June 18, 2009

Ports reform: Reps carpets Aondoakaa, BPE

By Tordue Salem

ABUJA — Members of the House of Representatives yesterday blamed the the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) for failing to push through reforms in the marine transport sector. The lawmakers passed the blame at a public hearing on the Ports Act (Amendment) Bill.

Responding to a submission by BPE which condemned a piece of legislation by the House proposing reforms in the marine transport sector the committee members said, “Please make the records straight in your presentation, the Bill you presented to us is here, you did not withdraw it. We tried to push it through second reading but it failed. So you have failed in your duty.

“You people in the Presidency have failed. Up till now, you have not been able to provide a legal framework to regulate the marine transport sector, and some people have heroically brought a Bill to you and you still have the courage to come here and tell us that we have not done our work?,

Maduabum who doubles as the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Petitions and the Chairman of the Marine Transport sub-committee on Bills, criticised the Attorney General of the Federation, Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, for always failing to honour invitations to public hearings requiring the input of his office and habitually warehousing key-sector Bills “that pass through his Office”.

“The AGF should be here. Most of these Bills pass through his office and they have been there for two years now. When you call him (Aondoakaa) to come and present a submission on an important Bill, he would come with just one sheet of paper and he is done”, he said.

Rep. Agoro, in his own contribution said the BPE “benefitted tremendously from the sales of NPA properties and you (BPE) are here now talking that they (NPA) should not set tariffs”.