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Speakership: Seasons of endorsements, gale of denials

By Patrick Andrew

Since Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was elected governor of Sokoto State and the coast became clear for a new leadership to emerge in the House of Representatives, there have been avalanche of aspirants to replace him.

At some point, no fewer than eight names were touted to be keenly interested in stepping into his shoes as the number four citizen of Nigeria. However, it was Abdulmuminin Jibrin that formally threw his hat into the ring, daring other aspirants to enlist in the contest if they had the heart to do so. The APC (Kano) lawmaker and Chairman of the House Committee on Finance dared even the party’s zoning arrangement by insisting that he would contest irrespective of the position of the party on the zone to produce the next speaker.

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Warman Ogoriba: Going away with his smile

By Patrick Andrew

You hardly catch Representative Warman Ogoriba without a smile. In fact, smiling seems his second nature and, for that reason, some say his vivacious disposition is not only infectious but makes it easier for colleagues and subordinates alike to work with.

And as he sauntered into Room 141 accompanied not by the usual retinue of colleagues on the House Committee on Niger Delta but the secretary of the committee and few other staff, one could hardly figure out that he was leaving the National Assembly having served out his second tenure. Outwardly, he cuts the picture of a new entrant: eager and raring to go through with legislative processes.

He had summoned the corps not to Room 022 which is reminiscent of an inquest for that is just what that room is meant for. Ministries, Ministers, Corporate executives, captains of industries, members of Civil Liberty Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, heads of parastatals and several others, are often brought face to face with various committees of the House of Representatives either to attest to or buttress claims during public hearing.

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Rice scam: Issues over N36bn unpaid duties

By Patrick Andrew.

For three consecutive days, the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Rice Quota and Duty Payments on Rice Imports Quota and Duty Payments held a public hearing to unravel alleged excess importation of the rice and the refusal of some defaulters to pay required duty and levy for their excess products.

First, Olam Nigeria Limited, which claims to have the largest farm land in Africa, touted a letter purported issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, granting them special waivers.

Though the company admitted its indebtedness to Nigeria to the tune of N3.5bn, it insisted that payment may not be forthcoming because of the said waiver. However, the company’s head of Business Development, Anil Nair, said it was willing and ready to pay whatever charges there may be provided the 50 percent relief extended to it by the government was taken into cognizance by the Customs and Immigration, which he claimed has been troubling to pay up duty and levy.

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Will PDP be vibrant opposition?

By Patrick Andrew.

It’s a new political dawn in Nigeria. The change of baton was made manifest by the activities of the electorate on March 28 when they voted massively for the change that swept across the land dismissing in the process ‘regular’ faces in the corridor of power at Aso Villa.

As the powers that be, the PDP helmsmen at all levels seamlessly assumed with reckless abandon the nomenclature of Lords of the Manor and operated in like manner unmindful of any likelihood of a Doomsday. In fact, some thought its rein or rather straggle hold on the political space would be ‘sine die’ little wonder key elements within the ambit of the administration exhibited with open disdain for the people, as alleged.

But the March 28 decision though hardly comprehensive stung its arrogance and bore manholes in its hardly protective umbrella; the defeat dimmed whatever glow the PDP had hitherto been associated with, at least at the federal level and in some states where the opposition could before now not be qualified to hold the candle for the formerly boisterous ruling party.

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All debtors must pay- Adesina

It seems curious that rice importers owed the federal government so much without your knowledge, Mr Minister?

I raised it myself and I said that there are so many companies in this country that have imported rice that owed the federal government over N36bn. So l was the one that raised the issue and l will continue to say that there no company or person in this country that is above the law. 

Mr President approved the rice policy for us to implement in which we have to allow some companies to bring rice within an approved limit but some companies went ahead to on their own without anybody’s approval to import rice above the quota that they were allocated.

Read more: All debtors must pay- Adesina