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By Levinus Nwabughiogu

Abuja — Members of the House of Representatives, yesterday, bickered amongst themselves over a bill to amend the Pension Reform Act, 2014, to exempt personnel of National Assembly Service from the contributory pension scheme and to establish the National Assembly Service Pensions Board.

The bill sponsored by the chairman, Committee on National Planning and Economy Development, Olododo Cook penultimate week, passed at the committee of the whole.

But listed to be read for the third time at yesterday, plenary session, the deputy chairman of the Committee on Pensions, Bamidele Salam raised a point of order, asking Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila to step it down.

His argument was that the development would thrown up agitations by other groups of workers to ask for exemption from the scheme, thereby, significantly affecting the future of the scheme.

Speaking in the same direction, another member of the Committee,Bem Mzondu intoned that protocols were breached in the passage of the bill.

According to him, no public hearing was held on the bill as the request for that failed.

But in his reaction, the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, who referenced the standing order of the House, said no wrong was done to commit any bill to Committee of the Whole, arguing that not all bills go through public hearing.

Wase’s position got the support of the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Hassan Fulata, who said that the relevant Committees of the House failed in their assignment when the bill was sent to them. 

Consequently, it was discharged and   recommitted to the Committee of the Whole.

Similarly, the sponsor of the bill, Olododo Cook refuted claims that members of the committee were not carried along.

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