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NASS Holds Public Hearing On Electoral Act Monday, Okays N18K Wage Law

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ABUJA, Nov 26, (THEWILL) - The National Assembly is to hold a public hearing on the controversial 2010 Electoral Act amendment bill next Monday even as it said the amendment is necessary to instill internal democracy in parties.

Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Honourable Eseme Eyiboh who stated this today at a press briefing also said the parliament would accord priority attention to the bill backing the N18, 000 minimum wage approved by the National Council of states (NCS).

Lauding the benefits of the proposed amendment to the 2010 Electoral Act, Eyibo explained that: “Those who are against the amendment of the Electoral Act are just doing that out of selfish interest because this is going to lead to the collapse of political buccaneers.

“It has become very germane that the National Executive Committees (NEC) of political parties must be conducted transparently and fairly. The society is very dynamic, how will a man from my village who is a member of my political party be able to engage in the management and running of my political party? It has to be through me. And the society is dynamic so that the manifesto and ideology of your political party of 1998 must undergo specific and general innovation because of the exigency of the time,” he said.

Eseme assured that the leadership of the National Assembly is equally working on the issue of ensuring that the presentation of the 2011 budget Bill is not delayed.

He said: “The mere fact that within this short period when the President met with labour and promised to facilitate the N18, 000 minimum wage for workers, the government was able to convene the National Council of States meeting and came up with its approval of the minimum wage, showed that he (the president) meant business. “With such expeditious attention, what we should now do is to ask the people (workers) to show concern and exercise restraint and understanding while we await the process between the executive and the legislature to be activated. And I assure you that there is not going to be any problem at all because no ill-will is intended at all from both the executive and the legislature.”

The House spokesman also disclosed that the parliament is committed to ensuring the full implementation of the 2010 budget and would not mind granting the extension of the budget’s implementation period till the end of the first quarter of next year. Speaking further on the budget, he stressed, “It also depends on so many factors. If you want to look at it, naturally the submission of the budget proposal is supposed to be three months prior to the commencement of the year the budget is supposed to commence. And right now we are in the month of November and we are very concerned about even the 2010 budget which informed our invitation of the Finance Minister to the Chambers to explain the implementation of the budget.”

“We have a twin problem now. Beyond the drive to ensure early presentation of the 2011 budget proposal, the implementation of the 2010 budget which is now pushing us to roll over the 2010 budget to the first quarter of next year. Those are the forces interplaying which has to be managed in a way that none of these subjects, that is, the budget 2011 proposal and the extant budget suffers in any way but with an intention of making sure that Nigerians are better for it.”