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Reps to hold emergency session Monday

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The House of Representatives will hold an emergency plenary session on Monday to discuss what it tagged “urgent national issues”.

Normally, the House – like the Upper Chamber, the Senate – sits in plenary three times a week – Tuesday to Thursday.

A statement by the Clerk of the House, Yahaya Danzaria on Saturday did not state the subject of discussion.

“This is to inform all Hon. Members, staff, media and the general public that the House hereby recalls all Hon. Members for an emergency plenary session against Monday, 9th May, 2022 at 2:00pm. It is particularly intended to discuss critical issues of national importance. The House regrets any inconvenience this short notice would have caused,” the notice read.

However, in recent weeks, the lawmakers in the lower chamber had not been holding plenary sessions on the ground that the chamber was being renovated.

It however held a session last week to consider some Executive Bills.

With many members involved in the jostle for the 2023 elections, many lawmakers in both chambers of the National Assembly have been missing from legislative duties.

One of the issues that may be discussed is the crisis in the aviation sector, which is propelled by the hike in the price of aviation fuel, among other components. Already, the Minority Caucus of the House has called on President Muhamadu Buhari to avert the planned shutdown of airline operations by local operators.

In a statement on Saturday by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, the lawmaker said: “Mr President should critically address the crisis in the petroleum industry by reviewing the counter-productive policies and curbing the corruption in his administration so as to save our national economy from collapse under his watch.”

In a letter on Friday addressed to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the airline operators and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority said they would halt operations from Monday due to the high increase in aviation fuel price.

The letter was jointly signed by the President of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Serina Abdulmunaf; and the Chief Executive Officers of eight domestic airline operators, including Mfon Udom, CEO, Ibom Air. Ibom Air has since reengaged on that collective action.

In March, the House of Representatives brokered an agreement between airline operators, aviation fuel marketers and aviation authorities.

Hon. Nnaji Nnolim (PDP, Enugu), the Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, had moved a motion, urging the House to intervene to avoid a crisis in the sector.

In the meeting chaired by the Deputy Speaker Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), AON and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria reached an agreement to forestall the shutdown.

The two unions agreed to peg the price of Aviation Turbine kerosene (commonly called Jet A1 fuel) at N500 per litre from the N630, which was the price at the time.

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