A bill seeking to scrap the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and transfer its responsibilities to the Ministry of Finance has failed at the House of Representatives.
The Green Chamber rejected the bill titled “A bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority Act and Transfer the Assets and Liabilities to the Ministry of Finance Incorporated; and for Related Matters” at its plenary on Thursday.
Majority of the lawmakers voted against the proposed legislation on the grounds that they would be doing the country a great disservice if the NSIA Act was repealed.
The sponsor of the bill, Oluwole Bayo Oke, representing Obokun/Oriade federal constituency of Osun State, had argued that the Act establishing the NSIA was in breach of provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
Oke, who is Chairman of the Reps Committee on Public Procurement, claimed that the funding of the NSIA with revenue accrued in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) has been a subject of controversies and allegedly illegalities, hence the agency should be scrapped.
“There is a need for the Legislature to correct the mistake that was made in 2011. The Parliament has the powers to right the wrongs and mistakes of the past,” the lawmaker had said, adding “The provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very clear as to the procedure for withdrawal of funds from the Consolidated Revenue Funds and the condition precedent that appropriation must be made before any fund is released.”
But speaking during the plenary, the Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Toby Okechukwu, said the claim that the NSIA is not being accountable to the National Assembly does not justify the bill seeking revocation of the Act establishing it.
Okechukwu noted the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, the Second Niger Bridge and the Abuja/Kano dual carriage way as some of the projects that are being realised due to interventions of the NSIA.