Worried by the severe hardship Nigerians would once again go through especially during the Christmas and New Year festive period, coupled with the threat of looming petroleum product scarcity that may hinder the forthcoming general elections in the country, the Senate has waded into the matter through legislative intervention to avert the looming crisis.
Coming under point of order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, Sen. Kabiru Marafa drew the attention of the Chamber to another looming threat of petroleum products crisis by the Depot and Petroleum Marketing Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) which issued a week ultimatum to the Federal Government of Nigeria to settle all its outstanding petroleum subsidy arrears amounting to N429 billion or it will withdraw the supply of the product nationwide.
Sen. Marafa added that the said amount accrued from the difference of N108 deficit in foreign exchange approved at N197 to $1 for importing the product but before the importation of the product, exchange rate has soared to N305 to $1. However, the Federal Government had hitherto approved to pay the difference but the money has not been released to the Marketers. The Motion scaled through with four resolutions below:
a) Urge DAPMAN to rescind its decision of issuing a seven days ultimatum to the Federal Government of Nigeria to allow for dialogue.
b) Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to direct all concerned to immediately pay all arrears being owed the Association.
c) Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to engage the Oil Marketers with a view to address all issues regarding the fuel subsidy arrears payments.
d) Both the Government and DAPMAN should create a window that would allow for the part payment of the arrears in cash while the balance be paid through promissory note.
Meanwhile, the Red Chamber has received two nominations from President Muhammadu Buhari for screening and confirmation.
1) Request of Mr. President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the screening and confirmation of the nomination of the Chairman and Members of the Board of National Bureau of Statistics in accordance with Section 8(2)(a & j) of the Statistic Act, 2010, sponsored by the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan. The Nominees include: Dr. Kabiru Nakaura – Chairman (North West), Mr. Akinola I. Bashir – Member (South West), Prof. Moses I. Momoh – Member (South South), Wallijoh Danladi Ahijoh Member (North Central), Adam Modu – Member (North East) and Nwafor Paul Chukwudi – Member (South East). The request has been referred to the Senate Committee on National Planning to report back in four weeks.
2) Request of Mr. President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the screening and confirmation of the nomination of Hon. Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji JCA for appointment as Hon. Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in accordance with Section 231(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), sponsored by the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North). The request has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to report back in two weeks.
Similarly, two Committee reports have laid before the Senate for further legislative action. They include:
a) Report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters on “Condition of Service for National Assembly Staff”, sponsored by Sen. Emmanuel Paulker (Bayelsa Central).
b) Report of Ad-hoc Committee on the Investigation of allegation levelled against the Inspector General of Police (IGP), sponsored by Sen. Francis Alimikhena (Edo North).