Delegates to the National Conference again rejected another move by the secretariat to adjust the debate pattern on committee's report in order to save time.
Chairman of the conference, Justice Idris Kutigi had read out a proposal by some delegates suggesting ways of reducing time spent on debates in order to meet the July 17 deadline.
He said the group of elder statement had suggested that there should be a revised means of speaking on the committees’ reports and that five delegates, each from the six geo-political zones should be selected to speak.
Delegates unanimously rejected the proposal by the group of elder statesmen to recommend such rules as a means of saving time, despite all explanations by the chairman of the conference, Justice Kutigi that the initiative was meant to assist in managing the limited time available.
Objecting to the idea, elder statesman and former Minister of Education, Prof. Jibril Aminu said it was better to continue with the current procedure, saying that he is very hopeful that the conference would be able to conclude deliberations within the allotted time frame.
In considering the remaining aspects of the report of on agriculture, delegates voted to have farm settlements revived in the country and that agriculture should be the business of the state and local governments with policy support from the federal government.
Delegates, while debating the report of the Committee on Trade and Economy, expressed concern over what they described as 'Asian invasion', which has seen several critical sectors of the Nigerian economy taken over by companies from Asia.
Many who spoke on the report urged government to do something to stem the tide, especially to the incursion in the areas where Nigerians have established competences.
A delegate rose in opposition to an aspect of the committee's report that suggested the total privatisation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, Kogi State, saying that the conference should go with recommendations made by the Science and Technology on the retention of government stake holding in the sector.
Another delegate proposed an amendment requiring the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay a withholding tax based on prevailing rate for any revenue it failed to remit to the Federation Account at the due time.