Delegates raised objections on various issues ranging from the constitution of the committee membership.
The Chairman of the 2014 National Conference and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Idris Kutigi, on Wednesday informed Conference delegates that committee work will begin on Tuesday after Easter break.
The announcement followed submission of list of committee members and the leadership of each of the 20 committees to the Conference in plenary amidst complaints and applause from a cross-section of the delegates.
The chairman informed delegates that 10 of the 20 committees will hold their sessions at the National Judicial Institute while the remaining 10 will sit at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers.
It was agreed through a voice vote that delegates with genuine complaints on the composition of the committees, both the membership and the chairmen, co-chairmen and deputy chairmen should sort out the details with the Conference secretariat.
He however stated that while such genuine complaints were being sorted out, normal committee sittings would commence as scheduled and that deliberations and decisions of committees would not be affected by the process.
At the commencement of sitting on Wednesday, Justice Kutigi informed delegates that some of them might find their names in committees they did not indicate interest and that they should face the challenge of serving in such committees in the interest of the nation.
Most of the members indicated interest in four out of the twenty committees, a situation that led to redistribution into other committees since all the committees must have members. More than 45 per cent of the members indicated interest in the committees on Devolution of Power, Political Restructuring, Politics and Governance, Party and Election Matters and National Security. In spite of the hue about Religion, not up to 18 delegates indicated interest in the committee
As expected, delegates raised objections on various issues ranging from the constitution of the committee membership, why they were not consulted before the changes were made and why certain people headed committees and others did not.
Iyorchia Ayu said committees should not be constituted based on expertise; since, according to him, even non-professionals in specific fields who have practical experience can make useful contributions.
Rabiu Ibrahim drew attention to her observation that appointment of women to headship of committees did not represent the required 35 per cent applied by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
A former Chairman of Punch newspapers, Ajibola Ogunshola, said arguments over committees will continue non-stop and advised that it was time to work now that the list has been compiled and released.
Charles Edomsomwan from Edo State informed the delegates that it would be impossible to satisfy everybody and that even if the list was compiled a hundred times, there will still be complaints.
He stated, “We must not present ourselves to Nigerians as if we are here for a picnic,” and that whoever would have wished to be in a particular committee but was not appointed to serve there, should submit a memo to that committee.
Femi Falana, SAN, through a Point of Order, said it was the duty of the Secretariat to appoint committees, membership and leadership and that whoever had a genuine complain should submit them to the secretariat while work should start immediately.
The Committee on Devolution of Power whose responsibilities comprise fiscal federalism; revenue sharing; resource control; sharing formula and any other related matters has both former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah and former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Coomasie as co-chairmen.
Headed by Mohammed Kumalia and Ike Nwachukwu as co-chairmen; part of the functions of the Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government are Federalism; Regionalism; State Creation; Geo-political zones; Forms and Content of Government; Presidential; Parliamentary; Legislature; Bicameral; Unicameral Legislature (Part-time/Full-time) and Local Government Administration.
The Committee on National Security is headed by Mohammed Jimeta, former Inspector General of Police, and has former Chief of National Intelligence, Albert Horsefall, as deputy.
The committee is saddled with issues regarding the Armed Forces; Civilian oversight of the security sector; Review of the Armed Forces Act; the Police; Reform of the Customs Service; Road Safety Corps; Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism; Armed Robbery; Kidnapping; Small Arms Proliferation Communal Violence; Election Violence; Illegal oil theft and smuggling; Sea piracy; Organised/Trans-National Crime; Money Laundering; Human Trafficking; Drug Trafficking; Terrorism Financing; Cyber Crime; and any other related matters.
The Committee on Environment Meteorology and Climate Change is headed by Florence Ita-Giwa with Y. Bukar Mandara as deputy chairman. Its functions cover Illegal Mining Activities; Pollution; Gas flaring; Protection of Biodiversity; Afforestation and Reforestation; Flooding/Gully Erosion; Environmental Degradation; Oil Spillage and Desertification; Drought; Waste management/Disposal; Hazardous/Toxic Waste; Bush burning; Natural Disaster.
The Committee on Politics and Governance has Jerry Gana and Olu Falae as co-chairmen. Its scope of work covers Immunity clause; Good governance and democratization; Deepening democracy, democratic culture and orientation; Mechanisms for a more inclusive participatory democracy; National Ethics; Minority rights/ ethnic nationalities Corruption; Anti-Corruption Agencies; Corruption and national development Constitutional Amendment; Freedom of Information; Role of traditional rulers.
Retired Justice G. A. Oguntade is the chairman of the Committee on Law, Judiciary, Human Rights, Legal Reform, Law and Order. The deputy chairman is Professor Auwalu Yadudu. Its work covers the Judiciary; Review of judicial institutions; Increase in the number of Supreme Court Justices; Increase in the number of divisions of the Court of Appeal; Technology in administration of Justice; Professional development of Judicial Officers; Sharia and customary legal systems; Delays in administration of justice; Independence of the judiciary; and Funding of the Judiciary.
Others are Appointment of Judicial Officers; Access to justice; Alternative Justice – ADR, Mediation, Conciliation e.t.c.; Specialized Courts/ tribunals; Condition of service of judicial officers; Prison reforms; Rehabilitation; Reformation; Reintegration Sentencing and death penalty; Justiciability of the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy; Chapter 2 of the Constitution and Jurisdiction of Industrial Court.
Josephine Anenih is the chairman of the Committee on Social Sector which also has Ruqaiyatu Rufa’I as deputy chairman. Its work covers Health; Universal Health Care Coverage; Primary Healthcare; Investment in health; Emphasis on Preventive Health; Education, Restructuring of the curriculum; Investment in education; and National education policy.
Others are Return of missionary and private schools to original owners; Nomadic education; Institutionalizing Almajiri education system; Housing; Affordable Housing; Social Security; Rights of senior citizens; Unemployed Nigerians; Pensions and Gratuity; Insurance; Poverty and wealth creation; Gender; Status of married women; State of origin; State of marriage; Affirmative Action; Political Participation; Discrimination; Child’s Rights Law; Child’s Right Law Implementation Bodies; Disability Rights/ Welfare.
The Committee on Transportation is headed by Musa Adede while Ralph Osanaiye is the deputy chairman. Its responsibilities cover Roads; Railway; Aviation; Maritime; National Inland Water Ways;
Shipping and shipment.
The Committee on Science, Technology and Development has Daniel Maddo as chairman, with Raymond Dokpesi as deputy. It will focus on Information, Communication and Technology; Media/Social
network; Science and technology education; Investment in research and development; Promotion and improvement of indigenous technological innovations; Space and nuclear regime; Capacity building and training for scientists; Medical technology; Biodiversity; and Fabrication of buildings e.t.c.
The Committee on Agriculture has Umaru Muhammed Hadeija as chairman while Ifeoma Idigbe is the deputy chairman. Its functions cover: Food Security; Food storage, processing and packaging industries; Grazing Reverses/Ranching and Industrial Cattle feeds; Water Resources; National agricultural policy; Agricultural subsidy; Mechanized agriculture; Land acquisition, traditional institutions and agriculture; Irrigation; Bio-technology and Agricultural Production; Poultry and Fishery; and Animal Husbandry.
Civil Society, Labour, and Sports Committee is headed by Bola Ogunrinade with Issa Aremu as deputy. It covers such areas as Empowerment and regulation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Capacity building for CSOs; Youth empowerment; Unemployment; Minimum wage; Trade Unionism and Industrial Action; National Youth Service Corps, Investments in sports; and Legal regime on sports
The Committee on Public Service covering Federal Character; Civil Service Structure; Remuneration of public officers and civil servants; State of the civil service; and Salary Structure is headed by Engineer Ebele Okeke with Ambassador Adamu Aliyu as deputy chairman.
Political Parties and Electoral Matters Committee has Iyorchia Ayu as Chairman and Ken Nnamani as deputy. Its work scope includes: Political parties and Electoral process; Method of elections; Party supremacy and internal democracy; Independent candidature; Regulation of campaign; Campaign financing and expenditure ceiling; State monitoring bodies and Local Government Elections; Electoral offences; Independence and autonomy of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Delineation of constituencies; Conduct of free and fair elections; The role of security agencies in elections; Diaspora voting; Political Recruitment and internal democracy in political parties
Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters Committee has Ibrahim Gambari as chairman and Lawrence Ekpebu as deputy. Its work outline includes: Prisoner Exchange; Extradition; Promotion of culture and tourism, investment in tourism; Cultural exchange; Nigeria and international peacekeeping operations; Review of Technical Aid Corps programme; Promotion of peace, human rights, justice and racial equality within the international system; and Nigeria-centric foreign policy.
Others are: Security and well-being of Nigerians at Home and Abroad Afrocentricism; Promoting Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regime; Non alignment; Economic diplomacy; Domestication of treaties; Mutual Legal Assistance; Universal Jurisdiction; Role/ Participation in International Organizations; Diaspora matters; Role of foreign missions in Nigerian domestic affairs; and Status of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Land Tenure Matters and National Boundary Committee has A. B. Mamman as chairman and Michael Gbadebo Adedeji as deputy. Its work includes: Review of the Land Use Act; Traditional Land Holding Rights; Establishment and manning of boundaries; and Adjustment of boundaries.
The Economy, Trade and Investment Committee has Bola Shagaya as Chairman and Fola Adeola as her deputy. It will work on: Industries and Industrialisation; Diversification of the economy; Patents, Copyright, Trademarks, Trade or Business name, Industrial Designs and Merchandize Marks; Bio-piracy and traditional knowledge; Foreign Direct Investments Exclusive Economic Zone; Export Processing Zone; Oil and other mineral resources exploration and management; Trade agreement; Bilateral/Multilateral; Tourism and Economic Development plan.
Energy Committee is headed by Rashid Ladoja and Bello Suleiman as deputy. It will work on: Strategic energy policy; Oil and Gas policy; Solar Energy; Nuclear Energy; Wind energy; Hydro energy; Thermal energy and Bio-energy.
The Committee on Religion is chaired by both Felix Ajakaiye and Nurudeen Lema. It will discuss State and religion; Sponsorship and public funding of pilgrimage; and Restoring national ethics, culture, morals and core values.
The Committee on Public Finance and Revenue Generation has Adamu Aliero and Senator Azu Agboti as chairman and deputy respectively it will focus on: Domestic and external debt; Tax administration; Tax contribution; Internally generated revenue; Externally generated revenue; Regulation of external borrowing by States and Local Governments; and Productivity.
The Committee on Citizenship, Immigration and Related Matters is headed by Muhammed Abdullahi and Chidinma Uwajumogu as deputy. Its functions include: Movement of goods, persons and services; Citizenship and nationality; Integrated national database; Immigration and internal security Multiple citizenship of Nigerians; Residency; Indigeneity and residency (indigenes/settlers dichotomy); Refugee and asylum; Census; and Border patrol.
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