Friday, February 23, 2024
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Nigeria National Assembly: House of Representatives Plenary, Thursday July 2023

Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Thursday, July 6th, 2023 with The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas presiding. After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Wednesday, July 5th, 2023.



ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Letter from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the appointment of Chief of Defense Staff and Service Chiefs for confirmation by the National Assembly. He expressed the hope that the request will receive the usual speedy consideration and cooperation by the National Assembly.
  2. Hon. Yusuf Gagdi is to Chair the Ad-Hoc committee charged with investigating Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Parastatals and Tertiary Institutions on mismanagement of personnel recruitment, employment racketeering and gross mismanagement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

PETITIONS

  1. Hon. Bamidele Salam laid a petition on behalf of Pastor Femi Oluwafemi against the National Union of Road Transport Workers, especially the National Chairman for breach of trust after paying millions of Naira on a said agreement with no yielding result. He called on the House to use its legislative tools to grant him justice to retrieve his funds.
  2. Hon. Haruna Paul laid a petition on behalf of Engineer Adamu Yakubu, against the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company who complained that for 7 consecutive months he has been denied the use of electricity supply for no reason and he asks the House to please intervene on his behalf.

Both petitions were referred to the House committee on Public Petitions when constituted.


Members of Representatives at the Floor of the National Assembly, following Plenary.

MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

  1. Hon. Mohammed Audu moved a motion on the need to address the crisis between some communities in Taraba State and it was seconded by Hon. Uduak Alphonsus. Hon. Mohammed in presenting the motion stated that the recent crisis that erupted has already claimed lives, farm crops, homes and possessions. He stated that many individuals remain displaced for fear of the safety of their lives.

He called on the Minister of Disaster Preparedness, that on Human Affairs and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the aid of victims of the communities. Hon. Mohammed further called on the Inspector General of Police to provide security in the region in order to address the violence and to ensure it does not reoccur. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on National Emergency and Disaster Preparedness when constituted.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Police Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 17) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) – First Reading.
  2. Federal University of Technology, Kaduna (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 18) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) – First Reading.
  3. Social Security for Unemployed Graduate and the Aged in Nigeria, Bill, 2023 (HB. 19) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) – First Reading.
  4. Environmental Health and Safety Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 20) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) – First Reading.
  5. National Primary Education Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.21) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) – First Reading.
  6. Voting Rights of Nigerian citizens living outside Nigeria, Bill, 2023 (HB.22) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) – First Reading.
  7. National Budget Bill, 2023 (HB. 23) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) – First Reading.
  8. Federal University of Medical and Health Sciences, Bende, Abia State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.23) (Hon. Benjamin Kalu) – First Reading.
  9. Foreign Service Commission (Establishment, Etc) Bill, 2023 (HB. 26) (Hon. Benjamin Kalu) – First Reading.
  10. Interpretation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 27) (Hon. Benjamin Kalu) – First Reading.
  11. Nigerian Authors Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 28) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  12. Export (Prohibition) Act (Repeal) Bill, 2023 (HB.29) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  13. National Commission for Colleges of Health Science Education (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 30) (Hon. Mustapha Tijjani) – First Reading.
  14. Federal College of Health Sciences, Gaya, Kano State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.31) (Hon. Mustapha Tijjani) – First Reading.
  15. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB. 32) (Hon. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai) – First Reading.
  16. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB. 33) (Hon. Francis Ejiroghene Waive) – First Reading.
  17. Nigerian Maritime Security Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.34) (Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi) – First Reading.
  18. Federal College of Education, Dangi-Kanam, Plateau State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 35) (Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi) – First Reading.
  19. Nigerian Steel Development Authority Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 36) (Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi) – First Reading.

ORDERS OF THE DAY:

MOTIONS:

  1. Clarion Call to End the Communal Crisis between the Ishinkwo and Abaomege Communities in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State:
    Hon. Kama Nkemkanma:

The House:

Notes with disheartening the communal crisis between Ishinkwo and Abaomege communities in Ebonyi State started in 1912 over rice farmland and has continued without a tangible solution up to June 2023 resulting in the loss of lives and properties worth billions of Naira, the most recent resurgence has claimed more than twenty innocent victims;

Worried that this inhuman act has claimed lives and destroyed properties and desertion of both communities and residents who are in internally displaced persons (IDPs) Camps under inhuman and intolerable conditions while the community is occupied by soldiers and other security forces;

Recalls that various attempts by past government administrations to resolve the crisis have failed, save the 1987 Military Administration truce which was sustained until the endemic crisis was re-ignited and escalated within the past seven years;

Observes that the 2021 Boundary Adjustment initiated by the State Government under the chairmanship of Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, cannot stand in the eyes of the law, since section 8 of the Constitution is categorical on the primacy of the National Assembly and its attendant Act on Boundary Adjustment;

Also notes that in consonance with section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government which is in sync with the constitutional injunction to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation or any part;

Further notes that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and particularly the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) upholds the Right to Life and Human Dignity as the utmost inalienable rights that cannot be infringed upon without adequate compensation and redress;

Disturbed that communal clashes, farmers/herders clashes, banditry, kidnapping and allied ills have assumed a different dimension and gradually entrenched daily life of Nigerian irrespective of the proactive containment of same in the National Peace Policy and the Proposed National Peace Commission Institute Bill;

Appreciate the absolute truth that the Right to Life is the foremost fundamental right on which other rights depend, and the fact that security of life and property is the essence of government.

Resolve to:

(i) urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to undertake the desired emergency response action that will salvage the pathetic situation of the victims;

(ii) set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the Ishinkwo and Abaomege age-long crisis and adduce tangible solutions to same and report back within six (6) for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Kama Nkemkanma moved the motion on the call to end the communal crisis between Ishinkwo and Abaomege communities in Onicha local government area of Ebonyi state and it was seconded by Hon. Esin Etim. The motion was voted on and adopted. The membership of the proposed Ad-Hoc committee will be duly announced.

  1. Need to Reconstruct the Failed Portions of the Oba-Nnewi-Uga-Akokwa-Arondizuogu-Okigwe Federal Road in Idemili North/South, Nnewi North/South/Ekwusigo, Aguata and Ideato North/South Federal Constituencies of Anambra and Imo States:
    Hon. Ugochinyere O. Ikeagwuonu ​ ​ ​ ​Hon. Uche Elodimuo ​ Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Hon. Dom Okafor:

The House:

Notes that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) provides that the security, safety and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government;

Aware of the fact that the National Assembly is saddled with the task of making laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation or any part thereof as enshrined in Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended);

Cognizant that Oba-Nnewi-Uga-Akokwa-Arondizuogu-Okigwe Road is one of the Federal roads in the country, over which the federal government through the relevant ministry/ agency, exercises maintenance functions;

Concerned that despite the construction/repair/maintenance work carried out on the road by the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the past, the road has remained in a deplorable state;

Also concerned that as a result of the deplorable state of the road, economic and commercial activities in the surrounding communities have crumbled. Traders and travellers around Nnewi, Onitsha, Uga, Akokwa and Arondizuogu communities in Anambra and Imo States have abandoned the area for fear of their lives and safety:

Informed that the bad portion of the Oba-Nnewi-Uga-Akokwa-Arondizuogu-Okigwe road in ldemili North/South, Nnewi North/South/Ekwusigo, Aguata and ldeato North/South Federal Constituencies of Anambra and Imo States of Nigeria have become the centre-stage of criminality, with gunmen taking over the area to carry out criminal activities such as stealing, kidnapping, killing of innocent road users, among others;

Also informed that as a result of the failed portion of Oba-Nnewi-Uga-Akokwa- ArondizuoguOkigwe Road, inhabitants of the affected communities (cutting across Anambra and Imo States) have fled from their homes to seek safety and shelter elsewhere;

Worried that with the advent of the rainy season, the already deplorable state of the road has been worsen and inhabitants of the said communities are no longer able to go about their daily activities freely as their lives and properties are under threat due to the torrential erosions that ensue from the rains;

Also worried that if reconstruction work is not carried out on the road, the lives, businesses and economy of inhabitants of the affected communities will be completely crumbled;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to embark on thorough repairs, rehabilitation and/or reconstruction works on the failed portions of the Oba-Aquata-Akokwa- Arondizuogu-Okigwe Road in Idemili North/ldemili South, Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo, Aguata and Ideato North/ldeato South Federal Constituencies of Anambra and Imo States;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Works, Appropriation, Emergency and Disaster Preparedness (when constituted) to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu moved the motion on the need to reconstruct the failed portions of the Oba-Nnewi-Uga-Akokwa-Arondizogu-Okigwe federal road in Idemili North/South/Ekwusigo, Aguata and Ideato North/South federal constituencies of Anambra and Imo states and it was seconded by Hon. Amobi Ogah. Hon. Miriam Onuoha proposed an amendment to include Okigwe North constituency into the prayers of the motion since the stated road cuts across a major part of the constituency. The motion was voted on and adopted as amended.

  1. Devastating Communal Clashes between Oju and Ibilla Communities of Oju Local Government Area of Benue State:
    Hon. David Agada Ogewu:

The House:

Notes that Oju and Ibilla Communities of Oju Local Government of Benue State have been engaging in communal clash as a result of land dispute, which has resulted in the loss of lives and properties worth millions of naira;

Also notes that the crises have displaced most people and rendered them homeless as houses were razed down in both communities;

Concerned that if nothing is done to intervene and restore lasting peace in those communities, the reoccurring communal clashes would continue unabated and lead to loss of lives and properties;

Worried about the untold hardship the displaced persons are passing through without shelter and food for sustenance and may eventually start dying of exposure to unfavourable weather and starvation;

Resolves to:

(i) observe a minute silence for those who lost their lives;

(ii) urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to assist in providing the people with relief materials to cushion the effect of the crises;

(iii) beef up security in the local government area especially the affected communities and a military base should be established on Oju Local Government Area considering its border with Cross River and Ebonyi States;

(iv) mandate the Committee of Government Affairs to liaise with the relevant government agency to interface with the warring communities to find a lasting peace between the communities and report within two (2) weeks.

Debate:

Hon. David Ogewu moved the motion on the devastating communal clashes between Oju and Ibilla communities of Oju local government area of Benue state and it was seconded by Hon. Umar Ajilo. The motion was voted on and adopted.

  1. ​Need to Rehabilitate the Failed Section of Warri – Benin Federal Road:
    Hon. Ukodhiko Ajiroghene Jonathan:

The House:

Notes the deplorable sections of the ever-busy Warri-Benin federal road stretching from Sapele through Oghara to Ologbo and its attendant effects on the road users who depend on it for their different daily activities;

Also notes that the Warri-Benin federal road is a major gateway to one of Nigeria’s major Refineries, the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company and depots where petroleum products are distributed to other parts of the country;

Further notes that the Warri-Benin expressway remains the shortest route for commuters travelling from the South-South geopolitical zone of the country as far as, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Edo states to the South West and by extension, Lagos, the economic hub of the country, as well as, the northern part of the country;

Aware that the failed sections of the Warri-Benin federal road at Sapele, Oghara and Ologbo towns in Delta and Edo States have increased the travel time of the commuters because of the gridlocks caused by the bad roads from 1 hour to 5 hours and even up to 10 hours and sometimes days especially the articulated vehicles that are unable to manoeuvre the gridlock to deliver goods and services;

Disturbed that the unplanned extension of travel hours has adversely affected businesses, especially those that deal in perishable goods like tomatoes and pepper that lose quality and value before getting to their various destinations. Most disturbing is the fact that most of these items do not get to their desired destination as some of these articulated vehicles fall into the bad spots thereby emptying their contents on the roads;

Also disturbed that the commuters along these axes grapple with very exorbitant transport fares which further translate to the high cost of goods and Services because many transport operators are scared to ply the route that will seriously impact the wear and tear of their vehicles coupled with the high Cost of fuel occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy;

Further disturbed that Nigerians who live and engage in businesses along these affected communities live in perpetual fears of petroleum-laden tankers emptying their highly inflammable contents that may result in fire incidents that may destroy properties and claim the lives of innocent citizens;

Worried that these failed sections have become security threats to commuters and Nigerians living along the failed axis as they have become safe havens for armed robbers who use the opportunity of the traffic gridlocks to commit heinous crimes;

Concerned that if urgent steps are not taken to repair and rehabilitate these failed sections of the road, the youth may become restive in a bid to protect themselves from criminals who terrorize their communities using the failed spots as their operational base;

Recalls that the primary function of government is to preserve lives and property as enshrined in section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Road Maintenance Agency FERMA to commence the rehabilitation of the failed sections of Warri-Benin Federal Road to ease the difficulties encountered by the road users;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to provide a permanent solution to the collapse of the Warri-Benin Federal Road;

(iii) further urge the Acting Inspector General of Police and other Security Agencies to immediately increase security patrols on the failed spots for the security of lives and property;

(iv) mandate the Committee on Works and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (when constituted) to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Ukodhiko Jonathan moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate the failed section of Warri-Benin federal road and it was seconded by Hon. Dennis Idahosa. Hon. Jonathan in leading his debate stressed the need for the rehabilitation of the road as the gridlock starts early each morning till evening which wastes the time of travelers and traders, hence adversely affecting the socioeconomic wellbeing of those affected. Hon. Nwobi rose to amend the prayer of the motion to extend the rehabilitation from Warri-Benin-Portharcourt road. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committees on Works and that on FERMA when constituted.

  1. ​Need for Intervention on the Fourteen (14) Years Blackout in Irele, Okitipupa, Ese Odo and Ilaje Local Government Areas of Edo State:
    Hon. Odimayo Okunjimi John:

The House:

Notes that the primary responsibility of every government is to create a conducive atmosphere that will enable its citizens to carry out their social and economic activities in their respective fields of endeavours with little or no hindrance;

Aware that since 2014 most communities in Ikeja Local Government Areas, such as Ode¬lrele, OdeAjaja, Akotogbo, lyesa, Ujusun, Ormi, Aturase, and Udogun and others in Okitipupa Local Government Area, namely, lgbotako, llutitun, lkoya, Ayeka, lgbodigu, lrinje, lgundan, ldobilayo, and Big road area of Okitipupa, and most communities in Ese¬Edo and llaje Local government area of Ondo State have been thrown into darkness, by the Benin City Electricity Distribution Company. (BEDC);

Concerned that the action by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has brought untold hardships and misery to the citizens of these local government areas, as all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in these areas have folded up or collapsed due to lack of electricity supply and the high cost of providing alternative power supply with generator have crippled the businesses of those who tried to brave the odds by using generators to power their activities;

Also concerned that children born fifteen years ago to date in these Communities do not know what public power supply is all about as they have never witnessed any form of electricity supply, thereby creating the erroneous impression and belief that the only means of power supply is either from local lamps, touches, candles and generators;

Disturbed that life in these Local Government Areas is presently economically and socially dead as all major industries situated in the areas have either relocated to other areas that are conducive to their operations, while those who tried to manage the situation such as the Oluwa glass Industry, Okitipupa Oil Palm Mill and NTA Channel 26 to name but a few have all collapsed, thereby making life very difficult, hellish and uninteresting for indigenes of these areas;

Further disturbed that this has led to a massive loss of jobs for the locals, as it has adversely affected foreign exchange earnings by the Okitipupa oil mill, which is a major producer and exporter of Palm oil and its allied products in the area, the Ondo State University of Science and Technology Okitipupa, which is a major hub for most of the private businesses around the town is also caught in this web of protracted darkness as it is costing the institution so much of her scarce resources to provide power for its operations. Suffice it to say that the obvious consequences are that all small businesses and enterprises within the institution have either folded up or are struggling to survive and academic activities are seriously hindered as no meaningful learning and research work can be optimally done in such a depressive environment without light;

Worried that with the above horrible situation prevailing in the area due to lack of public power supply, the people especially youths in the area are left jobless and this has led to many of them migrating to surrounding towns and cities in search of economic prosperity, while some take to crimes and unwholesome activities, as “an idle mind they say is the devil workshop;

Resolves to:

(i) mandate the Committee on Power (when constituted) to invite:
(a) the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company to explain the reason for the perpetual blackout in these communities in Irele and Okitipupa Local Government Areas for the past 14 years;

(b) invite Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to explain why Irele and Okitipupa Local Government Areas were disconnected from the national grid and direct that they be reconnected back to it;

(c) to liaise with the National Electricity Regulatory Commission on the quick reconnection of these Local Government Areas to public power supply while resolving any possible dispute that may arise or have arisen between the communities and the service provider;

(ii) also mandate Committee on Power to report back within eight weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. ​Deplorable State of Ewu- Uromi-Agbor and Auchi-Ewu-Benin Federal Highways: Hon. Odianosen Henry Okojie:

The House:

Notes that the Ewu-Uromi-Agbor Federal Highway is critical for the transportation of goods and services, it connects the Northern to Southeastern parts of the country; the road contract which was awarded to Setraco Nigeria Limited, is now a hotspot for kidnappers and bandits due to its dilapidated state;

Also notes that the Auchi- Ewu to Benin Federal Highway serves as a gateway from the Northern to the Southern parts of the country and has been in a deplorable state for quite some time now, due to the slow pace of work by the consortium of companies (Reynold Construction Company, RCC; Dantata and Sowoe; and MotherCat Limited) who were awarded the contract to dualize the road;

Aware that the two routes which used to take about an hour to ply now take a whole day or more, and have continued to record long and chaotic vehicular queues with the resultant effect of mounting gridlocks, stretching along all the communities on the highway due to the failed portions, leaving road users stranded;

Observes that both perishable and non-perishable goods are destroyed on the two routes, costing ordinary Nigerians billions of naira due to the worsening conditions of the roads.

Also observes that accidents occur in areas riddled with potholes and gullies, where motorists have a hectic time while driving through the highways;

Concerned that the situation is getting more problematic by the day and apart from additional economic hardship on Nigerians plying those routes, the routes have become deathtraps, as occurrences of avoidable deaths are incredibly high;

Informed that the reason for the slow pace of work on the routes is mainly centred on the slow disbursement of funds earmarked to the consortium of contractors;

Conscious that a good commute network is a panacea for economic development in any country and the routes in question are very vital for the movement of goods and services from the north to the south and vis-versa;

Also conscious that good road networks reduce to the barest minimum road accidents, and by that, deaths and destructions of goods and properties are curtailed;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, and Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to embark on immediate palliative repairs on the failed portions to ease off traffic on the routes;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works to allocate sufficient funds for the completion of works on both routes in the 2024 Budget Estimates;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Works (when constituted) to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative actions.

Debate:

Hon. Odianosen Okojie moved the motion on the deplorable state of Ewu-Agbor and Auchi-Ewu-Benin federal highways and it was seconded by Hon. Akarachi Amadi. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Works when constituted.

  1. ​Need to complete the Delayed Construction of the Abuja- Kaduna-Kano Highway: Hon. El-Rufai, Mohammed Bello:

The House:

Notes that the Abuja — Kaduna — Kano highway which is approximately 375 kilometers length, is a strategic national infrastructure that serves as a major trunk “A” road linking the north to the southern part of the country. The highway is the key outlet for the transportation of persons, goods and services across Nigeria and this is evident in the extraordinary traffic on it round the clock;

Also notes that in December 2017 the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the rehabilitation of the road project and awarded the contract to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. at a contract sum of N155,470,626,078.07; with a completion period of 36 months;

Recalls that in March 2021 the Federal Executive Council changed the scope of the repair on the highway from rehabilitation to complete reconstruction, thus, changing the existing contract sum from N155 billion to N797 billion to provide for full reconstruction of the main carriageway, trailer parks, way bridges, toll stations and additional side lanes in the built-up areas across the FCT, Niger, Kaduna and Kano Sates;

Observes that the alternative means of transportation for citizens travelling from Abuja to Kaduna/Kano which is the Abuja — Kaduna train, was on the 28th day of March 2022, attacked by bandits around Kateri – Rijana axis in Kaduna, killing at least 8 people and kidnapping several others. In response, the
Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) halted operations along the route;

Concerned that since the NRC reduced its daily operations along the Abuja — Kaduna route, commuters have been constrained to ply the Abuja — Kaduna — Kano highway.

Also concerned that due to the reduction of railway operations and the delay in the reconstruction of the highway, numerous lives have been lost to accidents, banditry and kidnappings, as criminals find it easy to operate and commuters are left at the mercy of murderous elements.

Also recalls that sometime in December 2022, the former Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN stated that the slow pace in reconstruction was due to the quality of work being done but assured of completion and commission by the first quarter of 2023.

Further concerned that the road project which was supposed to be completed within 36 months from inception, has now lingered for over 5 years with no ascertainable completion date in the short term.

Worried that if the Abuja- Kaduna section of the highway is not completed soon by the contractor, particularly the economic well-being and security of people of Kaduna, Niger and Kano States and Nigerians as a whole will continue to be at great risk and detriment.

​ ​Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to immediately direct the contractor to prioritize the completion of the pproject of the Abuja — Kaduna section of the Highway and achieve completion by the first quarter of 2024;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Works and Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. El-Rufai Bello moved the motion on the need to complete the delayed construction of the Abuja-Kaduna highway and it was seconded by Hon. Jafaru Yakubu. Hon. Sani Madaki proposed an amendment to delete prayer 2 of the motion and set up an Ad-Hoc committee to ensure speedy legislative action. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and the membership of the Ad-Hoc committee will be duly announced.

  1. Need to Investigate the Compliance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government and Corporate Bodies with the Industrial Training Funds Act and the Underperformance of the Funds in the Last Twelve Years:
    Hon. Taofeek Ajilesoro:

The House:

Notes that Section 6 (1) and (3) of the Industrial Training Fund Act provides that “Every employer having either five or more employees in his establishment or having less than 5 employees but with a turnover of N50m and above per annum, shall in respect of each calendar year and or the prescribed date, contribute to the fund one per cent of his total annual payroll”, (3) any liable organization, public or private including companies situated in the free trade zone requiring approval for expatriate quota and/or utilizing custom services in matters of export and import, must show proof of compliance with this Act in respect of payment of training contribution of his employees and all regulatory agencies of the Federal Government shall ensure compliance with the provisions of section 6 (l)-(3) of this Act;

Also notes that Section 8 (1) and (2) provide that “All employers who pay their annual training levies (a) shall, at all times, provide adequate training for their indigenous staff improve on the skills related to their job and evidence of such training shall be forwarded to the Fund; (b) shall accept students for industrial attachment purposes. (2) Any employer who is in breach of the provision of subsection
(1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and liable on conviction;

Aware that the Industrial Trust Fund aims to generate a pool of indigenous trained manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the economy and to stimulate National Industrial growth and development by providing direct training, vocational and apprentice training, research and Consultancy Services and the Student’s Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES);

Concerned that preceding Boards and Management of the ITF in the last decade have complained of inadequate funds to execute its programmes due to impediments in obtaining contributions, especially from public institutions and organizations, alleging inconsistencies in remittance and most cases outright non-remittance of funds by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Government and most corporate bodies;

Also concerned that the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation had issued several circulars to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Government, mandating them to comply with the provisions of the Industrial Training Funds Act, yet most Parastatals are still in default while some claimed not to have received the circulars;

Disturbed that reports from various sources show that the ITF has consistently underperformed and the skill gap and shortage in the nation’s economy are evident in the fact that in the last ten years, many Nigerians have resorted to expatriates from East Asia and neighbouring countries to undertake their technical and even menial jobs in building, construction and industrial sectors thus the rate of unemployment keeps increasing with attendant consequences on our nation’s security and economy despite the initiative and emphasis by the Federal Government;

Resolves to:

Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the level of compliance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and Corporate bodies with the Industrial Training Fund Act and other encumbrances affecting the success of the Scheme from 2010 – 2023 and report back within six (6) weeks for legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Taofeek Ajilesoro moved the motion on the need to investigate the compliance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government and corporate bodies with the Industrial Training Funds Act and the underperformance of the funds in the last twelve years and it was seconded by Hon. Kelechi Nwogu. Hon. Satomi Ahmed proposed an amendment to extend the timeframe of the investigation from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.

Hon. Abubakar Fulata guided the House to the fact that the rules state that the timeframe for the investigation should be not more than 4 weeks.

Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa however rose to clarify that the Ad-Hoc committee can ask for an extension of time if necessary.

Hon. Taofeek Ajilesoro then proposed an amendment to reduce the timeframe of the investigation to 4 weeks in line with the rules of the House. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and the membership of the Investigative committee will be duly announced.

  1. Need to Construct a Road in Ogboora, Oyo State linking Ilesha Baruba, Gwanara and Bukuro in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State to Connect Nigeria to the Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo to ease the exchange of goods and services. Hon Mohammed Omar Bio:

The House:

Notes that Baruten Local Government Area in Kwara State consists of many Border Communities and shares boundaries with Oyo State;

Also notes that due to the status of those Border Communities, the exchange of goods and services in commercial quantities is taking place in the axis between different countries;

Observes that the volume of International businesses taking place in that area is enormously adding to the Gross Domestic Product of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

Concerned that the construction of roads linking Ogbooro in Oyo State to llesha Baruba, Gwanara,
Bukuro in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State to connect the Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo as a Trunk A road will enhance International businesses between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and neighbouring Countries;

Worried that the non-opening/construction of roads linking Ogbooro in Oyo State to llesha Baruba, Gwanara, Bukuro in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State to connect Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo contributed negatively to International trade;

Resolves to:

(i) urge Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to include funds for the construction of those roads in the 2024 budget to improve socio-economic activities in Nigeria;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Works (when constituted) to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Mohammed Omar Bio moved the motion on the need to construct a road in Ogboora, Oyo state linking Ilesha Baruba, Gwanara and Bukuro in Baruten local government area of Kwara state to connect Nigeria to Repubc of Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo to ease the exchange of goods and services and it was seconded by Hon. Kareem Tajudeen. The motion was voted on and adopted.

  1. Need to Recognize Akeem Badru for Outstanding Contributions to Education: Hon. Olumide Osoba:

The House:

Notes that Akeem Badru, a primary school teacher from St Michael RCM Primary School in Ogun State, emerged as the regional winner of the 2023 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards for Central and Southern Africa, surpassing 11,000 submissions from 99 countries worldwide;

Concerned that teachers in remote areas make significant contributions to the education and development of future generations and recognizing the need to reward and acknowledge their efforts;

Also notes that Akeem Badru’s project, “First Step Initiatives,” which focuses on stem education through craft and model-making, promotes curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking among his students.

Aware that Akeem Badru, as a Teach SDG Ambassador, funded the construction of a borehole to address water-related diseases, thereby contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring regular school attendance for his students.

Acknowledges the prestigious nature of the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards and the recognition it brings to Akeem Badru, his school, and the Nigerian education system as a whole.

commend Akeem Badru for his dedication, innovation, and commitment to nurturing the minds, characters, and lives of the students under his care.

Resolves to:

(i) urge the House to recognize and commend Akeem Badru for his outstanding achievements as a teacher and for being a role model in the teaching industry and invite him to address the House and share his experiences, best practices, and insights on effective teaching methods and strategies;

(ii) also urge the Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria and other relevant authorities to take note of Akeem Badru’s accomplishments and consider him for a National Honor, recognizing his significant contributions to the education sector;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Environment to explore avenues to provide additional support, resources, and training for teachers in remote areas, ensuring that they receive the recognition and assistance they deserve and to initiate discussions on improving the teaching profession, enhancing teacher training programs, and promoting excellence in the education sector.

Debate:

Hon. Olumide Osoba moved the motion on the need to recognize Akeem Badru for outstanding contributions to education and it was seconded by Hon. Ahmed Aluku. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committees on Environment and that on Basic Education when constituted.

  1. Need for the Federal Government of Nigeria to Revise, Consolidate, Compile and Publish the Laws of the Federation and Operate a Website for Publication of Laws Passed in Nigeria: Hon. Patrick Umoh:

The House:

Notes the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, which provides the basis for governance in Nigeria, have not been reviewed, revised, consolidated and compiled into one single document for about 19 years;

Also notes that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) the supreme law governing Nigeria and upon which other laws draw their source, has been altered for the fifth time while some of its provisions have been deleted, however, there has not been a corresponding consolidation of the constitutional alterations into an official single legal document;

Further notes that there is no official government website that uploads or publishes every law enacted by the National Assembly and signed into law by the President as it is obtainable in advanced jurisdictions;

Observes that the non-revision of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria have left obsolete and obsolescent laws promulgated several years past in our statute books, and these old laws do not reflect the modern, economic realities in Nigeria;

Disturbed that the non-consolidation of laws of the Federation have left in our statute books deleted, amended, replaced, displaced or laws struck down by the court, thereby creating confusion in the system of applicable laws in Nigeria;

Concerned that the non-compilation of the laws of the Federation of Nigeria has affected easy access to, and creates uncertainty as to, the applicable laws in Nigeria, and impedes the legislature from effectively performing their legislative functions of making or amending laws, the judiciary from properly interpreting the laws of the land, the law enforcement agencies from knowing the right laws to enforce, etc.;

Believes that the non-operation of a website that publishes every law enacted in Nigeria has impeded easy access to laws by Nigerians, and investors in particular, from any part of the world whether for investment or research purposes;

Aware that the need for the comprehensive predictable and accessible body of laws in a democratic society like Nigeria based on the rule of law cannot be emphasized given that it provides basis for governmental actions, informs citizens, investors and residents of what is legally demanded of them, and promotes development and investment;

Also aware that the advantages of revising, compiling and online publication of laws are enormous in that it simplifies and enhance legislative practice, legal practice and justice administration in Nigeria, avoid duplication of laws, and ease the referencing of laws by the public, and will fast-track national development and growth promised by the current Federal Government;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Nigerian Law Reform Commission to commence the review, revision, consolidation, compilation and publication of all laws of the Federation of Nigeria;

(ii) also urge the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation to operate a website where every enacted and gazetted laws of the Federation can be uploaded and published for easy access from any part of the world; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Justice and on Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Patrick Umoh moved the motion on the need for the federal government of Nigeria to revise, consolidate, compile and publish the Laws of the Federation and operate a website for publication of Laws passed in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Etanebe Benedict. The Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu proposed an amendment to prayer 2 of the motion to add that parliament should also have a functioning website to track the progress of each Bill of both Houses of Parliament. He called on the the Management of the National Assembly to work with the committees of both the House of Representatives and that of the Senate to ensure this is achieved.

Hon. Sunday Umeha further proposed an amendment to add a prayer that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation in collaboration with the Nigeria Law Reform Commission shall at a 5 year interval revise the Laws of the Federation. The motion was voted on and adopted as amended.

  1. Need to Investigate Illegal Auctioning of Property of Federal Republic of Nigeria by Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Railway Corporation, River Basin Development Authority and Nigeria Customs Service: Hon. Oluwole Oke:

The House

Notes that the procedures for the disposal and auctioning of government assets in Nigeria are well spelt out in Financial Regulations, 2009 and Public Procurement Act 2007 among others;

Aware that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) makes adequate provisions that all revenues realized from the disposal/auctioning of public property must be remitted into the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

Also aware that proper valuation must be carried out on the assets designated for auctioning by the Federal Ministry of Works, indicating the original cost price of the asset, date of acquisition and realizable value, among others;

Disturbed that the Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Railway Corporation, River Basin Development Authority and Nigeria Customs Service have been auctioning public property not only at a ridiculous price but also without following due process;

Also notes that partial remittance or non-remittance of revenue realized from the auctioning of public property into Consolidated Revenue Fund is a breach of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended);

Concerned that if this practice continued, coupled with dwindling crude oil revenue in Nigeria, the government at the centre may not be able to provide or cope with the rising demands for accelerated infrastructural developments required in Nigeria in this 21 century;

Resolves to:

set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the disposal of public property by the Agencies between 2010 and 2022 to unravel the extent of illegal auctioning of public property, non-remittance of revenue realized into Consolidated Revenue Fund and report back to the House within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Oluwole Oke moved the motion on the need to investigate illegal auctioning of properties of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Railway Corporation, River Basin Development Authority and Nigeria Customs Service and it was seconded by Hon. Amos. The motion was voted on, adopted and the membership of the Investigative committee will be duly announced.

  1. Need to Forestall Further Killings in Ebonyi Local Government Area, and the Rising Insecurity in Ebonyi/Ohaukwu Federal Constituency, Ebonyi State:
    ​Hon. Eze Nwachukwu Eze:

The House:

Notes the confirmed reports on the attack of Ishieke Daily Market located at Ishieke, Ebonyi Local Government Area, Ebonyi State on 4 July 2023 by unidentified gunmen;

Regrets that two (2) persons were reported dead and 20 persons sustained various degrees of bodily injuries;

Also regrets that the reports indicate that the victims of the incident are mostly natives of the community who had gone out to engage in economic activities but unfortunately met the attack while the other two persons met their untimely deaths;

Disturbed that prior to the attack, market leaders have severally laid complaints to security agencies for proper security of the market environs;

Worried that despite similar occurrences across the State, Police, and other relevant security agencies are yet to adopt workable measures to abate further killing in the area;

Cognizant that the primary purpose of government is for the security and welfare of the people as enshrined in section 14(2b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (as amended); Resolves to:

(i) observe a minute silence in honour of the people that lost their lives during the attack

(ii) urge the President Tinubu-led administration to consult with Political, Traditional and Religious
Leaders in Ebonyi State and South East to find a lasting solution to the Insecurity in the South East;

(iii) also urge the Ag. Inspector General of Police to mobilize Armoured Personnel Carriers to strategic Points across Ebonyi State to forestall future attacks;

(iv) further urge the Nigeria Police Force and other relevant security agencies to ensure effective policing of Ebonyi/ Ohaukwu Federal Constituency of Ebonyi, other States of the South-East and the entire country;

(v) again urge the Nigeria Police Force to engage in training of the vigilante group for intelligence gathering and effective community policing.

(vi) mandate the Committee on Police Affairs (when constituted) to make Budgetary provisions for the Nigeria Police force to acquire more combat Helicopters so as to ensure proper surveillance of the South-East States and Nigeria in general.

Debate:

Hon. Eze Nawachukwu moved the motion on the need to forestall further killings in Ebonyi local government area, and the rising insecurity in Ebonyi/Ohaukwu Federal Constitueny, Ebonyi state and it was seconded by Hon. Okere Chinedu. Hon. Onwusibe Obinna proposed an amendment to the motion to deal with one of the main root cause of the unrest which is the continued detention of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu. The Speaker of the House, stated that the amendment will be ruled on soon after consultation with the Majority Leader of the House and the Minority Leader.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu proposed an amendment to delete prayer 3 and amend prayer 6 of the motion. He further called for a diplomatic means to urge President Ahmed Tinubu to see how Nnamdi Kanu can be released because those form the South-East know what they suffer back home.

Hon. Usman Kumo called the attention of the House to ensure it does not dabble into matters still subject to litigation. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Police Affairs when constituted.

  1. Need to Enforce the Provision of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018:
    Hon. Kafilat A. Ogbara:

The House:

Notes that the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 was enacted into law in a bid to ensure that the rights of disabled persons in Nigeria are safeguarded;

Also notes that Section 6 of the Act provides that from the commencement of the Act, there shall be a transitory period of five years within which all public buildings and structures, whether immovable, movable or automobile, which were inaccessible to persons with disabilities shall be modified to be accessible and usable by persons with disabilities including those on wheelchairs;

Further notes that Section 29 of the Act provides that all employers of labour in public organisations shall, as much as possible, have persons with disabilities constituting at least 5% of their employment;

Aware that the five years transitory period provided under Section 6 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 has lapsed, hence the need for full implementation of the Act;

Concerned that like every human being, people with disabilities have fundamental human rights and it is the duty of the government to ensure that these rights are respected, protected and fulfilled;

Resolves to:

(i) urge Mr President, Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to consider allotting 10% of appointive positions for the physically challenged persons in Nigeria;

(ii) also urge the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to direct the Head of Service of the Federation and Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Governments to adhere strictly to the provisions of Section 29 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, by providing 10% of jobs available for the physically challenged persons in Nigeria;

(iii) further urge all relevant security agencies to commence full enforcement of the provisions of the aforesaid Act; and

(iv) mandate the Committees on Public Service Matters, Federal Character and Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure implementation.

Debate:

Hon. Kafilat Ogbara moved the motion on the need to enforce the provisions of the discrimination against persons with disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 and it was seconded by Hon. Hussaini Jallo. Hon. Beni Lar proposed an amendment to call on the House committees on Human Rights, Public Service, Disabilities and Legislative Compliance to ensure the percentage of employment opportunities reserved for people living with disabilities during employment processes as captured in the Act is not flaunted.

Hon. Rotimi Oluwaseun further proposed an amendment to to urge the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to establish an inter-ministerial task force to ensure the status of the Act is fully adhered to and that the deadline of the transitional Law is met.

Hon. Miriam Onuoha proposed an amendment to delete the term ‘disabled people’ from the motion and ensure it reads people living with disabilities. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committees on Human Rights, Public Service, Disabilities and Legislative Compliance when constituted.

  1. Need to Address Emerging Outbreak of Diphtheria in Nigeria:
    Hon. Muktar Tolan Shagaya:

    The House:

Notes the sporadic increase in the number of Diphtheria cases in Nigeria since the beginning of 2023 and about 21 out of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory have witnessed a total of 557 cases based on the recent reports of the World Health Organisation (WHO);

Also notes that diphtheria is a highly contagious vaccine-preventable disease which spreads between people mainly by direct contact or through the air via respiratory droplets;

Aware that since the outbreak of diphtheria about 75 deaths have been recorded in 21 affected States with the most recent death of a four years old boy in the Federal Capital Territory;

Worried that diphtheria cases are under-reported in Nigeria despite the threats it poses to public health, including respiratory complications, heart rhythm problems and other fatal outcomes in situations of late detection;

Convinced that the Federal Government needs to intensify its efforts in sensitizing and educating the public, especially those living in rural areas on the prevention, control and treatment of diphtheria;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure that the outbreak of diphtheria is contained effectively and reduce the fatality ratio in confirmed cases;

(ii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to intensify its sensitization and enlightenment campaign to prevent and eradicate the scourge of diphtheria and other related diseases across the country;

(iii) mandate the Committees on Healthcare Services and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Mukhtar Shagaya moved the motion on the need to address the emerging outbreak of Diphtheria in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Sani. Hon. Adamu Ibrahim proposed an amendment to Prayer 2 to include National Primary Healthcare Development Agency to provide structure for Nigerians.

Hon. Isa Mohammed proposed a further amendment to mandate the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure the availability of vaccines to combat the outbreak. The motion was voted on and adopted as amended.

  1. Need to Rehabilitate the Dilapidated Anyigba-Dekina- Shintaku Road, Kogi State: Hon. Paul Gowon Haruna:

The House:

Notes that the Anyigba-Dekina-Shintaku Federal Road is an important land transportation routes linking the Southern and Northern parts of the country, with trading and farming as the major occupation of the people living in the area;

Also notes that the Anyigba-Dekina-Shintaku road in Kogi State plays a paramount role in the economic development of Bassa/Dekina Communities, the environs and by extension the Neighbouring States;

Further notes that the road has been in a dilapidated state over the years causing residents and motorists untold hardship, thus, requiring urgent intervention to address the challenges of the deplorable condition of the road linking the people of the Eastern flank of Kogi State, particularly Bassa/Dekina Local Government Areas;

Aware that the population of citizens along the Anyigba-Shintaku route is about 1,200,000, who engage in different commercial activities in major towns along the route as a source of employment opportunities for youths;

Also aware that the Federal Government has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of the road to Tee Construction Company;

Concerned that since the flag off of the rehabilitation of the road by Governor Yahaya Bello on behalf of the Federal Government, after the contract was awarded, no work has commenced;

Worried that despite the economic and agricultural importance of the road to residents and motorist generally, there has been neglect in the rehabilitation of the road by successive administrations;

Also worried that the deplorable condition of the road has triggered crimes, as no day passes without reports and records of armed robbery and kidnapping on the route;

Cognizant that despite being a Federal Road, the State Governor, His Excellency Yahaya Bello has made several efforts to assist in the rehabilitation of road and has shown readiness to collaborate with the federal government to ensure completion of the rehabilitation of the road;

Also cognizant that the people of Bassa/Dekina Local Government Areas, where the road passes through have appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in the rehabilitation of the road which has caused severe difficulty in economic activities for years;
Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to urgently complete the rehabilitation of Anyigba-Dekina-Shintaku Road;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Works (when constituted) to:
(a) investigate the delay in the rehabilitation of the road after the contract was awarded; (b) to monitor the execution of the rehabilitation contract.

Debate:

Hon. Paul Haruna moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate the dilapidated Anyigba-Deckina-Shintaku road, Kogi state and it was seconded by Hon. Lillian. Hon. Sanni Abdulraheem proposed an amendment urging an Ad-Hoc committee to look into the mobilization of about 4 roads that have already been awarded and captured in the budget of the year without due action taking place. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Works when constituted.

  1. Need to Intervene in the Flooding Menace and Resultant Gully Erosion in Alor-Uno Community of Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency:
    Hon. Chidi Mark Obetta:

The House:

Notes that the re-occurring menace of flood in Nigeria with attendant devastating impacts on human livelihoods and infrastructural development;

Also notes that the causes of the problem are rapid growth in population, poor drainage facilities and decaying infrastructures, lack of proper environmental planning and management strategies, poor practice of refuse disposal and climate change coupled with inadequate preparedness by relevant government agencies;

Further notes that gully erosion is a widespread form of soil erosion caused by flowing surface water which consists of open unstable channels that have cut more than 30 centimeters deep into the ground;

Concerned that the people of the Community in Nsukka Local Government Area are presently battling both the menace of flooding and the resultant effect of gully erosion and this ugly development poses a great threat and challenge to the continued habitation of their ancestral home;

Worried that the people of the Community are gradually displaced resulting in loss of their homes, farmlands and means of livelihood due to floods and gully erosion;

Recognizes that the major contributory factors to the flooding menace and gully erosion in the Community is the haphazard and uncompleted drainage constructed by the Enugu State government which collects rainwater from the urban uphill residential areas of Onu-lyi Nsukka and deposits same in Alor-Uno Community where no drainage systems were put in place to direct the path of the water and it consequently ends up in people’s homes and farmlands;

Cognizant of the need to act urgently on this matter to save the people of Alor-Uno Community from further internal displacement and environmental degradation;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Emergency Management Agency of Nigeria (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the affected residents of Alor-Uno Community;

(ii) also urge the Ecological Fund Office and other related agencies, to evaluate, develop and fund a remediation plan that will curtail the growing gully erosion and also resettle the already affected people;

(iii) mandate the Committees on Environment, Works, Emergency and Disaster Preparedness (when constituted) to take a tour of the affected areas to ascertain the level of damages done, liaise with relevant MDAS with a view to proffering informed and lasting solutions to the situation;

(iv) also mandate the Committees on Environment, Works, Water Resources (when constituted) to liaise with the Federal Ministries of Environment, Works and Water Resources to make provision of funds in the 2024 budget estimates for the construction of Water drainage and erosion control measures to put an end to the double environmental challenges and also the construction of reservoirs in Alor-Uno Community to collect more spill water to avoid reoccurrence of flooding and erosion.

Debate:

Hon. Chidi Obetta moved the motion on the need to intervene in the flooding menace and resultant gully erosion in Alor-Uno community of Nsukka/Eze South federal constituency and it was seconded by Hon. Hamisu Ibrahim. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committees on Environment, Emergency, Disaster Preparedness as well as that on Ecological Fund when constituted.

  1. Need to End Open Defecation in Nigeria and increase the number of Toilets Annually:
    Hon. Bashiru Ayinla Dawodu:

The House:

Notes that about 1.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) or N455 billion is lost annually due to poor access to sanitation – health, healthcare saving and productivity;

Also notes UNICEF Chief of Water for Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Dr. Jane Bavon said this at the opening of a two – day maiden Toilet Business Owners Conference on July 3, 2023 in Abuja that Nigeria need to build 3.9 million toilets annually to meet the ending of open defecation by 2025 target;

Aware that 48 million people in Nigeria practice open defecation, while 95 million others are without access to basic sanitation services;

Observes that Nigeria cannot continue business as usual as it will miss the target for 2025 and 2030;

Cognizant of the need to strengthen and scale up proven strategies to reach the country’s goals;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the governments at all levels and private individuals to embark on aggressive rural water projects that will ensure that each community is provided with portable water and functioning toilet facilities;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Information and, Culture and other relevant agencies to give proper sensitization on open defecation in the Community’s hygiene and safety.

(iii) mandate the Committee on Water Resources or its relevant committees (when constituted) to take action and tackle the issue of open defecation;

Debate:

Hon. Bashiru Dawodu moved the motion on the need to end open defecation in Nigeria and increase the number of toilets annually and it was seconded by Hon. Regina Akume. Hon. Beni Lar proposed an amendment to prayer 3 of the motion to mandate the House committees on Environment and that on Water Resources to take action and proffer recommendations to tackle the problem of open defecation in Nigeria.

Hon. Ahmed Munir proposed a further amendment calling on the Federal Government to urge State Governments to key into relevant programs aimed to tackling the menace of open defecation in Nigeria. He further called on the Ministry of Water Resources to take advantage of the $7 Billion provision of the United Nations earmarked for access by Nigeria to tackle such ills. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committees on Water Resources as well as that on Environment when constituted.

  1. Urgent Need for Further Legislative Action on Students Loans and Access to Higher Education in Nigeria:
    Hon. Terseer Ugbor:

The House:

Notes that while financial support from family members and relatives is often considered a traditional source for funding higher education globally, recent trends in the past sixty years indicate that governments in both developed and developing countries have in place various Students Loans and Educational Credit Schemes to enable students to borrow towards the funding of higher education;

Aware that the use of Students Loans and Educational Credit Schemes in most countries of the world is often justified on the grounds that it guarantees greater access to higher education for the less privileged citizens and is further predicated on the notion that education is an investment in human capital which in turn promote individual development, economic growth and national productivity;

Also aware that after several years of unsuccessful attempts by successive administrations to introduce students loans, scholarships and other educational credit schemes, the 9th National Assembly passed the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2023 which was recently signed into law by the President to provide the legal and institutional framework for implementation of a Students Loan Scheme in the country;

Observes that the while the objectives and intendment of the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023 are patriotic and would impact positive access to higher education in Nigeria especially amongst the underprivileged citizens, there are several critical omissions and identifiable bottlenecks that would stultify or frustrate the successful implementation of the Act if immediate further legislative action is not taken to ensure its efficient implementation;

Concerned that while the intendment of the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023 is highly commendable and its enactment has been well received by a large segment of the general public, particularly the Nigerian youths, the identified and observable lapses have the potential to frustrate its smooth implementation for the overall benefit of Nigerian students;

Cognizant of the urgent need to convene a legislative summit with all key stakeholders to develop a strategy to ensure the smooth implementation of the Act for the benefit of the indigent Nigerian Students;

Resolves to:

(i) Commend the 9th National Assembly for the foresight and passage of the Act and the President for his assent to ensure that a legal and institutional framework for the implementation of a Student loans programme is finally put in place in Nigeria;

(ii) Constitute an Ad-hoc Committee to convene a Legislative Summit on Students Loans and Access to Higher Education with all stakeholders in the education sector and policymakers in order to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the programme and to report within 3 weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Terseer Ugbor moved the motion on the urgent need for further legislative action on students loans and access to higher education in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Isa. Hon. Sada Soli proposed an amendment to amend prayer 1 of the motion and delete the commendation of the National Assembly for passing the Law, as Law making is the basic job of Parliament.

Hon. Midala Salami proposed an amendment to put in place a legal framework that will ensure the low income students have full access to the funds, so as not to be deprived or shortchanged of the opportunities the Law provides for Nigerians. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the proposed Ad-Hoc committee when constituted.

  1. Need to Curb the Incessant Attacks of Kidnappers, Assassins, Bandits and other Criminal Elements in Isuikwuato and Umunneochi Local Government Areas of Abia State:
    Hon. Amobi Godwin Ogah:

The House:

Notes the lingering attacks by the kidnappers, assassins, bandits and perpetrators of various heinous crimes in Isuikwuato and Umunneochi Local Government Areas of Abia State;

Informed that bandits and criminal elements have forced the Nigerian Military to close traffic on the Ihube-Isuochi road at the Lomara Military checkpoint for a long time;

Also informed that the Regional Cattle Market at Lokpanta on the Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway has persistently been used as a human shield by criminal elements with the presence of military checkpoints dotted significantly along that route;

Aware that the settlers and traders at the Regional Cattle Market at Lokpanta are peaceful and law abiding citizens;

Worried that continued use of the cattle market as human shield could lead to misinterpretation that can make the market vulnerable to attacks;

Disturbed that the incessant attacks on the communities within Isuikwuato and Umunneochi Local Government Areas has to forced residents to flee their homes and abandon farmlands and other means of production and livelihood;

Concerned at the security risks and untold hardship suffered by users of Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway through Lokpanta, Ihube-Isuochi road, Uturu-Okigwe Road, ABSU junction- Akara Road, Uturu-Afikpo Road, Umuaku-Umunze Road, Awgu Ishiagu Road and other roads within Isuikwuato and Umunneochi Local Government Areas;

Cognizant of the need to increase military presence and patrols in the above roads and Local Government Areas to restore normalcy and earn the confidence of citizens carrying as they carry out their daily business activities;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to direct the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Air Force, Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to intensify checks and other security measure around the Regional Cattle market in Lokpanta along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Uturu-Okigwe Road, Ihube-Isuochi Road, ABSU junctionAkara Road; Uturu-Afikpo Road, Umuaku-Umunze Road, Awgu-Ishiagu Road and environs;

(ii) Urge also the Chief of Army Staff, Inspector General of Police and Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to set up a joint patrol team to comb the farmland and forests to root out kidnappers, bandits and all criminal elements in all parts of Isuikwuato and Umunneochi Local Government Areas of Abia State; and

(iii) Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to interface with the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, the Inspector-General of Police and the Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to determine measures aimed at reducing the incessant attacks of kidnappers, assassins and bandits and other criminal elements in and around Isuikwuato and Umunneochi Local Government Areas of Abia State and environs and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Amobi Ogah moved the motion on the need to curb the incessant attacks by kidnappers, assassins, bandits and other criminal elements in Isuikwuato and Umunneochi local government areas of. Hon. Ahmed proposed an amendment to set up an Ad-Hoc committee to liaise with the relevant security agencies to provide solutions to the lingering cases of insecurity in the region. The motion was voted on and adopted.


Adjournment:

The House at 15:57 PM adjourned plenary to Tuesday, July 11th 2023 by 11:00 AM following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda.


Edited by LightRay Media, Courtesy:
Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives.

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