Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the 2010 Electoral Act with a proposal of N5 billion as maximum campaign expenditure to be incurred by a presidential candidate.
The House is also proposing N1 billion, N100 million and N70 million as maximum campaign expenditure for governorship, senatorial and House of Representatives candidates respectively.
Expenses for candidates for Houses of Assembly, chairmanship and councillorship candidates in area councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is pegged at N30 million and N5 million respectively.
This is coming as the House passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the repeal the Electoral Act number 6 of 2010 and reenact the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act of 2020.
The proposed legislation, which has 157 clauses is geared at addressing issues relating to the use of card readers and other technological devices in election and political party primaries.
The bill is also seeking to address the timeline for the submission of list of candidates criteria for substitution of candidates and address omission of names of candidates or logos of political parties among others.
INEC to use card reader
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on INEC and Political Parties Matters and sponsor of the bill, told newsmen the 2020 Electoral Bill would empower INEC to use card reader and other technologies to conduct elections.
Card reader would be used for accreditation while other appropriate technologies would be used to transmit results.
The lawmaker said it was expedient to amend the electoral law in other to deepen the nation’s democracy, adding that the bill would also help to regulate the federal, state and local government polls.
She said the amendment has become necessary because of the flaws observed in the nation’s elections, noting that there were some lacuna that needed to be amended.
Dakku said the Senate, House of Representatives, the judiciary and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) were on the same page to forestall a repeat of what happened during the eighth National Assembly when President Muhammadu Buhari refused to assent to the electoral bill.
The lawmaker added that the House would also come up with a bill for establishment of Electoral Offences Commission to tackle the issue of electoral malpractices, diaspora voting and independent candidacy will be addressed in the review of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
PIB for second reading
The House of Representatives has passed for second reading the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with a pledge to surmount all obstacles that had militated against the proposed legislation in the past.
The proposed legislation entitled: ‘A Bill for an act to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host community and for related matters” was transmitted to the House by President Muhammadu Buhari in September 2020.
The bill seeking the unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) proposes the establishment of Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission to be responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of upstream petroleum operations.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who referred the bill to the House Committee on Petroleum Upstream, assured that the PIB will be passed by the ninth Assembly as all the various challenges that truncated the passage of the bill in the previous assemblies had been taken care off.