The House of Representatives will investigate the refusal by international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the Niger Delta to establish a development fund for the region as stipulated in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act 2000 (as amended).
This followed a motion by Donald Ojogo, accusing the IOCs of owing the NDDC about $4 billion.
According to Ojogo, the indebtedness caused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to begin the debt recovery process. However, the EFCC has also continued to hold on to recovered money without remitting same to the NDDC, he noted.
The House also rejected a motion asking the Federal Government to take steps to stabilise the Naira. The lawmakers insisted that the new government be given enough time to settle down.
As of July 17, the Naira traded for N815 to $1.
Beni Lar, who sponsored the motion, recalled the Central Bank’s decision to unify the foreign exchange market.
Lar lamented that the multiple exchange rates have left students abroad in dire circumstances due to insufficient funds, following the devaluation of the Naira. She said if not reversed, $1 could be exchanged for N1,000 by December, ‘and this may trigger inflationary spiral that may throw Nigeria into economic recession and depression’.
Minority Leader, Kingsley China, who supported the motion, said it reflects the reality. He urged the government to act fast.
But Lawal Ali said ‘the current economic indices indicate that the President Bola Tinubu administration is on the right track, and has taken some policy decisions that are moving the country forward’.
The House also resolved to investigate the tanker explosion at Ore town, Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, which claimed over 30 lives.
It asked the Police and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to clear all trucks parked on the highway to forestall a recurrence.
It also directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, to immediately send relief materials to victims and settle the medical bills of those hospitalised.
The House will also probe the alleged mismanagement of proceeds of peace-keeping operations in Nigeria from 2010 to 2022.
Zakaria Nyampa, in a motion, said proceeds from peacekeeping operations have never featured as a source of revenue in the budget, nor captured in the Medium Term Expenditures Framework (MTEF) presented to the National Assembly by the previous governments. Hence, the need to block revenue leakages to this effect, he noted.
The lawmaker also said the mismanagement has reached a point where parties involved need to account for the spending because ‘if this continues, nation-building will be meaningless’.
The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Environment, Ecological Fund Office and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, to address the erosion and flooding in Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency due to the collapsed River Benue shoreline.
It urged NEMA to open a sub-station in Apa/Agatu to provide succour to victims pending resolution of the problem. It mandated its Committees on Environment, Ecology, and Special Duties (when constituted), to engage the Ministry of Environment, Ecological Fund Office, to come up with a solution.
To improve security, especially stop the incessant sea piracy and kidnapping, the House has urged the Nigerian Navy (NN) to establish a permanent base at the Oloibiri Court Beach in Bayelsa State.
It admonished security agencies in the area to ensure synergy to ensure effective and efficient communication.
This followed a motion by Obordor Mitema.
The Oloibiri Court Beach links the Ogbia, Nembe and Brass areas of Bayelsa State. On June 26, the Divisional Police Station in Ogbia was attacked. Six policemen died and ammunition was stolen.
The lawmaker worried that if the situation was not tackled, many lives would remain in danger.
The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Nigerian Oil Spill Detection Response Agency (NOSDRA), and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), to clean up communities in Rivers State affected by oil spills.
The communities are Ogale, Eteo, Aleto, Akpajo, Agbonchia, Okpaku and Alesa, in Eleme Local Government Area.
The House mandated its Committee on Host Communities (when constituted) to investigate the causes of the recurring spillage and proffer lasting solutions. The committee is to report back in four weeks for further legislative action.