The meeting of the 20 Standing Committees of the National Conference has been extended by two weeks to ensure that all the issues to be discussed are adequately addressed.
The extension became necessary, according to a release signed by the Assistant Secretary, Media and Communication, Mr. Akpandem James, as a result of the several public holidays so far extracted from the conference time frame as well as the World Economic Summit holding in Abuja, May 7 ? 9, 2014.
?The Conference Secretariat has granted the request of the leadership of Standing Committees who requested for extension of time to enable them meaningfully conclude their work and submit thorough reports. They observed that the time given for Committee work was grossly inadequate considering the workload, a situation which was further compounded by public holidays that ate into the time for committee work.?
The release further noted that since some delegates are going to be involved in the Economic Summit which begins on Monday in Abuja, and others will be dislodged from their accommodation at the Hilton, it was necessary to extend the period for committee work to accommodate the exigencies and also allow for thorough work to be done.
Consequently, the Committees have been given up to Thursday May 15, 2014 to conclude work and submit their reports as deliberations at plenary is expected to resume on Monday, May 19, 2014.
Meanwhile, the Committee on Devolution of Power at the on-going National Conference, yesterday reached a consensus on modification of Item 39 of the Exclusive Legislative List.
The item deals with the exclusive rights of the Federal Government to legislate on issues regarding ?mines and minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas.?
The modified version indicates that in carrying out mining activities across the country by the Federal Government, government of states where such natural resources are deposited shall be involved.
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Co-chairman of the Committee, Obong Victor Attah, who briefed the press after a two-hour close session on the issue, expressed delight that the committee was able to arrive at a consensus after a very tedious debate process.
He said the modification of the provision was a part of the decision of the Committee and by extension, the National Conference, aimed at ensuring that certain economic activities hitherto concentrated in the Federal Government were decentralized.
He said the Committee, in the performance of its functions, was determined to be thorough particularly in considering movement of items from the Exclusive to the Concurrent List and vice versa.