By Patrick Andrew
The constraint of funds has compelled the delegates at the National Conference to approve the establishment of 20 standing committees to deliberate on sundry issues and make recommendations to the committee of the whole for adoption.
Though, the delegates had overwhelmingly sought the expansion of the proposed committees, but according to the secretariat of the national conference, constraint of space had compelled them to limit the number of committees to 20 numbers.
Delegates, who had insisted on expanded committees, had been informed that the National Judicial Institute (NJI) limited space that could only accommodate 10 committees and that the secretariat went out of its ways to secure addition space for 10 more committees but was constrained and could therefore not do more than that, unless the Federal Government gives approval to the leadership of the National Conference to rent 10 more halls for meetings.
The 20 committees were listed in the proposed work plan which was also adopted albeit with some recommendations for administrative amendments.
The Conference Secretary, Valerie-Janette Azinge, had informed the delegates of the difficulty in securing space especially since the committees are scheduled to meet concurrently which requires that they meet separately whenever meetings were scheduled.
She disclosed that the committees are scheduled to spend three weeks to deliberate on the sundry subjects and thereafter make their respective submissions and recommendations to the committee of the whole for ratification and adoption.
Though that did not go down well with delegates as they insisted on having the committees expanded so that education, health, patriotism and national values, sports among others would either be independent or merged in committees that would not be lopsided.
Eventually, Orok Otu Duke, of the Former Speakers’ Forum, moved the motion that the amended list of committees be adopted to include the suggestions of members. The motion was seconded by Asabe Nahaya, a representative of the National Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ.
Mrs. Azinge though promised to make adjustment in the composition of the committees if there were favourable responses from government on the proposed request for more funds to hire adequate accommodations for the committees.