My fellow colleagues, You will recall that on Sunday January 8 we had to cut short our recess in response to a national crisis as a result of the sudden removal of fuel subsidy by the Executive Arm of Government.
2. The commitment and patriotism shown by members during that period of emergency finally led to the gradual resolution of that crisis.
3. Today, we are here to consider the product of that sacrifice. Before you is the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the monitoring of fuel subsidy regime which was set up to verify and determine actual subsidy requirements.
4. And I must commend the Chairman of the Committee, Hon Farouk Lawan and the rest of his Committee Members, for their courage, dedication and professionalism. They were given a crucial assignment and they handled it with the integrity and patriotism it deserved.
5. The probe of the oil Sector has raised so much dust from certain segments of the polity such that it became clear that the intention was to frustrate it. For those who regard the oil sector as a secret society or sacred cow, I wish to state without equivocation that it is not. All public agencies in the oil sector are the creation of Acts of the National Assembly and this Honourable House has no powers to legislate for the creation of secret societies. Similarly all private sector corporate bodies operating in the sector are the creation of the Corporate Affairs Commission and that Commission also is not vested with any powers to incorporate secret societies. Let it therefore be known that in our drive to sanitize the polity, there are no sacred cows and we do not intend to discover any.
6. However, that is only one part of the job. We now have the more crucial duty of considering the report and recommendations of the committee. Usually in a matter such as this, one is accustomed to hearing differing opinions presented passionately. Or passions presented as opinions.
7. But we must never forget who we are and where we are, because Nigerians are watching us very closely and history will judge what we do here today. I therefore urge each and everyone of you to look at this report dispassionately.
8. Be fair in your comments and set aside all primordial sentiments so that we can do justice to this important document.
9. Let me reiterate the fact that we are discharging a Constitutional assignment here and it is therefore incumbent upon us to do our duty without fear or favour. Let me also remind you that we are fighting against entrenched interests whose infectious greed has decimated our people. Therefore, be mindful that they will fight back, and they do fight dirty.
10. I have heard all kinds of insinuations, including the one about anti-graft agencies waiting for a ‘harmonise version’ of this report before taking any action. Let me quickly say here that this is at best an excuse that can not stand after all the same agencies accept and investigate petitions from individuals, how much more resolutions of this House, there will be no such document so they should just go ahead and do their job and where they find any person or body culpable, they should proceed in accordance with the law.
11. Our only interest here is to mitigate the suffering of Nigerians by showing how the subsidy regime has been hijacked for the benefit of a few. At the end of our deliberations we hope that the executive arm will act upon the resolutions of this House and bring more transparency to bear on the system.
12. Together we can do all things constitutionally required of us but not without sacrificing our personal comforts, personal aspiration and even personal opportunities that do not benefit the public good. For as many are prepared and determined to make these personal sacrifice and to stand on the side of the ordinary Nigerians whose mandate we hold, I say let’s march on dear colleagues
13. My fellow colleagues, I wish you God’s guidance.
Being the text of Remarks By Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal CFR, Speaker, House Of Representatives , National Assembly Of Nigeria On The Occasion Of The Consideration Of The Report On The House’s Ad Hoc Committee On Petroleum Subsidy
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