Sitting of the Federal House of Representatives on Wednesday, 21 October saw two
important and controversial Bills pass second reading. The first was a Bill which sought
to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act and make provision for
opportunities of completion and participation in Nigeria and indeed the world market. The
sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, argued that foreign investors took
advantage of enabling laws in Nigeria to institute services in the industry that are
adversely affecting consumers in the country. She highlighted the benefits of enacting a
legislation that encourages local investors to have the right of way in the
Hon. Ahmed appealed to her colleagues to use the opportunity to ameliorate the
sufferings of the people and to follow the steps of countries like Kenya and India that
have since removed all sorts of imperialist practices and made the communication sector
more expanded and efficient. She urged the House to allow her Bill, which she described as
an “anti-monopoly Bill”, pass for second reading. Some of the members who spoke in support
of the Bill include Honourables Leo Ogor, Tobi Okechuckwu, Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Samson
Osage. Consequently, the Bill was read the second time and referred to the Committee on
Information and National Orientation for further legislative input.
Bill that also scaled second reading was a Bill which sought to improve on the welfare of
traffic wardens by establishing the ‘Traffic Wardens Service’ that gives more opportunity
for persons in this profession to attain the peak of their career. The Bill was sponsored
by Hon. Afam Victor Ogene who was concerned that though the work of the traffic wardens in
Nigeria is very tedious and risky, yet it leaves them with no prospect. He argued that if
a traffic warden is indeed equal to a police officer, why are they not allowed to enjoy
all the entitlements that the police enjoy?
Hon. Ogene was worried that the 1975
decree that created the Traffic Wardens has become obsolete and no longer serve in the
best interest of the over 3500 personnel who are now in the profession. He said the thrust
of his Bill is for the House to repeal the Traffic Wardens Act, 1975 and provide for the
establishment of the Traffic Wardens Service and for other matters connected therewith.
Meanwhile, the report of the House Committees on Finance and Loans and Aid has been
laid before the House for consideration. The laying of the report was deferred twice by
the Chairmen of the Committees. It was laid on the floor of the House by a member of the
Committee following the absence of the two Chairmen.