Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Thursday, July 13th, 2023.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas (PhD) presiding.
After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Wednesday, July 12th, 2023.
- COMMUNICATION FROM THE PRESIDENT:
Request for additional funds through the loan scheme from the World Bank secured by the previous administration scheduled for carrying out the National Safety Net Program scaled up by the National Assembly for the aid of poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
- Honorable members of the Southeast caucus are to meet at the Deputy Speaker’s office by 3:30 pm.
- There will be a meeting of Honorable members of the Labour Party by 7 pm at “the usual venue.”
- Hon. Tochukwu Okere laid a petition on behalf of a community against the Anambra-Imo River Basin Authority, especially the Managing Director.
- Hon. Ikwe Okara laid a petition from a complainant against the Federal Ministry of Industry and Investment. They seek the House to investigate a breach they suffered from the Ministry.
Both petitions were referred to the House committee on Public Petitions when constituted.
MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:
- Hon. Kabir Ahmadu moved a motion on the need to halt the continuous and unending killings in Zamfara state, and it was seconded by Hon. Unyime Idem.
Hon. Ahmadu in leading the debate stressed the need for the security and prosperity of the people to remain the primary concern of government. He further expressed dismay at the frequent means through which bandits attack soft targets and cart away hostages, food, goods and services.
Hon. Ahmadu stated that these bandits who abduct vulnerable women and students request for millions of Naira in ransom from the poor citizens who can no longer even access their farms for fear of attacks. He stated that the menace has also spread to communities in neighboring states.
He expressed sadness at the fact that schools, markets and other socioeconomic centers have all been forced to shut down, leaving the people in a state of helplessness.
Hon. Ahmadu stated that if necessary steps and measures are not taken, the territorial integrity and freedom of association, movement and engaging in making a living of the people will continue to be in serious jeopardy.
He called on the Nigerian Armed Forces, Police and all other relevant security apparatus to come to the aid of the affected communities by mounting more check points and increase surveillance of the region. He further called on the House to set up an Ad-Hoc committee to liaise with the Armed Forces to ensure the prayers of the motion are complied with.
The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Ad-Hoc committee that will be duly constituted.
- Hon. Rufai Jingi, moved a motion on the need to stop the alleged relocation of the Federal University of Agriculture, Mubi in Adamawa state by the Federal Ministry of Education and it was seconded by Hon. Zakariya Nyampa. Hon. Jingi stated that the Institution is valid and duly sited in Mubi and the planned relocation has pitched communities against each other. He called on the House committee on Tertiary Education and Services when constituted to ensure the status quo is maintained.
Hon. Jingi also called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call the Ministry of Education to order as the planned relocation is in violation of the directive by former President Muhammadu Buhari to site the Institute in Mubi. He further called on communities of the Adamawa North Senatorial district to stay calm as the issue is being looked into.
The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Tertiary Education when constituted.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS:
- 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.101) (Hon. Julius Ihonvere) – First Reading.
- Federal University of Sports, Karfi, Kano State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.93) (Hon. Muhammad Bello Shehu and Three Others) – First Reading.
- Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 94) (Hon. Muhammad Bello Shehu) – First Reading.
- Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy (Establishment) Bill, Fagge (HB.95) (Hon. Muhammad Bello Shehu) – First Reading.
- Institute of Debt Recovery Practitioners of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.96) (Hon. Oluwatimehin Adelegbe) – First Reading.
- Insurance Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill 2023 (HB.97) (Hon. Oluwole Oke) – First Reading.
- Federal Audit Service Bill, 2023Act (Amendment) (HB. 98) (Hon. Oluwole Oke) – First Reading.
- Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (Repeal) Bill 2023 (HB.99) (Hon. Babajimi Benson) – First Reading.
- Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB.100) (Hon. Inuwa Garba) – First Reading.
- Federal Medical Centers Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB.102) (Hon. Hussaini M. Bello) – First Reading.
- Federal Medical Centers Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB.103) (Hon. Philip Agbese) – First Reading.
- Federal University of Information and Communication Technology, Lagos Island, Lagos State (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.104) (Hon. Philip Agbese.) – First Reading.
- Federal University of Agriculture, Ute Okpa, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.105) (Hon. Philip Agbese – First Reading.
- Federal University of Health Science, Kwankwaso, Kano State (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.106) (Hon. Yusuf Umar Datti) – First Reading.
- Federal Medical Centers Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB.107) (Hon. Yusuf Umar Datti) – First Reading.
ORDERS OF THE DAY:
- A Bill for an Act to Authorize the issuance of the sum of (N500, 000, 000, 000.00) five hundred billion, Naira, only from the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations of (N819, 536, 937, 815.00) eight hundred and nineteen billion, five hundred and thirty six million, nine hundred and thirty–seven thousand, eight hundred and fifteen naira, only for the provisions of palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal (HB.101) (Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – Second Reading.
Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the House to suspend Order 12(3) to enable the House take the second and third reading of the Bill, and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. Hon. Ihonvbere then moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Ahmed. idris Wase.
Hon. Ihonvbere in leading the debate stated that the request is necessary to reposition, refocus and re-strategize policies focused on cushioning the effects of the fuel subsidy regime removal for the economic benefits of Nigerians. He praised the government for responding to the yearnings of Nigerians in providing palliatives to aid them weather the difficult economic terrain being felt. Hon. Ihonvbere called on Honourable members to support the request to cushion the effect of the subsidy regime removal which in itself was highly necessary to salvage Nigeria’s economy from the grip of a privileged few.
Hon. Ahmed Jaha commended the Executive for ‘taking the bull by the horn’ to remove the subsidy regime and free Nigerians from captivity. He stated that the request to provide palliatives for Nigerians is welcome, but he hoped that the appropriated funds will get to Nigerians who need it most. He bemoaned the fact that budgeted funds approved by the National Assembly had suffered diversion of purpose in times past.
Hon. Adeyemi Adeniyi also commended the federal government for freeing Nigerians from the monster called fuel subsidy and urged Honourable members to ensure the Bill is passed and Nigerians can begin feeling the impact of the palliatives.
Hon. Stanley Olajide stated that at last, he sees an Executive that feels the pains of Nigerians and is ready and willing to react positively. He stated that if the requested funds are not sufficient; the National Assembly should be ready to approve further requests.
Hon. Beni Lar stated that the fact that Nigerians are now going through untold hardships due to the subsidy regime removal is quite obvious, she welcomed the initiative to provide cushioning palliatives. She however wondered what the palliatives consist of, and how it is supposed to impact on Nigerians? She also asked how government will identify those who need it the most? Hon. Lar called for the setting up of an Ad-Hoc committee to see to the answers to these questions.
Hon. Olumide Osoba in supporting the Bill, called on Legislature to ensure it does its due diligence in oversighting the implementation of the funds when released.
Hon. Regina Akume commended the removal of the subsidy regime and reiterated the setting up of an Ad-Hoc committee to oversight the implementation of the palliatives. She expressed confidence in President Tinubu’s ability to succeed as Nigeria’s President as he has always excelled in both public and private endeavors of life, and commended him for his foresight and sound judgement in governance.
Hon. Aliyu Madaki also commended President Tinubu for being sensitive to the yearnings of Nigerians. He recalled moving a motion to this effect on June 13th, and expressed optimism that the scheme will help Nigerians weather the economic storm currently being felt.
Hon. Kingsley Chinda stated that the yardstick of measuring the response and sensitivity of government to its people will rate the present administration very high. He however warned against the practice of just giving out handouts that will not go far in softening the effect of the removal of the subsidy regime.
Hon. Chinda called for palliatives that will give living wages to Nigerians such as the reduction of charges on Nigerians in sectors like education fees, power bills, transportation prices, provide affordable healthcare etc. so that Nigerians can actually live responsibly. He hoped for the success of the social safety net/intervention program for Nigerians.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, praised President Bola Tinubu for being truly responsive to the yearning of the people. He further praised President Tinubu for being bold enough to remove the draconian fuel subsidy regime. Hon. Kalu praised the proposed breakdown of the ways and means the palliatives funds is to be spent as it will be far-reaching in ensuring the welfare and livelihood of Nigerians are upgraded. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the committee of Supply.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY) Hon.
Tajudeen Abbas Chaired:
- A Bill for an Act to Authorize the issuance of the sum of (N500, 000, 000, 000.00) five hundred billion, Naira, only from the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations of (N819, 536, 937, 815.00) eight hundred and nineteen billion, five hundred and thirty six million, nine hundred and thirty–seven thousand, eight hundred and fifteen naira, only for the provisions of palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal (HB.101) – Committee of the Supply: 13/7/2023.
Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 1-3.
HOUSE IN PLENARY:
The House reverted back to plenary and adopted the report of the committee of Supply, following a motion by Hon. Julius Ihonvbere, and seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda.
- A Bill for an Act to Authorize the issuance of the sum of (N500, 000, 000, 000.00) five hundred billion, Naira, only from the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations of (N819, 536, 937, 815.00) eight hundred and nineteen billion, five hundred and thirty six million, nine hundred and thirty–seven thousand, eight hundred and fifteen naira, only for the provisions of palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal (HB.101)-Third Reading.
Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading and passed.
- Need for full Implementation of the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy (Establishment) Act, 2017:
Hon. Benjamin O. Kalu:
Notes that the National Assembly enacted the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy (Establishment) Act, 2017, and under Section 6(a) of the Act, the College is empowered to award degrees, diplomas, and certificates for courses provided under the Act;
Further notes that the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy (Establishment) Act, 2017 which provided a legal framework for the College was established in 1955 and has been fully operational aimed at empowering the institution to help reduce capital flight on the one hand and service the critical medical and health manpower need of the nation on the other hand;
Aware that the College has been funded by the annual National Budget and is well-positioned both in manpower and infrastructure to take off in line with the new mandate as provided for in by the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy (Establishment) Act, 2017;
Also aware that a visitation report from the National Universities Commission (NUC) confirmed that the College is fully equipped with the availability of adequate manpower and facilities to offer degree-awarding courses of study as required by the NUC, as the College is duly qualified to function in line with the new mandate;
Worried that despite meeting all requirements, the National Universities Commission insists that the College may operate only in affiliation with the Federal University of Technology Owerri, thereby obstructing the full implementation of the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy (Establishment) Act, an Act of the National Assembly duly passed and given Presidential assent in 2017, while also violating section 4(1)(a) of the National Universities Commission Act, Cap N81, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004;
(i) Urge the Federal Government to direct the National Universities Commission to revisit the College, and provide the necessary accreditation as required by law to enable the full implementation of the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy (Establishment) Act, 2007 as a degree awarding institution; and
(ii) Mandate the Committees on Tertiary Education, Health Institutions and Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure compliance.
Hon. Benjamin Kalu moved the motion on the need for full implementation of the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy (Establishment) Act, 2017 and it was seconded by Hon. Paul Adeboye. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Tertiary Education, Health Institutions, as well as that on Legislative compliance when constituted.
- Need to Investigate the Untold Hardship Faced by Nigerian Pilgrims at the Recently Concluded 2023 Hajj
Hon. Ahmed Idris:
Notes the recently concluded Hajj exercise in the Holy land of Saudi Arabia by over 95,000 Nigerian pilgrims;
Also notes Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) particularly Section 14(2) (b) provides thus: “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”;
Informed that a total of about Ninety-Five thousand slots were allocated to Nigeria which was coordinated by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and pursuant to Section 4 it is charged with the mandate of providing effective and efficient Hajj and Umrah services to Nigerian pilgrims;
Also informed that this year’s Hajj recorded one of the largest turnouts in the history of Hajj with Al-Jazeera and other International media putting the figure at about 2.5 million pilgrims;
Aware that Nigerian Pilgrims were subjected to untold hardships during the Hajj exercise from the inability of some airlines (such as Arik) to lift pilgrims due to lack of aircraft; lack of adequate tent accommodation at Mina and Arafat; substandard tents with unhealthy living conditions and environment; lack of proper medical attention to pilgrims in cases of emergency; lack of proper transportation logistics for Nigerian pilgrims; Nigerians being made to miss their flights due to stringent bottlenecks regarding withholding of their International Passports; inability to secure airport slots for Nigerian airline operators for lifting of Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia back to Nigeria and many others;
Also aware that over twenty-five thousand (25,000) Nigerian pilgrims (including those who paid for Tent A VIP Class) were stranded at Mina due to inadequate tents and oversubscription leaving Nigerian pilgrims sleeping on the roads, under bridges and nearby mosques there are cases of several public officials (such as present and former Governors, Senators and Hon. Members) who had no tent and were made to sleep in unhealthy places and conditions;
Further notes that VIP Pilgrims were made to pay about $5,000 (18,000 riyals) for VIP tents and despite this exorbitant amount, pilgrims were stranded while others got tents of lesser value than what they paid for;
Again notes that some tour operators perpetrated the worst form of unprofessionalism by failing to provide services promised to pilgrims in terms of accommodation, tent, feeding or transportation;
Disturbed that there was the absence of emergency medical services for sick patients in distress at Mina camp as many distressed patients could not be attended to due to restrictions of Ambulance access to the camp;
Also disturbed that most Nigerian pilgrims were made to miss their flights and had to procure new tickets without justifiable cause due to disturbing bottlenecks placed by Hajj Service Centers (especially Service Centre No. 16) who withheld passports of pilgrims until a lengthy list of bottlenecks are fulfilled;
Worried that many Nigerian pilgrims did not get commensurate value for the high amount they paid for and are justly clamouring for a full refund for tent and feeding;
Also worried that the Agency mandated to cater for Pilgrim Affairs (NAHCON) has not been proactive in ameliorating the plight of Nigerians during the 2023 Hajj;
(i) Mandate the Committee on Pilgrims Affairs (when constituted) to conduct a detailed investigation into the several anomalies that emanated from the 2023 Hajj and report back to the House within four (4) weeks for further Legislative Action;
(ii) Also mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure implementation.
Hon. Stanley Olajide moved the motion on the need to investigate the untold hardship faced my Nigerian pilgrims at the recently concluded 2023 Hajj and it was seconded by Hon. Mark Obetta. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Pilgrims affairs and that on Legislative Compliance when constituted.
- Call for Establishment of Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources.
Hon. Awaji–Inombek D. Abiante:
Aware that despite having a coastline of 853 kilometers bordering the Atlantic Ocean, as well as fresh and mangrove swamps, creeks, coastal rivers, estuaries, bays, and near and offshore waters with the capacity to feed the entire country and export, Nigeria is and has remained the fourth largest importer of fish in the world for its teaming population of over 200 million people;
Notes that the 2016 Nigeria Fisheries Statistics report puts our annual fish demand at an estimated 3.32 million metric tons and domestic production at about 1.12 million metric tons, while the 2018 World Bank report puts Nigeria’s annual fish demand at about 3.4 million metric tons, and domestic production at 1.17 million metric tons. These leave a deficit of 2.2 million metric tons in 2016, and a deficit of 2.23 million metric tons in the 2018 report, thus domestic production in Nigeria only meets about 40% of the demand for fish. This deficit is responsible for the over $1.2billion loss of revenue through the importation of fish and fishery products during the aforementioned years;
Also notes that to fully meet the wholesome demand of Nigerians for fish, the Country spent about N500 billion on fish import between January and November 2021 (the Nation Newspaper, December 20, 2021). Findings according to the Newspaper also revealed that Nigeria imported over Nl trillion ($2.06billion) of fish from major nine countries between 2019 and 2021, thus taking a toll on the Country’s foreign exchange and negatively affecting the Country’s GDP;
Further notes that Fisheries is a major economic sector; estimated to employ over 8.6 million people directly and a further 19.6 million indirectly, 70 per cent of whom are women. Owing to recent significant investments of private capital and a renewed political will to empower the private sector in the area of aquaculture development, Nigeria is the largest aquaculture producer in Sub-Saharan Africa and this importance is steadily increasing, hence the need to sustain the momentum through the Establishment of a government agency for the sector (Fishery);
Observes that the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is perpetually underfunded and poorly administered and receives less than 9% of the budget for the Ministry. This puts the development of the sector in a state of jeopardy; a sector that has so much potential in creating employment, providing food security and generating foreign exchange for the government – the focal points of the Economic Recovery Plan of the Federal Government for the Post- Pandemic Phase of reviving the economy;
Aware that the volume of global trade in the aquaculture value chain is more than $200 billion and that the Fisheries Departments in the top ten leading aquaculture countries like China, Japan, Norway, Egypt, Morocco and Namibia have more or less created exclusive entities for fisheries or autonomous Bureau of Fisheries;
Believes that Nigeria can set an ambitious goal of becoming a leading country in fisheries and aquaculture in Sub-Sahara Africa; specifically in the productive development of its coastal marine environment by taking a more serious interest in the development of its fisheries and aquaculture sector and providing equitable funding, incentivize the over 1 million indigenous artisanal fishermen and small-scale fish farmers using old equipment and outdated practices and scale them up into a diverse set of industrial fisheries practices using modern technologies for the growth and sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture;
Submits that to reduce unemployment through fishery/fish farming, and boost fish production to stop importation and enhance exportation of fish and fish products, thus increasing the Country’s foreign exchange earnings, there is an urgent need for the Establishment of a Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources;
Also believes that establishing a separate Ministry to drive this sector will not only save Nigeria the excess of $2.06billion yearly but create employment opportunities for local fish farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain to thrive, boost international trade, increase foreign exchange and revenue generation for the country;
(i) Urge the Federal Government to establish the Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources to govern the fisheries and aquaculture sector, formulate plans, strategies, policies and programmes for fisheries development to guide fisheries economic reform;
(ii) Mandate the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services and Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation.
Hon. Awaji–Inombek Abiante moved the motion on the call for establishment of Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources and it was seconded by Hon. Nicholas Mutu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, as well as that on Legislative Compliance when constituted.
- Need to Investigate the Allegation of Abuse of Tax Incentives, Tax Breaks and Tax Waivers by Public Institutions and Companies benefitting from Tax Incentives.
Hon. Oluwole Oke:
Notes that it is within the ambits of the powers of the Federal Government to exercise executive and legislative jurisdiction over items in the Exclusive Legislative List contained in the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. Items like taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains, export and imports are exclusively within the control of the Federal Government;
Also notes that in line with the above, the Federal Government of Nigeria exercise monetary and fiscal controls over the economy to stabilize both micro and macro-economic conditions and fundamentals. Some of the tools available to monetary and fiscal policy authorities to tinker with the economy and stimulate economic activities in some sectors of the economy are tax waivers, tax breaks, tax exemptions and tax incentives. Hence, when the government needs to attract investments and activities in a sector of the economy, it grants incentives in that sector;
Recalls historically that the Federal Government had issued policy documents in line with its fiscal goals and strategy, for example, the annual issuance for the Fiscal Policy Measures by the Ministry of Finance, the periodic issuance of the Value Added Tax Modification Order, etc. Some of these policy interventions had been effective in the past in achieving part of its objectives;
Further notes that available data also shows that while the Federal Government has good intentions, these practices have and continue to create a major black hold in the purse of the Government of the Federation. These losses are occasioned and driven primarily by abuses by Companies that have been granted tax-based waivers and incentives;
Again notes that based on available data, Nigeria continues to lose about 8 Trillion Naira annually to tax incentives and waivers. About 6 Trillion is lost to companies that abuse the system, while 2 Trillion worth of waivers achieve’ the objective of the Federal Government. Most of the abuses arising from fiscal items like capital allowances, Investment Allowances, Pioneer Status Incentives, Free Trade Zone exemptions, Value Added Tax Exemptions, etc;
Observes that these gaps have negatively affected the Nigeria Tax to-GDP ratio of Nigeria, which stands at 10.6%, being one of the lowest in Africa. The gap created in the revenue profile of the Government of the Federation has also contributed to the Federal Government seeking loans, grants and aides to fund our budget deficit;
Concerned that if urgent steps are not taken to investigate the situations, Nigeria may not only be hanging on a fiscal cliff, it may fall off the cliff and be heading to Venezuela, which is a situation where a country has huge resources but is in deep economic crisis, recession and depression;
Setup an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the allegations and report back within 4 weeks for further legislative action.
Hon. Oluwole Oke moved the motion on the need to investigate the allegation of abuse of tax incentives, tax breaks and tax waivers by public institutions and companies benefiting from tax incentives and it was seconded by Hon. Okojie Odianosen. The motion was amended to give a timeframe for the period of investigation from 2017-2023. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to an Ad-Hoc committee to be duly constituted.
- Need to Provide a Lasting Solution to the Water Scarcity Menace in Dukku Town, Dukku Local Government Area of Gombe State:
Hon. Abdullahi El-Rasheed Hon. Yaya Bauchi Tongo
Hon. Hassan M. Danjuma Hon. Jafaru Yakubu
Hon. El-Rufai Bello Mohammed Hon. Jaha Ahmadu Usman
Hon. Inuwa Garba Hon. Leko Ja’afaru Gambo
Hon. Lalu Ishaya David Hon. Obed Paul Shehu
Hon. Jajere Muhammed Buba:
Notes that Dukku Local Government Area was created in 1976 and one of the few oldest communities in North Eastern Nigeria that have over the years grown in terms of population and size and according to available historic facts is believed to have been founded in the 18th century when it served as a settlement for Fulani people who originally migrated from the West African sub-region;
Also notes that geographically, Dukku Local Government is made up of plains and valleys as well as hosting the Wawa Zange Grazing Reserve;
Aware that Dukku Local Government Area has an age long history of water scarcity that has continued to be a huge problem to the people and have also negatively impacted on their economic prosperity as it affects farming and animal husbandry with the worst affected areas situated on the upper part of river Gongola;
Recall that in 2010, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation where everyone has the right to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use;
Concerned that successive governments particularly at State and Local Government levels have demonstrated unwavering commitment towards bringing a lasting solution to the water scarcity problem in Dukku, but to no avail thereby leaving majority of the people without access to safe, potable and available water for their consumption and farming activities;
Further Concerned that the various water tributaries that pass through the grazing reserve have not been utilized to create sustainable earth dams that can provide adequate water reserves all year round;
Recalls also that due to the water scarcity menace in Dukku in the late 70s and 80s, the people were hit hard by the epidemic of guinea worm disease that was widely spread until the intervention of the Jimmy Carter Foundation (the guinea worm eradication program) headed by the former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd.) that the disease was eradicated and strongly recommended the provision of portable drinking water to the people of Dukku;
Worried that if adequate measures are not put in place to bring a lasting solution to the water scarcity problem in Dukku, the people and their herds will be left with no alternative than to migrate to other areas with availability of water which will lead to food insecurity as it will greatly affect farming activities;
Aware also that the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) is a government intervention agency established to among other things to tackle the menace of poverty, illiteracy level, ecological problems and any other related environmental or developmental challenges in the North-East states to provide sustainable economic stability and growth in the region;
(i) Urge the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) to:-
(a) Construct an all-encompassing water supply project comprising of boreholes, boosting stations and collection/distribution channel from Mayo-Lamido 8km away from Dukku for Dukku town and its environs;
(b) Construct modern Earth Dams in the most vulnerable villages and communities in Dukku Local Government Area that are on water channels that run to the River Gongola particularly in Waziri South; Waziri North; Zange and Kunde Wards;
(c) Mandate the Committees on North-East Development Commission (NEDC) and Legislative Compliance (When Constituted) to ensure compliance.
Hon. Abdullahi Rasheed moved the motion on the need to provide a lasting solution to the water scarcity menace in Dukku town, Dukku local government area of Gombe state and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Kumo. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on the North East Development Commission and that on Legislative Compliance when constituted.
- Need to Limit Crude Oil Lifting Contracts to Companies Quoted on the Nigerian Exchange Group.
Hon. Ghali Mustapha Tijjani:
Aware that the oil and gas sector is the backbone of Nigeria’s economy and its global prominence and contributions cannot be overemphasised;
Notes that the sector lacks effective governance and falls short of transparency and accountability, due to the operations of briefcase companies which add no tangible value to our economy;
Also notes that these briefcase companies are inexperienced and without the required financial, commercial capacity and expertise in the crude oil business;
Conscious that the widely publicised Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force found among other things, that Nigeria losses billions of Dollars monthly due to activities of the briefcase companies that lift Nigeria’s crude oil;
Cognizant that the facts have been corroborated by other credible bodies including the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (NEITI), Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), Chatham House Report of 2013, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO);
Observes that these companies and their collaborators have become resistant and adamant, and have continued to operate unabated to short-change Nigerians, despite many recommendations to do away with them;
Concerned that only a negligible number of oil and gas companies registered with the Nigerian Exchange Group, despite the global prominence of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry;
Envisaged that listing these companies on the Stock Exchange will curb the incessant revenue loss and will create capital availability to the economy. Furthermore, it will allow the regulatory authorities to have greater control over their activities;
Constitute an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate and identify Oil and Gas Companies favoured to lift Nigeria’s Crude Oil and put in place effective mechanisms to which companies will be quoted in the Nigeria Exchange Group (NEG) and report back within four (4) weeks.
Hon. Ghali Tijjani moved the motion on the need to limit crude oil lifting contracts to companies quoted on the Nigerian Exchange Group and it was seconded by Hon. Ojema Ojotu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to an Ad-Hoc committee to be duly constituted.
- Need to Investigate the Utilization of Ecological Funds Released for the Great Green Wall from 2015 to Date.
Hon. David Abel FuohHon. Zacharia Nyampa
Hon. Shetima Ali Lawan Hon. Olusola Fatoba:
Aware that the Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and Sahel Programme was initiated and adopted by the Head of Governments and States of the African Union in 2005 to address the issues of desertification, land degradation, Bio-diversity loss, promote climate change resilience by ecosystems and communities and improve food security in about 21 countries of the Sahel region in Africa;
Also aware that the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGVW) is a Nigerian federal agency under the Federal Ministry of Environment, established to address land degradation and desertification and support communities to adapt to climate change in the Nigeria States of Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa,Yobe and Zamfara;
Notes that 100 households are targeted for this programme and about 16,800 women and youths would be beneficiaries of the initiative to combat the effect of climate change as Nigeria worked toward the 2060 target of zero carbon emission that pollutes air;
Cognizant of Nigeria’s commitment to global environmental sustainability and achievement of the Country’s Nationally Determined Contribution’s (NDC) has been pegged at 20 per cent emissions reduction, this was an unconditional commitment by Nigeria, to the world while it strived to meet the globally set standard of 47per cent emission reduction conditionally adopted as a target by 2030;
Informed that the 2021 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization countries claimed to have spent about $200m in the Great Green Wall since the project began;
Also informed that the barricaded garden contract was to raise over 76,000 assorted seedlings and the projects were awarded by NAGGW to Dabellfari Nigeria Limited (#6, 390,932.08) and KLGM International Limited (#2, 689,442.5) in 2017, aside from the lump sum, there was EU and FAO support of 20m Euros (#8.2 billion) and $4 billion (#1,4 trillion) from the United Nations which totals (#1, 452,260,000,000);
Concerned that from the findings, Š4 billion commitment was joint support from France, African Development Bank (AFDB), Global Environment Facility ($115, million), World Bank ($1.9 billion) and aid from some African Leaders, in 2015 during COP 21, the (AFDA) President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina revealed that the Bank has so far released $22 billion for the project and pledged to mobilize an additional $50 billion to provide clean energy for Africa including the Sahara-Sahel region;
Also concerned that the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (NNCCD) through Joint Support Commitment made available $8 billion to support all 20 African countries including the 11 primary nations and Nigeria’s 11 front-line states;
Further informed that the federal government had through the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) earmarked expenditure of #182, 988,974 for the communities and another #200 million for what it termed the “Starter Pack” for women in the areas;
Worried that all the funds released from International Organizations, foreign donors and Nigerian government through yearly budgetary allocations, nothing tangible is on ground to justify the release made so far;
(i)Constitute an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate:
(a) The utilization of ecological funds released to the Great Green Wall by the International Organizations from 2015 to date;
(b) All federal allocations to the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) as well as contracts awarded to various contractors for the project from 2015 to date ;
(c) Investigate the total sum received through the policy and the level of compliance with the goals and objectives of the project and report back within four (4) weeks for further Legislative action.
Hon. Shettima Lawan moved the motion on the need to investigate the utilization of the Ecological funds released for the Great Green Wall from 2015 to date and it was seconded by Hon. Terseer Ugbor. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to an Ad-Hoc committee to be duly constituted.
- Call on the Federal Government of Nigerian to Honor the Court Judgment on Ministerial Slot for FCT Indigenes.
Hon. Abdulrahman Ajiya Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi:
Notes that the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which guarantees equal treatment and rights to all citizens of Nigeria;
Also notes the judgment by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on 15 January 2018, between HRH Musa Baba Panya vs President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and which affirmed that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is entitled to a ministerial slot in the Federal Executive Council (FEC);
Aware of the combined effect of Section 147(1) (3), 14(3) and 299 of the 1999 Constitution, that indigenes of the FCT-Abuja are entitled to Ministerial appointment into the Federal Executive Council;
Also aware that the Hon. Minister of the FCT is appointed by the President under the aforementioned section of the constitution to represent the interests and aspirations of the residents of the FCLin the Federal Government;
Concerned that despite the clear provisions of the Constitution and the court judgment, indigenes of FCT have not been represented in the FEC, causing alienation, marginalization, and underrepresentation;
Cognizant that the equitable representation of all regions, communities and groups in government are necessary for national cohesion, stability and development;
(i) Urge the Federal Government to comply with the judgment of the Court of Appeal on the ministerial slot for FCT indigenes in the Federal Executive Council;
(ii) Also urge the President to appoint an indigene of FCT as a Minister in the next cabinet appointments, in line with the constitutional obligation to treat all Nigerians equitably;
(iii) Mandate the Committees on Federal Capital Territory, Federal Character and Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure implementation;
(iv) Set up Ad–hoc Committee to investigate the rationale behind the exclusion of FCT indigenes from ministerial nominees by Successive governments despite the ruling of the Court of Appeal on this matter and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
Hon. Abdulrahman Ajiya moved the motion on the call on the Federal Government of Nigerian to honor the Court judgement on ministerial slot for FCT indigenes and it was seconded by Hon. Useni Jalo. Hon. Chijioke Okereke proposed an amendment to urge the Ad-Hoc committee to handle the investigations. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the Ad-Hoc committee to be duly constituted.
- Call on the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to Restore Street Lights in Abuja Metropolis.
Hon. Okpolupm Etteh:
Notes the perpetual darkness on major roads and streets within the Metropolis of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at night, as a result of inadequate lighting from street lights;
Further notes that the constant darkness on the major roads and streets in the FCT creates avenues for some criminal-minded elements to perpetrate crime, touting and intimidating of innocent law abiding Nigerians and also makes the city unsafe for residents and visitors;
Aware that most of the street lights installed on many Highways and streets in the FCT are moribund and not functional. On major roads like Herbert Macaulay Way, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Jabi area, Aminu Kano Crescent, Ahmadu Bello Way and Independence Avenue; which houses the Three Arms Zone, National Assembly, Supreme Court and the Presidential Villa. Also from the Federal Secretariat to Louis Edet House, (Police Headquarters), the street lights are comatose;
Further aware that despite the prevailing darkness in most areas of the Federal Capital Territory at night, there is minimal and inadequate presence of stationary policemen or police patrol vans along some dangerous stretches of roads and under the bridges;
Concerned that the Federal Capital Territory; the nation’s capital, ought to have been maintained with modern facilities and should have alternative sources of power Like standby generators at strategic positions on the main roads, as a backup power supply in cases of power outage;
Further concerned that most states of the Federation that do not have the huge yearly budgetary allocation Like the FCT, maintain constant power supply in their various state capitals, therefore, the administrative headquarters of Nigeria should be more attractive to visitors and investors at night;
Informed that in those days driving around the Abuja Metropolis at night was the delight of motorists, when the street Lighting system in the city was very functional, you could hardly differentiate between night and day because the city was well illuminated;
Worried that despite the budgets that have been committed to providing the facilities and ensuring their maintenance, the once brilliantly Lit city is creeping into darkness as many of the street Lights have collapsed;
(i) Urge the Federal Capital Territory Administration to as a matter of urgency restore the street Lights in Abuja Metropolis and ensure maintenance as the Federal Capital and Administrative Headquarters of Nigeria;
(ii) Mandate the Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) when constituted to ensure implementation
Hon. Okpolupm Etteh moved the motion on the call on the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to restore street lights in Abuja metropolis and it was seconded by Hon. Boniface Merengue. Hon. Blessing Onuh proposed an amendment to add a prayer 3 to the motion to make provisions for the replacement of the stolen manholes from highways in the Federal Capital Territory. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Federal Character as well as that on Legislative Compliance when constituted.
Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved a motion that the House adopt the votes and proceedings of the day and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda
The House at 14:20 PM adjourned plenary to Tuesday, July 18th 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.
Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives.