Reps begin pensions probe, oppose return of checkpoints

TambuwalTHE House of Representatives Committee on Pensions has summoned stakeholders in the sector to appear before it today, as it begins an open hearing on the management of pension funds.

Key players in the sector are expected to appear before the committee to give account of their activities and also provide solution to the problem of pension in the country.

It also invited all pension policy formulators and administrators including PENCOM as the apex regulators.

The hearing would give Nigerians the opportunity to say what they know about the pension service and proffer solution to the problem.

The chairman of the committee is Ibrahim Kamba whose deputy, Okwu Samson, said: “We do not have anything against Senate but what the committee is saying is that the team should be allowed to clean up, in any case the committee would commence the hearing after which the decision of the committee would be made public”.

And spirited efforts by some lawmakers to cause a reversal of the decision of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar to remove roadblocks nationwide were yesterday rejected, as the Aminu Waziri Tambuwal-led House of Representatives threw out a motion on the matter brought by Friday Itula.

Itula had in his prayer on the motion in the Chamber yesterday appealed to the parliament to urge the Acting IGP to reconsider the decision to dismantle all checkpoints across the country in the face of the increasing cases of armed robbery on the country’s highways as an interim measure.

The lawmaker’s other prayer for the Chamber to also mandate the Committee on Police Affairs to interface with the police authorities to initiate a more sustainable security strategy to check crime on the country’s highways and report to the House within four weeks was unanimously rejected by the parliament in a voice vote.

Opponents of the motion including Ayo Omidiran and Udoh Ibeji had objected the submissions on the need to return the roadblocks, arguing that the Police at the various posts did not discharge their duties creditably even when the roadblocks existed.

Specifically, Omidiran in her several rhetorical questions which were greeted with thunderous ovations from her colleagues asked “how many armed robbers and terrorists were the police operatives able to arrest at the various checkpoints across the country when roadblocks were in place?

The duo in their submission cautioned against distracting the Acting IGP in his security measures even as they called for improved police patrol on the country’s highways as well as training of the personnel among others rather than the call for a return of the checkpoints which they described as anachronistic and not in conformity with contemporary policing.

Earlier, while urging the IGP to reconsider the decision, other lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion including Orker Jev, Babatunde Adewale, Mustapha Khabeeb, Fort Dike, Austin Ogbaburum, Yakub Abiodun Balogun, Patrick Ikhariale and Bimbo Daramola separately submitted that the removal of the roadblocks by the IGP has not added value to the security situation on the highways.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the victims of the landslide in Nanka and Oko in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Adopting the resolutions of the motion brought by Ben Nwankwo, the Chamber mandated the House Committees on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Environment to visit the affected areas to conduct on the spot assessment on the extent of damage, as well as the immediate and remote causes of the landslide and report back to the House within four weeks.

Also, a motion on the non-completion of the dredging of River Niger introduced by Ibrahim Ebbo was referred to the House Committee on Marine Transport for further legislative input.


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