After three weeks of intensive committee work, the plenary session of the on-going National Conference in Abuja resumes on Monday May 19, with commencement of the consideration of reports of the 20 Committees assigned to handle critical national issues.
While some of the committees have already submitted signed copies of their reports with agreed-upon recommendations to the Conference Secretariat within the week for distribution to delegates, others were still busy with the collation of their final reports by the weekend.
It would be recalled that at specific times within the three weeks, the Committees’ leadership met with the Conference Management comprising the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, the Secretary and the three assistant secretaries to rub minds on certain issues that facilitated their work.
It was during one of those meetings that the issue of time extension for committees from two to three weeks was discussed, agreed upon and implemented in view of the workload assigned each of the committees and the various national public holidays that followed.
Submission of Committee Reports to the Conference is in line with Order 12(d-e) of the National Conference Procedure Rules 2014 which states that: “Each Committee shall submit to the Conference the report of its activities. The report of a Committee is the collection of all views expressed showing the consensus on decisions reached by seventy-per cent (70%) of majority of delegates present and voting.”
The modalities for consideration of reports would be made known at the resumption of plenary, and it may include consideration of recommendations contained in each report clause-by-clause; and will on each item take a vote where there is no clear consensus.
The pattern of voting as contained in Order Eleven of the National Conference Procedure Rules 2014 would be adopted by the Conference Chairman and former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, GCON.
The Order states that: “All decisions of the Conference at Plenary and Committee stage shall be reached by consensus; or in the absence of that, the chairman shall, at his discretion adjourn proceedings to allow for further consultations.
“In the case of failure to reach a resolution on the matter by consensus, it shall be decided by a vote of seventy per cent (70%) majority of delegates present and voting.”
The 20 Committees whose reports would be considered are: the Committee on Devolution of Power co-headed by Obong Victor Attah and Ibrahim Coomasie; Political Restructuring and Forms of Government also co-headed by Mohammed Kumalia and Gen. Ike Nwachukwu; and National Security which has Mohammed Gambo Jimeta and Chief Albert Horsfall as chairman and deputy chairman, respectively.
There is also the Committee on Environment headed by Senator Florance Ita-Giwa with Bukar Mandara as deputy chairman; the Committee on Politics and Governance co-headed by Professor Jerry Gana and Chief Olu Falae; and the Committee on Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reform headed by Justice G. A. Oguntade with Professor Auwalu Yadudu as deputy chairman.
The Committee on Social Sector has Iyom Josephine Anenih as chairman and Professor Ruqaiyatu Rufa’I as deputy; Committee on Transportation has Senator Musa Adede as chairman and Ralph Osanaiye as deputy; while the Committee on Science, Technology and Development has Dr. Daniel Maddo as chairman and High Chief Raymond Dokpesi as deputy.
Umaru Hadeija and Mrs. Ifeoma Idigbe are the chairman and deputy chairman, respectively, of the Committee on Agriculture; The Committee on Civil Society, Labour and Sports has Mrs. Bola Ogunrinade as chairman and Issa Aremu as deputy; while the Committee on Public Service has Engr. Ebele Okeke and Ambassador Adamu Aliyu as chairman and deputy chairman, respectively.
The Committee on Political Parties and Electoral Matters has Dr. Iyorcha Ayu as chairman and Senator Ken Nnamani as deputy; Committee on Foreign Policy and Diaspora has Professor Ibrahim Gambari and Professor Lawrence Ekpebu as chairman and deputy; while the Committee on Land Tenure and National Boundaries has Gen A. B. Mamman as chairman and Oba Michael Adedeji as deputy chairman.
The Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment is headed by Hajiya Bola Shagaya with Mr Fola Adeola as deputy; the Committee on Energy is headed by Senator Rashid Ladoja with Engr. Bello Suleiman as deputy; while both Bishop Felix Ajakaiye and Alhaji Nurudeen Lemu co-chair the Committee on Religion.
Adamu Aliero and Senator Azu Agboti are chairman and vice chairman respectively of the Committee on Public Finance and Revenue; while the Committee on Immigration and Related Matters has as chairman Dr Muhammad Abdullahi and Mrs. Chidinma Uwajumogu as deputy chairman.
After the item-by-item consideration of the 20 reports, and in line with the Order 13 of the National Conference Procedure Rules 2014, a final report of the conference shall be drawn up and approved by the delegates.
The Order states that: There shall be a final report which shall be the accurate recording of all the decisions reached by the National Conference. The final report shall be signed by the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and the Secretary after approval by the Conference before presentation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Should the final report lead to the drafting of issues of law and policy, the Conference shall in consultation with the six principal officers of the conference advise the government on the legal framework, legal procedures and options for integrating the decisions and outcomes of the National Conference into the Constitution and laws of the country.”
Assistant Secretary, Media And Communications