The Senate on Thursday, April 6, 2017 deliberated upon and passed two motions. The first motion came under point of order 43 moved by Sen. Dino Melaye (Kogi East) on the proposed use of vehicle speed limit device by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and second Motion was on the Monumental Challenges facing the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) due to paucity of funds, sponsored by Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North).
Speaking on the speed limit device, Sen. Melaye noted that the FRSC proposal is coming at a time most Nigerians are struggling to earn three square meals a day in view of the economic recession the country is faced with currently. He added that it is anti-masses, ill-timed and unpopular; calling the FRSC to have a rethink over the proposal. Ruling on the Motion, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the session referred it to the Senate Committee on Federal Character.
While speaking on the challenges facing the Presidential Amnesty Programme due to lack of funds, Sen. Nwaoboshi noted with serious concern, the monumental challenges facing the programme as a result of delayed and staggered release of funds from the 2016 Appropriation Act by the Federal Ministry Finance. He stated this is already threatening the well-conceived programme as the Amnesty Office is extremely finding it very difficult to meet its obligation to its workers and beneficiaries of the programme.
Sen. Nwaoboshi asserted that the Amnesty programme was conceived by the Federal Government of Nigeria to stem the tide of disaffection, agitation and militancy in the Niger Delta Area, which resulted in the loss of lives, properties and oil revenue. He stressed that the result of the programme was quite encouraging until recently when the funds appropriated for the programme have been depreciating steadily, leading to adverse impact on the operation of the programme as tension is already building up in the Niger Delta region. The Motion scaled through with three resolutions below:
i) Direct the Hon. Minister of Finance to release the balance sum of N15 billion in the 2016 Appropriation Act for the funding of the Amnesty Programme.
ii) Mandate the Committee on Niger Delta to investigate the circumstances leading to the funding constraints besetting the Amnesty Programme with a view to avoid re-occurrence and report back in two weeks.
iii) Urge the Niger Delta Committee to investigate other issues concerning the matter.
Meanwhile, the Red Chamber has adopted the Conference Committee Report on the “Nigerian Airforce Institute of Technology Bill, 2017 (S.B. 180)”, sponsored by Sen. Duro Faseyi. The adoption was sequel to the harmonization of the legislation by both Chamber’s Conference Committees.