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Going by the elections’ time-table released by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Presidential and National Assembly election is scheduled for 14th February, 2019 while the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly is scheduled for 28th February, 2019.

The leadership of House of Representatives has warned all the lawmakers against abandoning legislative functions as the country prepares for the 2019 general elections.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara issued the warning while delivering his welcome address on resumption from Christmas/New Year recess.

“As we enter 2018, political activities will pick up. We must however, remember that we were elected to represent the people for a four year term. The work is not finished. This is the time to conclude many outstanding legislative measures pending before us.

“Dear Colleagues, the economy, must remain the central focus of our legislative activities in 2018, in order to consolidate Nigeria’s exit from economic recession. To this end, we must prioritise high economic impact bills and pass them before the onset of political activities.

“The Committee on Rules and Business is hereby charged to schedule the consideration of these bills at the earliest possible time.

“The Electoral Act Amendment process must be speedily concluded, this first quarter. Same with Constitutional alteration process, especially those on electoral matters.

“The rules of the game must be clear to the actors early enough before the game begins. This is absolutely necessary in order to improve on the standards we set in the last general elections,” Dogara said.

Before proceeding on the Christmas/New Year recess, the Speaker had discharged some inefficient Standing Committees of continuing with the consideration of 19 bills which had scaled through second reading.

The resolution was passed following the observation that the “committees are yet to present reports on the bills contrary to the provisions of Order 17 Rule 3(g) of the Standing Orders of the House which provides that: any matter referred to any committees shall be treated within 30 days otherwise the committee shall stand discharged after 60 days and the matter committed to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.”

The affected standing committees are: Reform Government Institutions; Housing; Solid Minerals; Tertiary Education and Services; FCT; Healthcare Services; Justice; Commerce; Defence; Finance; Health Institutions; Interior and Human Rights.

They are: Freedom of Information Act (amendment) bill, 2015; Federal Land Registry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act,, (amendment) bill, 2015; Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (Amendment) bill, 2015; Nigerian Police Academy Act (Amendment) bill, 2015; FCT Trust Fund (Establishment, etc) bill, 2015; Kidney Transplant bill, 2015; Comkodieties Exchange bill, 2015 and Interpretation Act (Amendment) bill, 2015.

Others include: FCT College of Agriculture (Establishment, etc) bill, 2015; FCT University of Science and Technology, Abaji (Establishment) bill, 2015; Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria bill, 2016; Survey Coordination Act (amendment) bill, 2016; National Institute of Credit Administration (Establishment) bill, 2016; National Eye Centre bill, 2016; Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps Act (amendment) bill, 2016; Immigration Act (amendment) bill, 2016; Border Patrol Agents bill, 2016 and Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act (amendment) bill, 2016.

In a related development, Emmanuel Orker-Jev, chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, during last Thursday’s plenary, also urged the House to discharge 15 standing committees of the bills which were read a Second time separately between 2015 and 2016 and referred to them, pursuant to Order Seventeen, Rule 3(g) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives.

The affected committees are: Federal Capital Territory Area Councils and Ancillary Matters; Industry; Telecommunications; Tertiary Education and Services; Healthcare Services; Defense, Customs and Excise, National Security and Intelligence, and Police Affairs; Justice; Commerce; Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values; Ports, Harbours and Waterways; Banking and Currency.

The bills are: Satellite Towns Development Agency Bill, 2015; Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan Bill 2015; Nigerian Postal Commission Bill, 2015; Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015;

National Primary Healthcare Development Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Emergency Communication Bill, 2015; Security Services Welfare Infrastructural Development Commission Bill, 2015 and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

Others include: Miscellaneous Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Bill, 2015; Broadcasting Practitioners Bill, 2015; Security and Intelligence (Compulsory Inclusion in Secondary Schools Syllabus) Bill, 2015; Nigeria Insurance Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Presidential (Transition) Bill, 2015; National Population Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; National Inland Waterways Authority Bill, 2015 and National Broadcasting Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

To this end, the House resolved to “discharge the Committees above mentioned from the bills referred to them and commit same to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.”

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