From Fred Itua, Abuja
ATTEMPTS by the Senate to begin formal debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), yesterday, failed following strong opposition from senators mostly from the Southern part of the country.
The lawmakers kicked against the Second Reading of the PIB on grounds that the usual procedure where copies of a bill for debate in the chamber were always circulated to members ahead of time, was not followed.
Speaking through the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, the senators insisted that copies of the bill be circulated to all members to study ahead of the formal debate so that they make useful contributions.
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who presided at plenary, agreed that the debate be stood down, even though he said Senator Omotayo Alasoadura from Ondo State who presented the bill, be allowed to read it. Earlier, Akpabio said: “Without belabouring the issue, I come under Order 43. I believe we are discussing the economy of Nigeria. Since 1960, the mainstay of the economy of this country has been crude oil and, therefore, the PIB is such an important bill that will affect people suffering in this country.
“And, that will affect even the budget of the Federal Government that we are doing today. It is not the kind of bill that we can stay here and gloss over and then allow somebody to lead a debate without senators having the bill in their hands…”
Insecurity: Kaduna govt donates 51 patrol motorcycles to police, army, others
IN efforts to rid Kaduna of crime, Governor, Nasir el-Rufai yesterday commissioned and released 51 patrol motorcycles to the Police, the Army and other security agencies in the state.
el-Rufai said at the handover ceremony that 35 of the motorcycles should go to the Police, two to the Army, two to the Air force, five to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, two to Federal Road Safety Corps, and the remaining five to Operation Yaki headquarters.
He expressed gratitude to all security agencies in the state for keeping the state safe from criminals, and urged them to do more in order to completely rid the state of crime.
“We are here to handover the patrol motorcycles that we promised Operation Yaki and other security agencies.
“We have taken time to procure the motorcycles because of our financial constraints, but, I am happy that we are here to handover, it is a promise kept,” the governor said.
Despite what he described as financial constraints of the state government, el-Rufai assured that his administration would continue to support security agencies to restore law and order.
He commended all security agencies in the state for the good work they have been doing
ASUU demands immediate restoration of earned allowances, others from FG
From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
ACADEMIC Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nsukka Zone, has urged the Federal Government to immediately restore full personnel cost including arrears to all public universities as well as unconditionally reverse the sack directives to staff of universities’ staff schools in the country.
The union also demanded immediate implementation and payment of arrears of earned academic allowances as captured in the 2009 ASUU/FG agreement failing, which the union should not be held responsible for consequences that may arise thereafter.
Acting Zonal Coordinator of the union, Prof. Suleiman Muhammed, who made the call during a press briefing at the weekend, noted that the shortfall in personnel cost to federal universities, non-payment of salaries in the state universities and flagrant breaches of the 2009 ASUU/FG agreement was becoming worrisome.
“It has become necessary for ASUU-Nsukka Zone to call the attention of the general public to the consistent unilateral and discriminatory reduction of personnel cost allocations to federal universities and non-payment of salaries to state universities as at when due across the nation by federal and state governments resulting in incomplete payment of salaries and non remittance of statutory deduction…”