House Probes NGO's Over HIV/AIDS Funds
… Bill To Increase Retirement Age For Varsity Staff Passes Second Reading
ABUJA, December 15, (THEWILL) - Worried by the proliferation of non-governmental organisations (NGO's) involved in the fight against the dreaded HIV/AIDS in the country, the House of Representatives today mandated its joint committee on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria control and donor agencies to investigate their sources of funding.
The committee, which is expected to turn in its report within four months, is to also to ascertain the genuineness or otherwise of all the NGOs engaged in HIV/AIDS advocacy in the country.
This decision was the outcome of a motion sponsored by the chairman, House committee on HIV/AIDS, Hon. Joseph Kigbu (CPC, Nasarawa). The motion received unanimous endorsement by the lawmakers.
While moving the motion, Kigbu noted that since the discovery of the HIV/AIDS virus 30 years ago, a lot of resources had being committed to the fight against it.
Also Thursday, the House passed for second reading a bill for an Act to harmonise the retirement age for Academic staff of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. The senate had earlier passed the bill.
Similarly, a bill for an Act to further amend the Universities Act 1993 to increase the retirement age for Academic staff in the Professorial cadre and non-academic staff passed second reading.
The bill basically seeks to amend the Universities Act No.11 of 1993 by limiting the tenure of principal officers to a single tenure of five years, and increase the retirement age for academic staff in the professorial and non-academic staff from 60 to 70 years respectively.
The bill for an Act to establish a contingencies fund also passed through second reading.
It seeks to establish contingencies fund in line with section 8 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
Section 8 states that ‘’the National Assembly may by law make provisions for the establishment of a contingencies fund for the federation and for authorising the President, if he is satisfied that there has arisen an urgent and unforeseen need for expenditure for which no other provision exists, to make advances from the fund to meet the need.”
While leading the debate on the bill, deputy leader of the House, Hon. Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta), the Majority of the House said that when passed into law, it would enhance transparency adding that it was the responsibility of the National Assembly to make the law.
In his contribution, Hon. Albert Sam-Tsokwa (PDP-Taraba) said that the bill was overdue because the framers of the Nigerian constitution knew that the unexpected would happen someday.
“We need the fund for emergency purposes, the President can access the fund before coming to the National Assembly for appropriation,” he said.
The bill was referred to the committee on finance.