Faulty chamber address system stalls Reps’ plenary 

The House of Representatives plenary was yesterday brought to an
abrupt end due to technical faults with the chamber public address
system.

Blueprint learnt that the collapse of the system was not just spotted
during plenary yesterday as visitors, including in most cases,
students on excursion to the green chamber as well as journalists,
have had to listen to members’ debates with strained ears from the
gallery, due to poor audio output of the microphones.

 The problem was however worsened yesterday by failure of many of them
to pick up when members attempted to use them.

At a point, it took the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yussuff several
unsuccessful attempts at using different microphone points in his
effort to contribute to debate on the general principles of a bill
seeking to stop age discrimination in employment exercises in Nigeria.

It was after Yussuff’s terrible experience that Speaker Yakubu Dogara,
who was presiding, called for suspension of the sitting for this
morning.

The Speaker after putting the question to voice votes to approve
second reading of the Bill under consideration, said it was obvious
that it would be challenging for the proceeding to continue, adding
that it would however take at least three weeks for replacement
equipment to arrive from Germany, from where the one in use was
procured.

He said it was understandable because the system was installed since
1999, and has worn out, but advised members that since more of the
microphones picking up were in the front rows, they would have to swap
their personal allocated seats for the front ones as they resume
sitting today.

“I was told the equipment will take three weeks to arrive from
Germany. Since most of the microphones working are in the front,
members are advised to move forward tomorrow,” the speaker said, and
subsequently directed chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business,
Hon. Edward Pwajok, to move a motion to the effect that the remaining
items on the day’s Order Paper be stepped down by leave of the House.

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