The House of Representatives at a plenary, Wednesday, directed Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to immediately withdraw mutilated, dirty and oiled notes from circulation and replace them with new ones.
Already, one hundred naira is lacking in circulation and in most cases the mutilated currency is seen everywhere which causes users grave concern in business transactions.
Disturbed by black-marketing of mint Naira notes on the streets in some parts of the country, the House mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate the allegation.
The lower chamber of the National Assembly equally resolved to constitute an Ad-hoc Committee to probe the award of pipeline surveillance contracts by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, in Bayelsa State and asked the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to arrest the killers of four policemen in Edo State.
The resolutions followed three separate motions considered by the House.
Moving the motion on the “Need to Investigate the Sales of Mint Naira Notes and Sources of Black-Marketing of the Naira”, Adekoya Adesegun Abdel-Majid from Ogun State, said mint Naira notes sold on the streets were perpetually unavailable in banks.
He also drew the attention of the House to the health implications of the dirty note in circulation, asking for their withdrawal and replacement.
He said, “The House notes that the Naira is greatly losing its value in the international market, and facing a serious war within the country as it is being handled with no respect by citizens;
“Concerned that the Naira now appears in inglorious forms and with odours that can be dangerous to human health;
“Also notes that the Naira notes in circulation are badly torn, terribly squeezed, soiled, cello taped, dirty and mutilated, especially the 100 Naira note which carries the face of the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo;
“Further notes that except for 1000 and 500 Naira notes, other notes are rarely paid to people in banks but are available in black markets;
“Worried that bacteria naturally breed and live in dirty environments and objects, hence dirty Naira notes could pose serious health risks as they have been found to contain pathogenic parasites and bacteria, and are therefore sources of infection as well as potential carriers of communicable diseases;
“Also worried that diseases such as nosocomial infections, Human Influenza Virus, Hepatitis A virus and others have been found on some of these dirty notes;
“Aware that as these notes stay longer in circulation, they gather dirt from one hand to the other, for example, money that has been held by a mechanic whose hands were stained with oil and grease is passed on to a farmer while selling his produce, then gets to the butcher at the abattoir and still goes back to a trader, and may even find its way to the custody of those who superstitiously pour blood of animals on money and the journey continues until it gathers enough microorganisms that can wreak havoc on human health”.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Legislative Compliance, and Banking and Currency to ensure strict compliance of the resolution.
Similarly, Federick Agbedi, who moved the motion on the “Need to Investigate the Award and Payment of Pipeline Surveillance Contractors by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, in Bayelsa State”, co-sponsored by five other lawmakers from Bayelsa State, told the House that Nigerian Agip Oil Company in Bayelsa State awarded the pipeline surveillance contracts to some favoured allies, instead of the host communities.
The lawmaker stated that the decision has resulted in several conflicts in the respective communities as the youths felt marginalized and had, on several occasions, expressed their grievances through violent protests, sometimes clashing with security operatives attached to the contractors, which had resulted in loss of lives and property.
Agbedi warned that if the situation was not reversed, it would continue to brew violence in the state.
He said, “The House notes that Bayelsa State plays host to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, as it has its personnel, pipelines and other oil installations spread across various communities in the State;
“Also notes that as a result of pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta and upon the subsequent implementation of the Presidential Amnesty Program, it was agreed that pipeline surveillance contracts be awarded to the host communities to foster development of the communities and empower the people.
“Concerned that rather than award the pipeline surveillance contracts to the host communities, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, in Bayelsa State has awarded the contracts to some favoured allies and that has resulted in several conflicts in the respective communities as the youths feel marginalized and have, on several occasions, expressed their grievances through violent protests sometimes clashing with security operatives attached to the contractors resulting in loss of lives and property.
“Also concerned that unless this abnormality is corrected and the respective host communities are carried along, the issue of Pipeline Surveillance Contracts by Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC, will continue to brew violence in the state.”
Adopting the motion, the House asked the committee to also ascertain the beneficiaries of the contract awards and/or employment and their impact on the oil producing communities and the country as a whole.
It also urged the committee to determine the effect of the contracts on the net national revenue derivable from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Nigerian Agip Oil Company joint venture operations.
The committee was given three weeks within which to conclude its assignment and report back to the House for further legislative action.
On the need to arrest the killers of four serving policemen at the Sabo-Uzebba junction check point on July 14, 2018, in Edo State, the House called on the Inspector General of Police and Chief of Defence Staff to set up joint patrol team along the Iruekpen-Sabon-Uzebba-Ifon (Ondo State) road to forestall such occurrence in the future.
Motion to that effect was moved by the Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Pally Iriase representing Owan East/West Federal Constituency of Edo State.
He argued that there might be breakdown of law and order in the affected area, if no urgent steps were taken to apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
He said, “The House notes that four policemen serving at the Sabongida Ora, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State were gruesomely murdered by yet to be identified assailants on July 14, 2018.
“Further notes that the deceased policemen were packed into the operational Hilux Pickup Patrol Van and set ablaze
“Aware that residents of Sabongida-Ora, Uzebba and environs in Owan West Local Government Area now live in fear.
“Worried that if urgent steps are not taken to arrest the assailants and perpetrators of this dastardly act, there might be breakdown of law and order in the area.”