•Members battle heatwave in chamber
Fred Itua, Abuja
Senate has mandated its committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance to investigate the scarcity of lower denomination currency notes.
The decision of the chamber was consequent upon a motion sponsored by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi. Nwaoboshi, who bemoaned the scarcity of N5, N10, N20, N50, N100 and N200 notes.
He said commercial banks no longer dispense lower naira denomination, with the excuse that they hardly receive them from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The nation’s currency is highly essential and critical in national development and if mismanaged, the economy is doomed with adverse effect on the people and the nation.
“Whereas, all developed countries operate with coins, a developing country like Nigeria is not; even when there are glaring disadvantages from the absence of coins for routine transactions in the country,” Nwaoboshi said.
Meanwhile, senators were uncomfortable throughout yesterday’s plenary, over the stifling atmosphere in the chamber.
Some lawmakers were seen using copies of their Order Paper to create artificial air, intermittently, before they stepped out of the chamber.
Concerned, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at plenary, pleaded with his colleagues to show understanding.
He said efforts were in top gear to quickly fix the air conditioning system. Some lawmakers who could not stand the heatwave and left the chamber, did not return before the conclusion of the day’s legislative business.
Adjourning rooms and offices also had their fair share of the heatwave.
The Senate Press Centre was particularly hot as the air conditioning system did not work well there as well.
The failure of the air conditioning system may not be unconnected with ongoing rehabilitation work going on at the Senate Wing of the National Assembly Complex.