House Probes NNPC's Oso Condensate Project
6 Mar 2013
Author: Nzeshi , Onwuka
The House of Representatives Tuesday resolved to probe the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the Oso Condensate Project. The project is aimed at increasing Nigerian hydrocarbon exports and enhancing the country's foreign exchange earnings.
The House resolved to summon the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, to brief it on the project.
The Chairman, House Committee on Legislative Budget, Hon. Bamidele Opeyemi (ACN/Ekiti), who raised the issue as a motion said that the Oso Condensate Project Act authorises NNPC to borrow money in any currency to execute the project.
He, however, lamented that neither the Act nor the project have been reviewed since inception.
He observed the high level of ignorance about the Oso Condensate Project and said that it was imperative that the parliament be given an update on it for both the government and the people to track its progress.
The NNPC is expected to present a detailed report on the project to the House Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Gas Resources within two weeks.
Meanwhile a bill seeking to criminalise delayed or non- payment of salaries and pensions has scaled second reading in the House.
The bill sponsored by the Minority Leader, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila seeks to impose graduated penalties on employers who fail in their obligations to the employees.
Gbajabiamila said the bill was informed by the need to compel employers to fulfil their own end of the employment contract just as the expect the workforce to work towards improved productivity.
He argued that it was impossible to fight against low productivity and corruption at the workplace if the employer was in default in its own obligations to employees. The bill has passed through second reading and referred to the Committee on Public Service Matters, Labour, Employment and Productivity.
Also yesterday, the House considered the report on a bill to prevent rape and other forms of violence against persons in Nigeria. The lawmakers approved the recommendation that any person convicted of rape will be liable to life imprisonment.
In addition, persons convicted of gang rape shall be liable jointly and severally to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
However, where the offender is less than 14 years, he or she shall be liable to a maximum of 14 years imprisonment and a minimum of 12 years without an option of fine.
Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa who gave a synopsis of the report before it was considered said it had come for the bill to become law going by the rising cases of violence against persons in the country.
The report prescribes a jail term not exceeding five years or a fine of N100,000 or both for anyone convicted of willfully causing or inflicting physical injury on another person by means of any warp on, substance or object.
Any person who incites, aids, abets, or counsels another person to commit the act of violence and is guilty of the offense is also liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000 or to both fine and imprisonment.
The report also recommended that any person who compels another by force or threat to engage in any conduct or act of sexual or otherwise to the detriment of the victim's physical or psychological well being commits an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding N500,000 or both.
In the same vein, persons who indulge in female genital mutilation will also bag four year jail term or a fine not more than N200,000 or both.
Those who aid the act of female genital mutilation will pay N100,000 or two year jail term or both while any person convicted of frustrating investigation and prosecution of offenders is guilty of felony and liable on conviction to imprisonment not more than three years or a fine not exceeding N500,000.