Oronsaye Report: Senate urges FG to suspend wind down of National Film Board

The Senate has asked the Federal Government to halt the winding down of the National Film and Video Census Board (NFVCB), citing a breach of the law.

This resolution was reached following a debate on the motion ” Urgent Need to Halt Violation of the NFVCB”, sponsored by  Sen. Ogoshi Onawo (PDP-Nasarawa) during plenary on Tuesday.

The lawmaker expressed concern over a directive of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, to the minister for immediate wind down of the parastatal agency.

Akume had instructed the Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, to begin the immediate dissolution of the NFVCB.

The directive was aimed to integrate the NFVCB as a department within the ministry, but bypassing the legal process required to repeal the law establishing the agency.

Moving the motion, Onawo expressed concern that the SGF’s directive violated the National Film and Video Censors Board Act Cap No.40 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (as amended).

He decried the directive to the ministry to complete the administrative and financial process to wind down the NFVCB within three weeks with effect from June 21.

According to Onawo, the process of winding down an agency of government which came into force through an Act of Parliament should first commence with the repeal of the act establishing the said agency.

“The Oronsaye report is a committee report that should not override an Act of Parliament”, he said.

“This issue of abuse of the law, if it goes unchecked, would become a bad precedence going forward.

“There is a need to check this illegality by insisting that the right procedure for winding down a statutory agency be followed”, he said.

Contributing to the debate, Sen. Solomon Olamilekan (APC-Ogun) supported the motion, insisting that the rule of law must be strictly adhered to.

“The law cannot be in existence if the agencies are scrapped. The needful must be done in repealing those laws.”

Also  Sen. Sani Musa (APC-Niger) in supporting the motion agreed that laws establishing the affected agencies must be repealed.

In his submission, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, said that
the winding down of the NFVCB would have been an infringement on the Act of Parliament.

He also said that the National Assembly was not even aware of the implementation of the report.

Akpabio said, “If the President wishes to implement Oronsaye’s report, due process must be followed.

“This means all the Acts of Parliament in existence must be brought before the parliament for further consideration,” he said

According to him, the President can only proceed with implementation when the parliament agrees.

“You can only begin to implement when the parliament is in agreement with you”, he said.”

The Senate then resolved to call on the SGF and the Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy to suspend the wind-down of the National Film and Video Censors Board.(NAN)

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