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House approves N204.80bn budget for NCC, Passes N’Assembly research office bill

The House of Representatives wednesday considered and passed the sum of N204.80 billion as 2017 Budget for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

According to a breakdown, the sum of 27.063 billion is earmarked for recurrent expenditure while 13.61 billion is for capital expenditure as well as 4.45 billion for special projects.

Also, the sums of 145.74 billion and N13.92 billion will be transferred to the federal government and the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) respectively,

The sum of N9.751 million is earmarked for the budget of the Universal Service Provision Fund for the period ending on June 30, 2018.

Also, a bill for an Act to establish National Assembly Budget and Research Office which provides it with objective, timely and non-partisan analysis needed for economic and budget decisions; and for related matters.

The lower chamber further passed a bill for an Act to Establish National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency to provide necessary Protection and Care for the Nigerian Children; and for Related Matters; a Bill for an Act to Establish Federal Capital Territory Civil Service Commission charged with the Responsibility for Appointment, Promotion and Discipline of Staff and Employees in the Civil Service of the FCT, Abuja; and for Related Matters; and a bill for an Act to Repeal the Consumer Protection Act, Cap. C25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and Establish Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal for the Development and Promotion of Fair, Efficient and Competitive Markets in the Nigerian Economy, Facilitate Access by all Citizens to Safe Products, Secure the Protection of Rights for all Consumers in Nigeria and for Related Matters.

Others are a bill for an Act to Amend the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act, Cap.I,7 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and for Related Matters.

Also yesterday, the House passed a motion urging the federal government to make adequate budgetary allocation to the National Agency for the Great Green Wall in order to enable it achieve its objectives and asked the Federal Ministries of Environment and Water Resources to fast track the implementation of policies, projects and programmes in line with the Great Green Wall Initiative.

It further mandated the Committee on Environment and Habitat to investigate the non-implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative in Nigerian and report back in eight weeks for further legislative action.

The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Beni Lar on the need to implement the Great Green Wall Initiative Programme in Nigeria.

She said desertification is one of the major environmental challenges threatening the livelihood of millions of Nigerians as it is adversely affecting agricultural practices, especially in the area of livestock production and the worst affected states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Yobe;

She noted that as a result of desertification, herdsmen from the affected areas are forced to migrate to other parts of the country in search of pasture resulting in incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

The lawmaker recalled that the Great Green Wall Initiative was launched in 2007 by the African Union (AU) with the aim of tackling detrimental social, economic and environmental impacts of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara, boost food security and support local Communities to adapt to climate change.

She however, expressed concern that the initiative exists only in name, as, instead of reclamation of desert, it is rather expanding and gaining more territories, adding that if nothing is done to forestall further desert encroachment by implementing the Great Green Wall Initiative, clashes between herdsmen and farmers will be on the increase.

Meanwhile, the House wednesday adjourned sitting till April 10 to enable members mark the Easter holidays.

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