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House of Reps to Presidency: Reinstate Subsidy, Restore Nigeria to pre-New Year Normalcy

By on January 9, 2012

The House of Representatives held an emergency plenary session yesterday (Sunday), cutting short its recess in order to weigh in on the fuel subsidy removal brouhaha causing civil unrest in the country.

In a pro-people move, the members of the House adopted a motion calling for the reinstatement of the pre-subsidy removal pump price of N 65. Some members of the House also berated the government for taking the decision at a time many Nigerians were mourning the casualties of terrorist attacks in the country.

Speaking on the development, the leaders of the Labour Unions, Owei Lakemfa (NLC) and John Kolawale (TUC) stated, “This motion if adopted by the Executive will immediately douse the explosive tension in the country and restore it to its pre-January 1, 2012 normalcy. We commend the House and its exemplary leadership for rising to the demands of the times, and in a bipartisan manner, seeking to steer the country away from a path that may have disastrous consequences. The House of Representatives displayed exemplary leadership in not just cutting short its break, but also meeting on a Sunday. If other arms of governance work with the exemplary speed, seriousness, sensitivity and patriotic zeal as the House of Representatives did today; our country would be a far better place to live.”

The Labour leaders have also called on the Senate to show similar leadership.

The spokesman for the Presidency, Reuben Abati toed a different line as expected calling the House of Representatives decision as one lacking in “substance”.

The motion passed by the House was sponsored by Yusuf Tajudeen and sixty other members. During the session the Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, stated that laws affecting all Nigerians should be by “due process”, obviously a knock to the abrupt and singular decision by the Executive arm.

A member of the House representing Sabon Gari constituency of Kaduna State faulted the ratification of the decision by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) stating that the regulatory agency was created by Parliament and could not now presume to usurp the constitutional duties of Parliament.

Members of the House in support of the fuel subsidy removal include Henry Dickson, PDP gubernatorial contestant for Bayelsa State. Dickson stated that government often had to take hard decisions an asked the President to hold steadfast his position on the removal of subsidy. The member from Bayelsa also commended the late former President, Ahmed Yar’adua, describing subsidy removal as his initiative.

The House of Representatives have set up two committees to dialogue with the Executive and Labour with a view to restoring the country to pre-January 1st normalcy. The House has also summoned Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Federal Government and Emeka Wogu, Minister of Labour and Productivity to appear before the committees tomorrow .