The Niger Bridge
* Moves to protect telephone subscribers
By Onwuka Nzeshi
The House of Representatives Tuesday passed a resolution urging the Federal Ministry of Works to commence the immediate rehabilitation of the River Niger Bridge linking Delta and Anambra States, to avoid its imminent collapse.
The lawmakers also urged the Federal Government to employ the services of a competent contractor to commence the construction of the proposed second Niger Bridge to support the existing one.
The resolution was sequel to a matter of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Ezenwa Onyewuchi, in which the lawmakers were briefed on the dilapidated state of the bridge constructed in 1965.
Onyewuchi said the bridge had developed cracks and faults in many sections and could collapse any moment.
Also yesterday, the lawmaker passed for second reading a bill seeking to protect telephone consumers from the activities of telecommunication firms, who indulge in various marketing strategies that often leave subscribers short changed.
The bill is designed to provide adequate sanctions against the business of tele-marketing in the country.
Sponsor of the bill, Hon. Abiodun Balogun, said the bill when passed into law will prohibit any service provider from posting any unsolicited advertisement from any third party to subscribers on their network.
The bill is also seeking to prohibit any service provider from calling any residential telephone line using an artificial or pre-recorded voice to deliver messages to text messages without the prior consent of the called party.
Balogun said it would also curb online telemarketing as anyone convicted of engaging in unsolicited marketing through telephony may have to pay a fine of up to N5 million.
In a related development, the House has asked the Federal Government to compensate the families of nine female health workers, who were killed while on polio immunisation exercise in Kano State.
The lawmakers, who condemned the killings, said the compensation had become necessary as the families were untimely robbed of their bread winners, while in active service for their fatherland.
The decision of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion moved under matters of urgent public importance.
Sponsor of the motion, Hon. Munnir Danagundi (PDP/ Kano), said such action on health personnel was capable of derailing well-intentioned programmes of government.
“This dastardly act is capable of distracting from the Federal Government objectives of accelerating the reduction of maternal and child mortality in all part of the country by mindless act of terrorism,” he said.
In adopting the motion, the lawmakers advised security agencies to put in place measures capable of preventing future assault on patriotic Nigerians while serving their fatherland.