Tag Archives: #HouseofReps

Labour Strike: Gbajabiamila Calls For More Time to Negotiate With Executive On Labour Demands

The Speaker, House of Representatives has call for time to enable him lead the way for negotiations with the executive after meeting with SGF and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo today.

Labour Strike: Gbajabiamila Calls for More Time to Negotiate with Executive on Labour Demands

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Sunday implored the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to give room for enough time for negotiations with the executive arm of government over the proposed industrial action for commencement on Monday.

This is as the the Speaker later met with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to deliberate on the outcome of his meeting with the labour leaders.

The labour unions had threatened to embark on industrial action from Monday if their demands for the reversal of the increase in electricity tariff and Premium Motor Split (PMS) were not met.

Gbajabiamila, while meeting with the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, and the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye, in his office on Sunday, expressed concern over the consequences of a shutdown of the nation’s socio-economic activities on Nigerians, while disclosing his intentions to interface with the executive for a possible amicable resolution of the demands of the Labour unions.

Gbajabiamila said it is incumbent upon the House as elected representatives to see how they can intervene and perhaps a third voice, would be able to broker some kind of amicable solution to the ongoing impasse while citing instances where the House had successfully intervened in such matters before now.

He said: “In good conscience, we are on the same page, or most of the time, we’re on the same page, and you know, that we, the leadership of the House of Representatives are on the same page with you.

“But what is the consequence, and that’s the bigger picture of going on strike. When we have a complete government shutdown, the people we seek to protect, invariably end up holding the short end of the stick.

“So it ends up defeating the purpose. You know, sometimes, no matter how long negotiations or talks last, sometimes at the end of the day, it may be the better route to take.

The Speaker emphasized the need for patience by the labour unions while adding that the timing of the implementation of the issues at stake by the government should be well looked into by both parties since both parties considered some of the issues at stake as inevitable.

“The budget is coming to the National Assembly. Some policies that are being considered and that will make sure to cushion the effect of this includes the provision of food items, distribution of grains, reduction on taxes on minimum wage, payment of some special allowances from October to January 2021, involvement in the ownership of housing programs through household and mortgage outlets by the NLC and TUC members, and special policy of government vehicles autogas, which is an alternative to PMS for public establishments.

“I think these policies and more will go a long way and this can be provided in the budget but it is a couple of weeks away or less. So this is an appeal”.

“I think we can achieve a lot more by being patient because they say when two giants fight, it’s the grass that suffers. We don’t want that to happen here. We all have children, we have wards, we have people who work with us, we have family, and we have friends who suffer the consequences of this”.

After the meeting, Wabba said the outcome of the interface with the executive as promised by the Speaker would determine the next line of action of the Labour unions.

He said: “We told the Speaker how the discussion with the Federal government went and how the meeting was adjourned, so, he has also promised to try and intervene at his own level to see to it that we don’t inflict more pains on Nigerians.

“In the course of the discussion, we had also realized that the House of Representatives has actually done a lot on these issues, including recommendations to the government which we have shared mutually

“But the bottom line is that we want this burden that has now been shifted to Nigerians as consumers is also lifted so that we can have a decent life”.

On the strike, he said, “If the issues are not addressed, we have given notice and that notice will certainly expire by tomorrow (Monday) and all the actions we have pronounced will take effect”.

The Speaker immediately left for the State House where he met with Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo over the issues.

Present at the meeting were Deputy House Leader, Rep. Peter Akpatason; Chairman, House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Rep. Mohammed Ali Wudil and the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep. Magaji Da’u Aliyu.

The statement was issued by Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives.

Nigeria – Ghana Group, Traders Laud Gbajabiamila Over Intervention In Trade Dispute

The spokesman of the Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Mr Lanre Lasisi, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria. In a statement issued early today said.

“The Nigeria-Ghana Business Council and the Nigeria Union of Traders Association Ghana (NUTAG) have commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila over his intervention in the trade disputes with the government of Ghana.

Members of the Nigeria-Ghana Business Council said through their President, Omoba Bambo Ademiluyi, that Gbajabiamila’s visit to Ghana has made positive impact and paved the way for an amicable resolution to the trade dispute.

In a letter of appreciation and commendation dated September 5 and addressed to the Speaker, Mr Ademiluyi said: “It is on record that your trip brought about the highest involvement of both governments in this dispute that has been on since 2007.

“Your proposals and presentations have given rise to two very vital solutions to the problem: 1. The review of the GIPC Act demanding $1,000,000 deposit for foreign investors in Ghana as it concerns Nigerians. 2. The promotion of the Nigeria-Ghana Business Council backed by legislation to superintend on trade and business issues between the two countries.”

He said the formation of the business council as proposed by the Speaker was a welcome development.

“Our objectives and activities align with the proposal which is being introduced to superintend trade issues of the two countries.

“It is, therefore, our wish to express support for the formation of this council and request that we work with your team to see to a successful emergence of a government-backed Business Council.”

On their part, members of NUTAG said in another letter addressed to the Speaker dated September 6 that Gbajabiamila’s visit and engagement with the Ghanaian authorities were timely and a right step in the right direction.”

The spokesman further said:

“In the letter, signed by the association’s President, Chief Chukwuemeka Nnaji, the Nigerian traders urged the Speaker not to despair in ensuring that resolutions reached during the interface are implemented by all concerned parties.

The traders noted that Gbajabiamila’s intervention was a testimony that President Muhammadu Buhari and the government of Nigeria have the interest of Nigerians at home and abroad at heart.

The letter reads in part: “Your Excellency, please, allow me to seize this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association of Ghana (NUTAG), for your kind, responsible and timely intervention to quell the much travails we have been experiencing at the hands of Ghanaian authorities and our Ghanaian counterpart, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).

“Sir, the leadership of NUTAG and all Nigerian traders in Ghana, as well as other Nigerians living in Ghana, deeply appreciate your recent visit to Ghana in order to try and resolve the lingering trade impasse between Ghana and Nigeria; in unison, we hail this as the right step in the right direction.

“The move at once displays that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria led by His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari has all Nigerian citizens very close at heart, both at home and abroad.

“We are indeed very grateful to you and the entire team who embarked on this journey, and we are optimistic that an end to our travails in Ghana is at hand.”

“The president of the trade union, however, stated that a lot of Nigerian traders in Ghana are finding things difficult as their means of livelihood have been shut down.

The traders appealed to the Nigerian Government to engage with the Ghanaian Government to reopen the said shops pending an enduring solution the impasse.” He concluded.

The 1999 Constitution Review Committee Calls For Memoranda

The Senate Ad-hoc committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution has formally commenced the process of further alteration to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The Committee therefore requests the general public, Executive and Judicial bodies, Civil Society Organizations, Professional bodies and other interest groups to submit memoranda or proposals for further alteration(s) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) on the underlisted matters and on any other matter that will promote good governance and welfare of all persons in our country on the principles of freedom, Equality and Justice, namely:

  1. Gender Equality for women and girls
  2. The Federal Structure and Power Devolution
  3. Local Government/Local Government Autonomy
  4. Public Revenue, Fiscal Federation and Revenue Allocation
  5. Nigerian Police and Nigerian Security Architecture
  6. Comprehensive Judicial Reforms
  7. Electoral Reforms to strengthen INEC to deliver transparently credible free and fair elections
  8. Socio-economic and cultural rights as contained in Chapter 2 of the constitution
  9. Strengthening the Independence of oversight institutions and agencies created by the constitution or pursuant to an act of the National Assembly
  10. Residency and Indigene Provisions
  11. Immunity
  12. The National Assembly
  13. State Creation

All proposals and memoranda are to be submitted to the Secretariat of the committee in Room 0.28, Senate New wing, National Assembly Complex, Abuja, not later than 14 days from the date of this publication or they may be sent electronically to the email address of the committee’s Secretariat (08033109357/ 08097522601) namely scrc9nass@gmail.com.

Signed:
Senator Ovie A. Omo-Agege
Deputy President of the Senate/Chairman

Hon. Yusuf Gagdi Visits Operation Safe HEAVEN, Seeks Improved Security In PANKSHIN, Kanke, Kanam

Flowing from his earlier visit to the Inspector General of Police and the critical meeting of stakeholders of Kanam Local Government Areas in a bid to curb the rising spate of criminal activities in PKK, with particular concern to the incessant kidnappings in Kanam LGA, the member representing Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yusuf Adamu Gagdi was today at the Operation Safe Heaven (STF) headquarters in Jos, where he held talks with the Commander for a collaborative effort to tame the tide.

The lawmaker commended the commander, Major General Okonko for his efforts to curb the wanton killings in Southern Kaduna, parts of Bauchi and Plateau, and encouraged the commander not to rest on his oars until activities of marauding killers in his areas of coverage are brought to an end.

Rt Hon Gagdi requested for the formation of military checkpoints in Garga axis, Gagdi-Dugub axis and Namaran-Kapel axis, where the kidnappers and other criminals had recently had field days perpetrating their heinous activities.

He said lack of security presence in those axis had encouraged the criminals to execute their missions unhindered, hence observed that when Join Security checkpoints are installed in the areas, the criminals will have to withdraw their activities from those areas or get apprehended by the security apparatus.

While responding, the commander, Major General Okonko promised to hearken to the lawmaker’s request in order to put paid to the criminal activities of bandits in the mentioned areas.

He said his men are well equipped and combat ready to clamp down on bandits and criminal activities in his area of coverage, while assuring that his men will redouble their efforts to ensure improved security in PKK and the whole areas under Operation Safe Heaven.

As Chairman of one of the armed forces committee in the House of Representatives who equally oversight the general activities of the military, Rt Hon. Gagdi was presented with a plague, to honour his visit to the STF headquarters.

Signed:
Gagdi Media Team.

Basic Steps on How To RECALL A Member of The House of Assembly, House of Reps or Senate

Barr S. G Idress, Principal Partner S. G Idress & Co. (Al-Mufeed Law)

Recently there is a growing yearning and demand among young Nigerians about the need to use the only mechanism or option left in the hands of voters after electing a person into either the State House of Assembly, House of Representatives or the Senate, where there is lack of confidence.

This to me is the only weapon left in the hands of the electorate that ensure that an elected person or representative in any legislative house, remain answerable to his constituent throughout the period of his assignment as their representative.

In an attempt to provide what may look like a guide to the electorates in this regard, let me quickly consider the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended), especially from section 69, 110, 68 and 109. Which are the sections directly connected to recall in our constitution.

Given effect to these provisions of the constitution will go a long way in reshaping our democracy and in enhancing our political culture in Nigeria going forward.

Step One: Where and how to start the recall process?

The starting point is the same whether it relate to a member of the National Assembly (House of Representatives or Senate) or a member of the House of Assembly, Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution provide in respect of the recall of a member of the National Assembly (Senate or House of Representatives) thus:
“A member of the Senate or of the House Representatives may be recalled as such a member if –

(a) there is presented to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission a petition in that behalf signed by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member and which signatures are duly verified by the Independent National Electoral Commission; and

(b) the petition is thereafter, in a referendum conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission within ninety days of the date of receipt of the petition, approved by a simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency.”

While in respect of a member of the State House of Assembly section 110 provide in the same vain thus:
“A member of the House of Assembly may be recalled as such a member if –

(a) there is presented to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission a petition in that behalf signed by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that members’ constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member and which signatures are duly verified by the Independent Electoral Commission; and

(b) the petition is thereafter, in a referendum conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission within ninety days of the date of the receipt of the petition, approved by a simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency.”

Step Two: What happens when the recall process is concluded by the INEC?

Where all the laid down procedures and requirements of recall are made, if it is in respect of a member of the National Assembly, section 68 provides thus:

“(1) A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if –

(h) the President of the Senate or, as the case may be, the Speaker of the House of Representatives receives a certificate under the hand of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission stating that the provisions of section 69 of this Constitution have been complied with in respect of the recall of that member.

2) The President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, shall give effect to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, so however that the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives or a member shall first present evidence satisfactory to the House concerned that any of the provisions of that subsection has become applicable in respect of that member.”

The same thing shall applied to a member of the House of Assembly, as section 109 also provides thus:

“(1) A member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if –

(h) the Speaker of the House of Assembly receives a certificate under the hand of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission stating that the provisions of section 110 of this Constitution have been complied with in respect of the recall of the member.

(2) The Speaker of the House of Assembly shall give effect to subsection (1) of this section, so however that the Speaker or a member shall first present evidence satisfactory to the House that any of the provisions of that subsection has become applicable in respect of the member.”

The procedure if followed will go a long way in putting all elected officials in check from the legislature down to the executive, because, where the members of the legislature became conscious of the power of the members of their Constituencies to recall them, they will refuse to allow the members of the executives from using them at the detriment of the people they supposed to represent and only then, they will be bold enough to activate their power to impeach the members of the executives if need be. Only then democracy will be a government of the people.

National Assembly: Why we updated our Legislative Agenda – Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has said that the current realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have necessitated the House to review its Legislative Agenda launched last October and come up with an updated version.

The Speaker said the House took into cognizance the fact that COVID-19 came with a lot of challenges that could not be addressed by the first Legislative Agenda, which was prepared long before the outbreak of the pandemic.

In a keynote address at the retreat for the leadership and members of the House on the updated Legislative Agenda on Saturday in Abuja, tagged ‘Our Contract with Nigerians,’ the Speaker said the House would ensure it follows the objectives of the updated Legislative Agenda logically so as to achieve success.

Gbajabiamila said though the House came up with the last Legislative Agenda a year ago, “However, in all our planning and imagining, we did not know that the world will soon change drastically, in ways we could not then conceive of, and with consequences beyond our wildest imagination.

“Before now, the extent of our difficulties was well known to us. We have population growth that far outpaces the rate of economic growth. Insecurity has made vast swathes of our country uninhabitable for citizens and unattractive to investment.

“We are at war, fighting insurgents in the North East who want to remake our world in the image of a medieval theocracy. Our education system is producing graduates who cannot compete in the 21st-century knowledge economy.

“At the same time, economic and social inequity exacerbates our age-old conflicts, making cooperation and progress difficult, and often impossible.

“As a consequence of the new realities imposed on us by the Covid-19 pandemic, the question then is, how do you achieve your ambitions in a world where the signposts of certainty have moved so far that we can barely even see them, or recognise where they used to be?

“This is the reality from which the Nigerian people are looking to us for lasting solutions. Are we able to rise to the challenges of our times? I believe that we are. This updated Legislative Agenda, and the implementation plan which we have tagged ‘Our Contract with Nigerians’ sets out the new priorities of this 9th House of Representatives and commits us to a plan of action over the next year, and for the rest of our tenure.

“We have called this document a contract because that is what it is: a written account of what we owe the people and how we intend to meet our obligations within the shortest possible time. These documents represent our intention to be held accountable based on what we have freely committed to achieving, and which I am confident we will realize, to the glory of God and the edification of our people.”

Gbajabiamila said the retreat was an opportunity to empower members “with the confidence to dare and the skills to deliver.

“I encourage all of us to use the time here today to learn from the speakers and each other, exchange ideas and develop individual roadmaps that would guide our interactions as we work together to deliver a House of Representatives that meets the highest expectations of its citizens.

“I want you to remember today as always what our mission is: to protect those who need us, to shield them, to empower through opportunity, to decide what future we want and then to build it.

“This is our mandate, and we will deliver because we must, because there is no alternative. I pray for God’s guidance on all our endeavours and I wish journey mercies to all those who will be travelling today and the days ahead.”

In a goodwill message, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Bar. Boss Mustapha, said the retreat could not have come at a better time “because our nation and indeed the entire world is facing the most important emergency of our generation in the form of COVID-19 pandemic.”

He said the impact of the pandemic has disrupted all global systems, including governance, economy, lawmaking, food production, transportation, education and health systems to mention, which was why the legislature needed to recalibrate and reposition itself on the delivery of the expected outcomes of its contract with Nigerians “because the next three years will be very critical to our nation.”

The SGF, who is also the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF), said the mutual relationship that currently exists between the Executive and the Legislature has made governance more result-orientated and development driven.

“The list of examples of mutual respect and understanding range from the respect for the principle of separation of powers, constant consultations, promptness in dealing with requests from the Executive, thorough and timely passage of the budget and a host of other positives steps taken by the legislature.

“There is no doubt that we are laying a sound foundation for future generations of Nigerians to build upon in governance, accountability and behaviour, all pointing in the direction of convergence of our determination to develop a peaceful, strong and virile nation.”

The updated Legislative Agenda is divided into three components: immediate legislative action, intermediate legislative action and long term legislative action so that the lawmakers would have the opportunity to propose laws and take actions that would fit in the current realities.

Signed:
Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

BREAKING: Drama As Acting NDDC Boss Collapses During House Hearing

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The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, fainted on Monday during an investigative hearing at the National Assembly.

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The NDDC Boss collapsed when he was seated before the members of the House Committee on NDDC while being grilled by them.

The committee had grilled him for about 45 minutes before he passed out unceremoniously without prior notice.

Pondei has been rushed out of the Conference Room 231, venue of the investigative hearing on illegal spending and mismanagement of funds of the commission.

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, however, stayed behind.

Members of the committee are still debating whether to suspend the hearing or not.

Details Later…..

The Speaker of The House of Reps, Pays Condolence Visit to Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila pays condolence visit to Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi for the passing of his Father Malam Adamu Yusuf.

The member who represent the people of Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam (PKK) in the House of Representatives lost his father on the 16th July, 2020.

Hon. Yusuf announced the speaker’s visit and his appreciation for the said visit by the speaker and other members yesterday on his Facebook page. Where he said:

“The Honourable Speaker, my boss Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila was at my residence yesterday with other honorable colleagues to condole me over the death of my father. I’m very grateful, it is well appreciated.”

May the soul of Malam Adamu Yusuf and all departed faithfuls rest in Jannatul Firdaus.

Speaker House Reps Urge Journalists To Be truthful in your reportage

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has tasked journalists to always be truthful in their reportage, which he said would promote good governance.

Speaking during the inauguration of the newly elected officials of the House of Representatives Press Corps on Thursday at the National Assembly, Gbajabiamila said journalists must contribute to the well-being of the society through their coverage.

The Speaker said journalists have the capacity to shape different narratives in the society, hence the need to be truthful.

He also tasked journalists to ensure balanced and objective reportage to avoid being one-sided, saying doing so would enhance the business of news reporting.

He said when Nigerians read stories that are not true, the media would lose credibility.

He admonished the newly elected officials of the House Press Corps to always remember their oath of office in carrying out their functions.

He said the leadership of the House under hin would ensure a conducive environment for all journalists covering the activities of the House.

He challenged journalists to do away with the bad eggs among them, which he said could be found in any institution or profession.

“We talk about reforms here and there; there has to be reform in your work too. Just recently, we had people from the media come and apologised for false reporting.

“You have the potential of even killing your business in a newspaper house, because in a society if you’re sued, that’s the end of your job. So, what does it pay anybody, knowing especially that the story you’re publishing is false?

“My own is an admonition, and there’s nothing wrong with admonition. Get me right, we want you to report the truth. Whether it is negative or not, one thing is just to make sure it’s the truth. Whether it goes against the House, it goes against the Senate, it doesn’t matter. But let it be the truth,” he said.

The newly sworn-in chairman of the corps, Grace Ike, in her remark, thanked the Speaker for attending the inauguration.

She said as journalists, they would always ensure that their reports are truthful, balanced and objective.

Signed:
Lanre Lasisi,
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives,
Federal of Nigeria

Minister of Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed Orders DSTV To Reverse Subscription Increase

The Minster of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed has agreed to order DSTV and others to immediately reverse their recent subscription price increase in the interest of Nigerians.

The Minister also promised speedy implementation of Pay As You Go Tariff Plan and breaking of monopoly in the industry.

Lai Muhammed disclosed this when he appeared before the Adhoc Committee investigating non-implementation of Pay as You Go Tariff by DSTV and others.

In his remarks,the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee, Rep. Unyime Idem said,

“The mandate the House gave us in June 2, 2020 was that DSTV should reverse to the old price regime. The House views the recent increase as insensitive, inhuman and unacceptable. What they did was so bad even after enjoying reprieve from NBC. In the period where Nigerians are going through difficulty as a result of COVID-19, they were not supposed to increase the price at the time. This is a period they are supposed to do more of corporate social responsibility and give more discount to subscribers. So we are giving them a marching order to reverse the price, maintain status quo pending when we will finish this investigation.”

On the issue of DSTV monopoly and Pay As you Go, Rep. Idem asked the Information Minister, “Nigerians are eager to know why Pay As You Go is difficult to implement in Nigeria? They want to know why breaking of monopoly in this industry is difficult? I was impressed when in October last year you said that all forms of monopoly in the industry must be broken. Almost one year after, the monopoly working against the progress of the industry is still in place. The sector has huge potentials capable of generating revenue and employment. Why do you allow only one player to dominate such that new players are suffocated to extinction? I was so pained to learn that the premises of TSTV has become an abandoned property as if they lack the expertise to run the business. This is because a particular operator does not allow them to breathe as they seat on the progress of others. Nigerians want to know what it will take to break this monopoly. What do you need from the National Assembly to make this happen? We cannot allow only one operator to be the only cock to crow; no matter how powerful they are. The telecoms industry was like this. When it was opened up, jobs were created and there was larger participation. There are a lot of Nigerians who have what it takes to operate in this sector but monopoly is the problem. We want the digital broadcast sector to be opened up for larger and all-inclusive participation”

In his response, Minister Lai Muhammed said that DSTV is not justified in its June 1, 2020 price increase at a period when Nigerians are still grappling with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

He promised to ensure that the prize increase reversal is done with immediate effect. He also promised to ensure speedy implementation of Pay As You Go Tariff Plan and coming up with strategies to break the monopoly in the industry