Kutigi changes National Confab committees’ venue

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Abuja – The National Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi (rtd.), has announced a change of venue for some of the confab’s standing committees, as deliberations at the committee level begin on Tuesday.

This is contained in a statement by Mr Akpandem James, the conference’s Assistant Secretary on Media and Communications, on Monday in Abuja.

It said committees 11 to 20, hitherto scheduled to sit at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, would now hold their sessions at the NICON Luxury Hotel.

“The change in venue for the second set of committees became necessary because Sheraton will not be available for the number of days envisaged,’’ the statement said.

It, however, said committees one to 10 would hold their sessions at the National Judicial Institute (NJI), the official venue of the conference, as earlier announced.

Kutigi, in the statement, while apologising for the sudden change in venue, enjoined delegates to go straight to their respective venues as they resumed from the Easter break on Tuesday.

The  confab chairman had stated last week given a hint of what was to come.

He had said two venues had to be created for the committees to sit because of inadequate Committee Rooms at NJI.

The committees one to 10 include those of Devolution of Power, Political Restructuring and Forms of Government, National Security, Environment, and Politics and Governance.

The others are Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reform, Social Sector, Transportation, Science Technology and Development, and Agriculture.

Similarly, committees 11 to 20 include Civil Society, Labour and Sports, Public Service, Political Parties and Electoral Matters, and Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters.

Others are Land Tenure and National Boundaries, Economy, Trade and Investment, Energy, Religion, Public Finance and Revenue, and Immigration and Related Matters.

Kutigi had adjourned plenary indefinitely on Thursday, April 17.

He had then announced the names of the committees, as well as names of their chairmen, co-chairmen and deputy chairmen.

The chairman urged delegates to, on resumption from the Easter break, break into committee sessions “to deliberate on crucial issues aimed at redressing certain imbalances in the Nigerian polity’’.

Of the 20 committees, five are headed by two co-chairmen each, while the remaining 15 are headed by a chairman each and a deputy chairman.

Also  the conference’s Work Plan, which was also adopted on Thursday, indicated that committees’ work begins on Tuesday, April 22 and ends on Wednesday, April 30.

However, some of the delegates had argued that the time allocated to committee work was too short in view of the exhaustive and thorough job expected to be done.

Kutigi had, in response, advised delegates to first get down to work and that appropriate representation would be made to that effect, if it became necessary to extend the time.

He had explained that the Work Plan was drawn based on the time allotted to the conference by the Federal Government.

“Any attempt at arbitrary adjustment can be misconstrued by the general public,’’ the confab chairman had said.

Kutigi, however, assured that everything would be done to ensure that time was not a hindrance to the conference.

He urged delegates to properly articulate their points at the committees’ level and be open to suggestions from others.

The Work Plan indicated that the conference would produce and sign the final report between June 16 and June 19.

President Goodluck Jonathan had inaugurated the conference on March 17.(NAN)

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