From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja The decision to retain health maintenance organisations (HMOs) as part of the country’s health insurance programme caused a major disagreement between the House of Representatives Committee on Health Services and the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Yusuf Usman. Usman, at the just concluded two-day investigative hearing…
The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other relevant agencies to urgently regularise the supply of kerosene nationwide in order to normalise its pump price.
The House also mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to liaise with relevant agencies to inquire about the high cost of the product to unravel the root cause of kerosene explosions in the country.
This followed the adoption of a motion on Wednesday titled, “Need to Arrest the Resurgence of Kerosene Explosion with Attendant Fatalities’’, sponsored by Rep. Agbo Dennis (Enugu-PDP).
Leading the debate, Dennis condemned the recent kerosene explosion in Ngenevu Area of Coal Camp in Enugu metropolis on January 30.
He said the incident occurred after a lantern exploded and burnt Mr. Hillary Ngwoke, killing his pregnant wife and son.
According to him, Nigerians are being confronted with double tragedy of high cost of kerosene, which sells at N260 per litre and danger from kerosene adulteration.
He argued that kerosene was sold and dispensed by unregistered vendors out of surface tanks at unregulated locations that are highly prone to sharp practices.
“There is always a nexus between the high cost of kerosene, its adulteration with cheaper fuel and the attendant fatalities from explosions,’’ Dennis said.
Contributing to the debate, Rep. Toby Okechukwu said the machinery for quality control in dispensing of petroleum products should be put in place.
Okechukwu said that kerosene should be dispensed by authorised marketers to check the rate of kerosene explosions.
Rep. Emmanuel Orker-Jev called on the regulators to improve on the policing strategies to curb the menace. “Whatever the differential is, I believe the regulators ought to do enough policing to discourage those who adulterate the product,’’ he said.
Ruling on the matter, Speaker of the House, Rep. Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation and report back to the House in four weeks.
Reps want Investment Securities Tribunal reconstituted
From Kemi Yesufu and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the reconstitution of the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST).
This is as the House yesterday mandated its Committee on Capital Market and Institutions to meet with the Federal Ministry of Finance and other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to come up with short-term mechanisms through which the IST will carry out its functions before the reconstitution of its membership.
The resolution of the House was subsequent to the adoption of a motion entitled: “Need for Immediate Reconstitution of Investment and Securities Tribunal”, sponsored by Tajudeen Yusuf.
Yusuf in his lead debate emphasised the importance of the tribunal, saying it had from inception in 2007 adjudicated on matters with a cumulative value of about N400 billion.
The lawmaker explained that the IST was affected by the dissolution of Boards of MDA by the Federal Government on July 16, 2015 through a circular from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), adding that the tribunal has not been able to sit on the many issues in the capital market. The lawmaker further explained that the absence of a tribunal for the last 18 months has resulted in about 51 pending cases.
“Due to this unfortunate situation, while many litigants are getting restive and frustrated as they cannot find any lawful avenue to ventilate their grievances, some others are mooting the idea of self-help, which is inimical to the health of the capital market and the economy.
“The Federal Government does not realise that for the capital market to play its role as an alternative source for long term capital amidst dwindling oil revenue and economic recession, there is urgent need to strengthen the IST,” he said.
The motion scaled through when Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, put it up for voice vote.