population, equality of States; internal revenue generation, 15. land mass, terrain as well as population density:16. Provided that the principle of derivation shall be constantly reflected in 17. any approved formula as being not less than “fifty” percent of the 18. revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from any19. resources “whatsoever”. 20. 3. Section 162 (4) of the Principal Act is also amended by inserting or 21. adding a new subsection 4 to be numbered as (4)(a) immediately after 22. the subsisting Section 162 (4) of the Principal Act, that is to say:23. S.162(4)(a) “For purposes of derivation provisions in this Section, 24. the continental shelf of a State shall be deemed to be part of 25. that State”. EXPLANATORY NOTEThis Bill essentially seeks to increase the revenue allocation accruable to States from any mineral resources from thirteen to 50 percent. And in order to further give effect to this, the continental shelf of a State shall be reckoned as and deemed to be part of that State.