Power outage disrupts plenary, forces Reps to adjourn proceedings abruptly


The House of Representatives was forced to adjourn plenary on Tuesday following a power outage in the chamber. The lawmakers were in the middle of a session when power bulbs in the hall started blinking thereby affecting the sound system. Following the outage, the lawmakers were in total darkness but managed to rush through the passage of a bill. The lawmakers were forced to adjourn the plenary till Wednesday after rushing to consider the Security Service Welfare Infrastructure Development Commission sponsored by the Chairman House Committee on Army, Abdulrasak Namdas (APC, Adamawa). The commission being proposed by the bill will have powers to bridge the infrastructure gap within the security forces. In the synopsis of the bill, Mr Namdas stated that the existing arrangement under the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) and Police Officers Wives Association (POWA) cater for senior officers’ wives, leaving junior officers’ wives vulnerable after retirement. The lawmakers could not debate the bill due to the power outage. The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, referred the bill to the Committee on Defence. Other matters on the Order Paper were stepped down due to the outage.

A bill for an Act to amend the National Youth Service Corps Act to review upward the accommodation and transport allowances of corps members in line with current realities was stepped down. Another item stepped down by the House is a bill for an Act to amend the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency Act. Also, there was a motion to address the effect of rain disaster in the Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State and another one to curb the incessant and unruly behaviour of touts operating on major highways in Nigeria. Power outage is becoming a frequent occurrence at the National Assembly Complex though it seldom lasts for a long time.

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