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Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, October 4th 2023

Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu presided.

By admin , in Uncategorized , at October 5, 2023 Tags: , ,

After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Deputy Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023


The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu commended Honorable members for their dedication to the development of the Nigerian project and assured Nigerians that Parliament remains dedicated to this project.


PETITIONS

  1. Hon. Julius Ihonvbere laid 2 petitions on behalf of different complainants, first on the need to accelerate a Bill for INEC to conduct Council polls to ensure good governance of states and the second was on the need to investigate why Nigerians are labeled as money launderers even while doing legitimate businesses worldwide.
  2. Hon. Odudoh Alphonsus laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Nigeria Military Pension Board on arrears of his Pension without the payment of his due benefits. He craved the intervention of the House to access his due benefits.
  3. Hon. Wale Raji laid a petition on behalf of a community against the Nigerian Army for acts of intimidation, assault and trespass over a vast mass of land belonging to the community without legal jurisdiction. They craved the intervention of the House to investigate the illegal acts and provide them with redress .
  4. Hon. Eze Nwachukwu laid 2 petitions on behalf of different complainants, the first is on wrongful dismissal from service from a University in Nigeria, the complainant called for his reinstatement and the full payment of his entitlements. The second is on the cry by trailer drivers who are being maltreated as a result of the sales of the assets of the oil company which they work for without due compensation of their entitlements.
  5. Hon. Etan Benedict laid a petition by a complainant requesting for the intervention on his problem with the Dentistry department of the University of Benin as some parts of his results has not been released over 7 years after his graduation which has hindered his career progression.
  6. Hon. Emmanuel Uguru laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and National Planning on the need to furnish Nigerians with the details of the register of the various social intervention programs.
  7. Hon. Olusola Gbadura laid 2 petitions on behalf of different complainants against the operations of illegal tank farms in free trade zones in Calabar, Cross Ricers state and for the need to shut down their operations. The second is against the Enugu Distribution Company and the Nigeria Electricity Authority on perennial blackouts in the region.
  8. Hon. Afam Ogene laid 5 petitions on behalf of different complainants.

All petitions were referred to the House committee on Public Petitions


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

  1. Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi moved a motion on the need to avert fuel tanker explosions in Delta state and it was seconded by Hon. Ginger Onwusibe. Hon. Ereyitomi in leading the debate bemoaned the loss of over 20 lives and destruction of various houses and properties in a recent fuel tanker explosion on the Benin-Warri highway which has become a reoccurring phenomenon. He called on the House to as a matter of urgency mandate the National Emergency Management Agency as well as the Ministry of Disaster Management and that on Humanitarian Affairs to ensure relief materials gets to the affected victims. He also called on the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure rehabilitation of the Benin-Warri express road to ensure such accidents do not keep occurring. Hon. Ereyitomi also called on the relevant committees of the House to ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Works, Housing, Legislative Compliance and that on Federal Road Maintenance Agency.
  2. Hon. Musa Avia moved a motion on the need to address the resurgence of armed attacks on some communities of Bassa local government of Plateau state and it was seconded by Hon. Ishaya David. Hon. Avia in leading the debate wondered why these peaceful communities continue to suffer unprovoked attacks on their citizens. He bemoaned the fact that the armed herdsmen have left a wake of victims in their path of wickedness. Hon. Avia called on the Chief of Defense staff, the Inspector General of Police as well as other Heads of Security Agencies to deploy officers to beef up security to protect lives and property in the region. He further called on the relevant security committees of the House to ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Defence, Police as well as that on Legislative Compliance.
  3. Hon. Jesse Okey moved a motion on the need to curb the excessive use of force by some Nigerian Police officers as well as Lagos State Management Agency (LASMA) officials that led to the death of a pregnant lady and 2 children and it was seconded by Hon. Ayodeji Alaoakala. Hon. Okey In leading the debate expressed great concern on the unscrupulous activities of some officers of the Nigerian police as well as those of the LASMA that led to the death of a woman and 2 children. He condemned in high terms the activities of the officers and called for their prosecution within 2 weeks. The motion was voted on and adopted. The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu condemned the needless loss of lives during the operations of the officers. He reiterated the need for the officers to wear body cameras while on duty to promote accountability. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Police as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS

  1. Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.500) (Hon. Tajudeen Abass) – First Reading.
  2. Mandatory Inclusion of Teachings on Breast and Cervical Cancers into the Curriculum of all Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria Bill, 2023 (HB. 501) (Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – First Reading.
  3. Mandatory Inclusion of Preventive Measures and Teachings on Sexual Gender Based Violence into the Curriculum of all Levels of Secondary Schools in Nigeria Bill, 2023 (HB.502) (Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – First Reading.
  4. National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education Bill, 2023 (HB.503) (Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – First Reading.
  5. Teachers Registration Council Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.504) (Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi) – First Reading.
  6. Chartered Nigerian Institute for Industrial Security (HB.505) (Hon. Emerengwa Boniface Sunday) – First Reading.
  7. Federal Institute of Technical and Vocational Education (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.506) (Hon. Adegboyega Nasir Isiaka) – First Reading.
  8. Federal Medical Centre, Kwoi, Kaduna State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.507) (Hon. Amos Gwamna Magaji) – First Reading.
  9. Ginger Research Institute, Samaru Kataf, Kaduna State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.508) (Hon. Amos Gwamna Magaji) – First Reading.
  10. Nutrition and Dietetics (Registration) Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 509) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – First Reading.
  11. National Vocational Centre (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.510) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – First Reading.
  12. Penal Code (Northern State) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.511) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.
  13. Federal Universities of Agriculture Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 512) (Hon. Odimayo Okunjimi John) – First Reading.
  14. Federal Medical Centre, National Assembly, Abuja (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.513) (Hon. Muhammad Bello Shehu) – First Reading.
  15. Civil Defence Corps, Correctional, Federal Fire and Immigration Services Board Bill, 2023(HB.514) (Hon. Muhammad Bello Shehu) – First Reading.
  16. Insurance Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.515) (Hon. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai) – First Reading.
  17. Factoring Assignment and Receivables Financing (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.516) (Hon. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai) – First Reading.
  18. Advisory Council on Religious Affairs Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.517) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.
  19. Integrated Corporate Data Management Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.518) (Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims) – First Reading.
  20. National Youth Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 519) (Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims) – First Reading.
  21. Federal Colleges of Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.520) (Hon. Sunday Cyriacus Umeha) – First Reading.
  22. National Football Academy (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.521) (Hon. Sunday Cyriacus Umeha) – First Reading.
  23. Federal College of Education, Ugboha, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.522) (Hon. Henry Odianosen Okojie) – First Reading.
  24. National Institute of Agricultural Research Oria, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.523) (Hon. Henry Odianosen Okojie) – First Reading.
  25. Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery Amoji–Nike, Enugu State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.524) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT

Ad–hoc Committee on the Need to Investigate the Circumstances Surrounding the Acquisition of OVH Energy by NNPC limited:
Hon. Hassan Abubakar Nalaraba:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee on the Need to Investigate the Circumstances Surrounding the Acquisition of OVH Energy by NNPC Limited on the Need to Investigate the Irregularities and Alleged Corruption in the Nigeria Energy Security Provider, NNPC Retail Limited and the Acquisition of OVH Energy Marketing (HR. 171/07/2023) (Referred:27/7/2023).

The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Hassan Nalaraba and seconded by Hon. Olumide Osoba.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

MOTIONS

  1. Need to Address Illegal Violations of Due Process of Federal Character Lopsided Recruitment by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service and Federal Fire Service:
    Hon. Ali J. C:

The House:

Notes the allegation of nepotism and favouritism at the expense of due process and the implementation of the federal character principle in the recent recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service and Federal Fire Service;

Also notes that while Section 14(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) mandates government agencies to apply the principle of federal character in the conduct of their affairs;

Alarm that the recent recruitment exercise by the three paramilitary outfits is a clear violation of the federal character principle as non-indigenes of some States are alleged to employed personnel in States other than the States of their origin, thereby shortchanging the original indigenes of the states;

Worried that applicants from the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory recruitment exercise staged a protest in Abuja alleging that they passed the Computer Based (CBT) and physical screening, but were not employed;

Also worried that the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDIPB) sold their slots to those who never participated in the physical screening process;

further worried that the alleged breach of the Federal Character Principle by the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDIPB) indicate the current trend in the recruitment process of most Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, thus, exposing the failure of the Federal Character Commission to carry out its constitutional mandate of promoting unity as well as just and fair representation of States in the affairs of government;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committees on Federal Character and Public Service Matters to investigate the allegations of violations of due process and federal character principle in the recruitment of persons into Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Federal Fire Service and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House

  1. Need reactivate the Collapsed of 33/11KVA Electrical Line from Sokoto to Kware and Gwadabwa/Illela Federal Constituency, Sokoto State:
    Hon. Bello Isah Ambarura:

The House:

Notes that for the past nine and a half years, the Sokoto East Federal Constituency consisting of eight Local Government Areas have been in complete darkness;

Aware of the presence of higher education facilities, which includes Africa’s top Animal Farms, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Kware, School of Health Technology, Gwadabawa, College of Agriculture Wurno, a Zonal Agricultural farm and Commercial Banks in Kware operating under challenging circumstances without electricity supply;

Also aware that despite sharing an International border with the Niger Republic and therefore requiring Socio-economic development but machinery equipment and facilities in the area are dilapidated and comatose owing to a lack of power supply;

Cognizant of the need to reactivate the 33/11KVA electric line to rectify the situation of Kware and Gwadabawa/Illela Federal Constituency, Sokoto State

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Power through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to make provision for the reactivation of the collapsed and dilapidated 33/11KVA electrical line from Sokoto-Kware-Gwadabawa and Illela, Sokoto State in the 2024 budget estimates; and

(ii) mandate the Committees on Power and Appropriations to ensure compliance.

Debate
Hon. Bello Ambarura moved the motion on the need to reactivate the collapsed 33/11KVA electrical line from Sokoto to Kware and Gwadabwa/Illela federal constituency, Sokoto state and it was seconded by Hon. Chris Nkwonta. Hon. Umar Yabo proposed an amendment to incorporate Yabo and Shagari local governments into the prayers of the motion.

Hon. Aliyu proposed an amendment to incorporate other affected local governments of Sokoto state into the prayers of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Power as well as that on Appropriation.

  1. Need to Re-award the Contract for the Completion of Panyam- Bokkos –Wamba Road:
    Hon. Ishaya David Lalu ​​​​Hon Jeremiah Umaru
    Hon. Jaafaru Gambo Leko:

The House:
Notes the deplorable State of the Panyam-Bokkos-Wamba road, which has remained in a state of disrepair for more than 10 years, causing untold hardship to the people of the area;

Also notes that contract for the construction of the road was awarded, but the project has been abandoned as the contractor failed to adhere to some terms and conditions of the contract;

Cognizant of the need to re-award the contract for completion of the road project to a competent contractor who will complete the job within the stipulated deadline and up to the required standards;

Also cognizant that the road, if completed, will ease the movement of goods from the area to other parts of the country as it is the shortest route connecting the North-central and the North-east geopolitical zones;

Resolves to:
(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to, immediately re-award the contract for the completion of the Panyam-Bokkos-Wamba road to a competent contractor, and ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated contract duration and to the required standards;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works to make adequate budgetary provisions for the Panyam-Bokkos-Wamba road project in the 2024 Budget estimates;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Works to ensure compliance.

Debate
Hon. Ishaya Lalu moved the motion on the need to re-award the contract for the completion of Panyam- Bokkos –Wamba road and it was seconded by Hon. Blessing Amadi. Hon. Isa Mohammed proposed an amendment to prayer 1 to call on the Federal Ministry of Works to revoke the contract before rewarding it in line with the Procurement Act.

Hon. Mohammed Muktar proposed an amendment to assess the reason for the failure of the state of the contract to ensure the terms of the contract is not violated.

Hon. Ishaya Lalu in exercising his right of reply stated that the contract has been revoked since 2012, but has not been re-awarded in subsequent budgets. He therefore proposed an amendment to the prayers to incorporate the House committee on Appropriations to include the re-awarding the contract on rehabilitating the road in the 2024 national budget estimates.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu stressed the need for Parliament to continue partnering the Executive to in order to secure regular and alternative funding through adequate Legislative tools to ensure Nigerian roads are kept in top shape. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Works as well as that on Appropriations.

  1. Need to Prioritize and implement the Provisions of the Mental Health Law 2021 to tackle suicide and suicidality in Nigeria:
    Hon. Uchenna Clement Nwachukwu. E:

The House:

Notes that the responsibility of the government is to protect and safeguard the lives of Nigerians as outlined by 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 the government;

Also notes that on 12 July 2023, a teenager took her life after being raped in Oyo State, one out of many cases of suicide underreported and mostly unreported in Nigeria due to social stigmatization;

Recalls that ThisDay Newspapers reported an alarming rise in suicide deaths between 2022 and March 2023, It emphasizes that suicide is seen as a taboo in most parts of the country and hidden by families due to cultural factors;

Concerned that fresh cases of suicide as published in the print media have a greater proportion of youth as victims, in January 2023, Joseph Olona, a 300-level student at FUTA, and 50-year-old Ojo Ogundeji both committed suicide on January 14 and 23, respectively;

Worried that the risk factors for suicide such as mental health conditions, substance use, access to lethal means, prolonged stress, unemployment, financial crisis, and child abuse and neglect pose huge threats to Nigerians;

Disturbed that there has not been adequate sensitization of the provisions of the Act and guidelines on how people struggling with mental health problems can receive help;

Cognizant that the awareness campaigns should reduce stigma and ensure the acceptability of the regulations to protect the dignity of people struggling with mental health;

Resolve to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Health to collaborate with relevant Health Institutions to ensure that research on mental health is put into practice to ensure evidence-based care to Nigerian citizens;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Healthcare Services to evaluate the implementation of the content of the Mental Health Act and conduct a needs assessment of the full implementation of the Act.

Debate
Hon. Uchenna Nwachukwu moved the motion on the need to prioritize and implement the provisions of the Mental Health Law 2021 to tackle suicide and suicidality in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Kabiru. Hon. Emeka Chinedu proposed an amendment calling on the Ministry of Health as well as the National Orientation Agency to establish a center where people with mental health issues can go for counseling.

Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo further proposed an amendment calling on the House committee on Health Institutions to work with with the Ministry of Health to establish mental health desks within Primary Health centers nationwide to address the issues.

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere proposed an amendment calling for the provision of economic solutions to tackle situations that may push individuals to committing suicide.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu stressed the need for government at all levels to address the rising rate of mental issues and suicide in Nigeria. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Health Services, Specialty Cares as well as that on Health Institutions.

  1. Need to Address the worsening Insecurity in Dandume Local Government Area and its environs in Funtua/Dandume Federal Constituency of Katsina State:
    Hon. Abubakar Ahmad Muhammad:

The House:

Notes that the state of Insecurity in Dandume Local Government Area and its environs has assumed a worrisome dimension.

Also notes that the said Local Government Area has become a haven for Bandits, Armed Robbers, Kidnappers, Cattle Rustlers and all other types of criminal elements in recent times.

Aware of the reoccurring insecurity challenges in the area has led to loss of lives, kidnappings and the dispossession of properties owned by the locals has assumed an alarming stage;

Concerned that many rural dwellers have been displaced on account of this onslaughts, while agricultural activities have been paralyzed leading to economic loss to Katsina State, and the nation at large.

Worried that the number of out of School Children has significantly increased as Schools are frequently attacked and, Students kidnapped thus creating fear amongst Parents who prefer their children to stay at home;

Also worried that several villagers in the local government now live in fear due to displacement of their valuable properties worth hundreds of millions in Naira;

Cognizant of the need for immediate Government intervention to curb insecurity in the area and proffer lasting solution to the problem;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police to deploy more security personnel to intensify the security architecture in Dandume Local Government Area;

(ii) also urge the Chief of Army Staff to establish an operational unit for rapid response in the Area;

(ii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the affected communities within the Local Government Area; and

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

Debate
Hon. Abubakar Muhammad moved the motion on the need to address the worsening insecurity in Dandume local government area and its environs in Funtua/Dandume federal constituency of Katsina state and it was seconded by Hon. Kalejaye Adeboye. Hon. Aminu Korfi proposed an amendment to incorporate Korfi in Katsina state for additional security into the prayer of the motion.

An amendment was proposed to extend the prayers to cover at least 24 local governments of Katsina state into the prayers of the motion.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu stressed that the security of the nation should not be taken for granted and government should continue to do all possible to ensure the safety of the lives and properties of all Nigerians. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Army, Police as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Increase Monthly Allowance of National Youth Corps Members To Reflect the Current Economic Reality of the Nation:
    Hon. Uduak Odudoh:

The House:

Notes that National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is the only Federal Government Scheme that offers young Nigerian graduates an insight to the Nation’s strength of diversity by posting Corps members outside their States of origin to other parts of Nigeria;

Aware that Corps Members, through Community Development Service (CDS), have contributed immensely to the development of their host Communities and Nigeria at large;

Concerned that irrespective of the harsh economic situation in Nigeria, particularly arising from fuel subsidy removal among other government economic policies, Corps members are still expected to report regularly to their respective deployment throughout the period of their service year;

Worried that the meagre thirty three thousand (#33, 000.00) Naira monthly allowance currently being paid to Corp members is insufficient to sustain their basic needs as well as transportation to their places of deployment among other necessary expenditures;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to increase the monthly allowance of Corps members to a reasonable sum that can sustain the current cost of living in the country;

(ii) also urge the Federal Government to increase funding allocation of the NYSC scheme in the 2024 budget estimates;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Youth Development to ensure compliance.

Debate
Hon. Uduak Odudoh moved the motion on the need to increase monthly allowance of National Youth Corps members to reflect the current economic reality of the nation. The motion was however stepped down by leave of the House as there is currently a similar motion with a resolution on the same subject matter in the 10th House of Representatives and taking this same motion within the same House contravenes the Law of the House.

  1. Call on the President to Revisit the Oransanye’s Report:
    Hon. Alex Egbona:

The House:

Notes that in August 2021, the administration of then President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated a Seven Member Presidential Committee to advise the government on the restructuring and rationalization of the Federal Government Agencies, Parastatals and the Commissions headed by the former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr Stephen Oronsaye;

Also notes that the terms of references were (a) to study and review all previous reports and records on the restructuring of Federal Parastatals and advice on whether they were still relevant, (b) to examine the enabling Acts of all Federal Agencies, Parastatals and Commissions and determine areas of overlap or duplication of functions and make appropriate recommendations to either restructure, merge or scrap some to eliminate such overlaps, duplications or redundancies, (c) advice on any other matter incidental to the foregoing which;

Aware that in April 2012, the Commission submitted an 800-page report which recommended the abolition and /or merger of 102 government agencies and Parastatals to reduce the cost of governance;

Also aware that the Commission recommended the reduction of statutory agencies from 263 to 161 with 38 agencies recommended for abolition while 52 were recommended for merger and 14 to revert to departments in existing ministries;

Informed that upon receipt of the report, the Federal Government appointed a Committee headed by then-Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke to study the report and prepare its view for adoption and implementation;

Also informed that in April 2014, the government White Paper took a more conservative approach and rejected about 90 per cent of the recommendations made by the Oronsaye Committee;

Worried that the Jonathan and Buhari administrations failed to carry out the implementation contained in the White Paper to address the concern raised in the Oronsaye Committee report;

Resolves to:
(i) Urge the President to constitute a panel without delay to review the report to implement the recommendations in the interest and well-being of the Nigerian people;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Judiciary and Public Accounts to ensure compliance.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House

  1. Need to Grant License to the Niger State Government as a Mineral buying Centre:
    Hon. Joshua Audu Gana:

The House:

Notes Section 95 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (the Act) provides for the establishment of Mineral Buying Centres (Buying Centre) to serve as standardization centres to enable artisanal and small miners’ cooperatives and operators to receive fair premiums for their labour as they concentrate on production;

Also notes that by section 96 of the Act and regulation 232 of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Regulation, 2011, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development and the Mining Cadastre Officer are to determine the qualification for entities to register as Mineral Buying Centres;

Further notes that as provided by the Act and regulation, one of the criteria for registration as a buying Centre is that the entity seeking registration must register with the Corporate Affairs Commission;

Aware that the Federal Government in 2016 stated that it had started ceding buying Centres to state governments in a bid to reduce friction between the two tiers of government on mining activities;

Aware that Niger State is heavily endowed with natural resources in different locations as follows:
(a) Gold: Minna, Kafin-Koro, Kontagora, Bida and New-Bussa Chachaga,Mariga, Paikoro, Bida & Borgu;
(b) Clay: Enagi, Rafi, Badeggi, Tatiko, Agwara, Borgu, Suleja and Mokwa. Edati, Bida, Suleja and Mokwa;
(c) Silica and Sand: Suleja, Bida and Mokwa Suleja, Bida and Mokwa;
(d) Kynaites: South -West of Minna Minna;
(e) Marble: Minna Hill and Kwakuti Minna and Paiko;
(f) Copper, Iron, Felspar and Lead Spread All Over The State All LGA;
(g) Kaolin Agaie, Bida, Lemu, Mokwa & Kutigi Agaie, Bida, Gbako, Mokwa &Kutigi;
(h) Cassertrite New-Bussa Borgu;
(i) Columbite New-Bussa Borgu;
(j) Tantalite New-Bussa Borgu;
(k) Limestone Lapai, Konkoso, Swashi and Mokwa Agaie, Borgu, Lapai, Mokwa;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Mining Cadastre Office under the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to grant a licence to the Niger State Government as a Mineral Buying Centre due to the presence of minerals in the state;

(a) invite the Director General of the Mining Cadastre Office to brief the Committee on Commerce on the numbers of Licensed Buying Centre including a list of similar Licenses previously issued to State Governments;

(b) mandate the Committee on Soild Minerals Developmentto ensure compliance.

Debate
Hon. Joshua Gana moved the motion the need to grant license to the Niger State government as a mineral buying centre, but before it was seconded; Hon. Igariwey raised a Constitutional point of Order stating that the National Assembly lacks the legal grounds to make Laws for states and hence cannot grant this license to Niger state.

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stressed that minerals belong to the federal government and hence the National Assembly is in line to propose the license if the state sets up a company and applies for it through the right channels.

Hon. Sada Soli reiterated that the House through the motion is not making Laws for Niger state but just highlighting the opinion of Niger state to optimize already existing mineral benefits.

Hon. Gboyega Isiaka proposed an amendment to delete prayer 2 of the motion as he does not see its essence.

Hon. Babajimi Benson reiterated the view of Hon. Sada Soli hinging his point on the fact that if the Niger state government gets the required permit from the Corporate Affairs Commission, it is valid for operation.

Hon. Isiaka Ibrahim applied for caution in adopting the motion as the House should not be seen as the one telling the state to tow a certain line. He called on the Niger state government to go through the proper channels of procuring the said license.

Hon. Kingsley Chinda stated that the motion is in order as mines and minerals remains in the Exclusive list. He however expressed concern with prayer 1 which is in contradiction with the powers of the National Assembly, which should not be seen as being the instigator of the move.

Hon. Gaza Gbwefi, as the House committee chairman on Solid Minerals expressed hope that the frictions between the federal government and state governments on minerals sited in states would soon be a thing of the past through adequate legislation. He called for the distinction between managers and administrators of mineral exploitation and administration. Hon. Gaza further reiterated the need for Niger state to create a private sector company to apply properly for the license.

Hon. Joshua Gana in exercising his right of reply called for the motion to be stepped down while he does his due consultation on the subject matter before coming back to the House.

  1. Need to Investigate the Service and Unprecedented Environmental Damage within Oil Producing Communities:
    Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha:

The House:

Notes that Nigeria is ranked as the 15th major oil producing nation, with an average production of almost 2 million barrels per day and is reputed to be a Gas bed;

Also notes that many oil wells in Bayelsa State are depleted and are no more commercially viable, which accounts for the sale of lots of old upstream assets by International Oil and Gas Companies to local players;

Aware that international global best practice requires that all depleted and commercially non-viable oil well platforms be decommissioned to prevent environmental hazards or interference with other maritime activities;

Also aware that Section 232 of the Petroleum Industry Act provides that at the end of their exploration activities, oil producing companies should ensure that the environment is returned to its original state by decommissioning and disposing non-viable platforms;

Further aware that Section 233 of the Petroleum Industry Act provides for establishment of a Fund for the mitigation of negative environmental impacts associated with decommissioning or abandonment of oil and gas fields and assets;

Concerned that local and foreign Oil and Gas Companies have persistently disregarded extant laws by abandoning non-viable platforms and facilities at their operational bases without following the standard practices, thereby posing great risks to the host communities, as the emission of poisonous gases from abandoned facilities are resulting to unexplainable ailments and terminal diseases amongst the people;

Also concerned that the abandoned facilities are impeding water transportation causing unimaginable dangers to farers;

Worried that the relevant regulatory bodies are not taking any serious steps to set things right, while members of the host communities are suffering life threatening hardship as a result of negligence from the parties involved;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to investigate the environmental damage in oil producing communities caused by non-compliance of extant laws by oil producing companies.

Debate
Hon. Ahmadu Jaha moved the motion on the need to investigate the service and unprecedented environmental damage within oil producing communities and it was seconded by Hon. Alhassan Rurum. Hon. Umar Ajido proposed an amendment to include the House committee on Host Communities into the prayers of the motion.

Hon. Gaza Gbwefi stressed the need for The House committee on Environment to be incorporated into the prayers of the motion as the Ministry of Environment is solely responsible for such clean ups.

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe further proposed an amendment to incorporate the House committee on Climate Change into the prayers of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Environment, Climate Change, Host Communities as well as that on Petroleum Resources (Downstream, Upstream and Midstream)

  1. Need to Rehabilitate the Onistsha – Atani – Ossomalla – Ogwuikpele – Ndoni Road in Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Anambra State:
    Hon. Afam Victor Ogene:

The House:

Notes that the Onitsha-Atani-Ossomalla-Ogwuikpele-Ndoni Road is the only road that connects the 15 communities in Ogbaru Local Government Area/Federal Constituency of Anambra state to the rest of the State, and is the shortest route to Rivers State from Anambra;

Concerned that the road is in deplorable condition, making commuting a grueling experience, which is made worse by the yearly flood disaster in the area;

Also concerned that the people of Ogbaru Federal Constituency, who are predominantly farmers, find it extremely difficult to transport their produce to different markets via the dilapidated road, thus impacting their contribution to the nation’s food security;

Worried that this important road has become tortuous and treacherous to road users, leading to loss of lives, farm produce, properties and man hours;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to include completion of the Onitsha-Atani-Ossomalla-Ogwuikpele–Ndoni Road Project in the 2024 budget estimates;

(ii) also urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to, in the meantime, provide palliative measures on the road to ease transportation thereon;

(iii) mandate the Committees on Works and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ensure compliance.

Debate
Hon. Afam Ogene moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate the Onistsha – Atani – Ossomalla – Ogwuikpele – Ndoni road in Ogbaru federal constituency, Anambra state and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Shehu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Works as well as that on Federal Road Maintenance Agency.

  1. Need to Protect and Secure the Aquatic and Terrestrial Habitat of Host Communities in the Niger Delta Region:
    ​Hon. Philip Agbese:

Notes that the Niger Delta region with an estimated population of about 31 million and a land mass of about 70,000 km is a major hydrocarbon reserve;

Also notes that the ecology of the region consists of mangrove swamp freshwater swamps and lowland rainforests which provides fishing and farming livelihood options for over 90% of the inhabitant;

Further notes that this incredibly well-endowed ecosystem contains one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet, in addition to supporting abundant flora and fauna, arable terrain that can sustain a wide variety of crops, lumber or agricultural trees, and more species of freshwater fish than any ecosystem in west Africa;

Aware that the Niger Delta Basin produces around 2 million barrels of oil per day and the entire system is predicted to contain 34.5 billion barrels of oil and 94 trillion feet of natural gas;

Also aware that over 57 Companies are involved in hydrocarbon exploration and production activities in the Niger Delta region and the attendant pollution from their activities has made the Niger Delta to be regarded as one of the worst among similar delta areas in the world;

Further aware that the cases of pollution are exacerbated by colossal breaches of the pipelines with very weak integrity causing spills and also increasing incidences of unwholesome activities at the about 1000 abandoned well heads littered across the Niger Delta etc;

Alarmed that the livelihood of the people who are fishermen and farmers is under threat of extinction because of the toxicity of the terrestrial and aquatic habitats, thus making farming and fishing activities impossible;

Also alarmed at the high rates of crime in the region as residents are dejected and impoverished by the exploration and production of the rich hydrocarbon reserves in the Niger Delta;

Cognizant of the need to ensure inclusivity of the host communities in the hydrocarbon exploration and production value chain to enable them to derive economic benefits, particularly in the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Acts;

Determined to monitor and ensure the remediation and restoration of identified contaminated locations/communities to arrest the increasing depletion of sources of livelihood of the people

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Niger Delta Development Commission to protect and secure the Aquatic and Terrestrial Habitat of Host Communities in the Niger Delta Region and ensure their inclusivity in the operation and management of the hydrocarbon value chain;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Niger Delta Development Commission and Host Communities to ensure compliance and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate
Hon. Philip Agbese moved the motion on the need to protect and secure the aquatic and terrestrial habitat of host communities in the Niger Delta region and it was seconded by Hon. Midala Balami. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Niger Delta Development Commission as well as that on Host Communities.

  1. Need to Investigate the Indiscriminate Issuance of “Certificate of No Objection” by the Bureau of Public Procurement and Non–non-Compliance with Mandatory Post–Procurement Audit:
    Hon. Peter Akpanke:

The House:
Notes that by the Provisions of the Sections 6(1)(c) and 16(1)(b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) is authorized to issue a certificate of no objection to contracts awarded by relevant procurement entity;

Also notes that the powers vested in the Bureau of Public Procurement are aimed at ensuring that the letters and spirit of the Public Procurement Act are complied with, the government gets value for money, contracts awarded are within relevant thresholds backed by budgetary allocation;

Further notes that the Bureau of Public Procurement has failed to comply with the mandatory post–procurement audit as required by Section 5(p) of the Public Procurement Act 2007;

Observes that the Bureau has consistently engaged in under-hand dealings in the grant of “certificate of no objection” thus abusing the power to make pecuniary gains and increasing incidences of abandoned and failed projects across the country;
Also observe that such gross abuses and violation of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 has been exasperated by the recent increase in arbitrary nomination to procuring entities of winners for tendering processes and where the procuring entity declines, the process is interjected and frustrated in bad faith and for flimsy reasons;

Worried that if urgent steps are not taken to investigate the allegations and address any proven infractions, the Bureau of Public Procurement is likely to transform itself from a regulator to a disruptor and eventually endanger the entire public procurement system

Resolves to:
(i) mandate the Committee on Public Procurement to investigate the above allegations and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action; and

(ii) also mandate the Committee on Public Procurement to consider the Biannual reports submitted in the last six years and make their findings known to the Public.

Debate
Hon. Peter Akpanke moved the motion on the need to investigate the indiscriminate issuance of “Certificate of No Objection” by the Bureau of Public Procurement and non-compliance with mandatory post-procurement audit and it was seconded by Hon. Akin Alabi. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Public Procurement.

  1. Need for Reconstruction of Lagos-Sango-Abeokuta Expressway:
    Hon. Ibrahim A. Isiaka

The House:

Notes that Lagos – Sango-Abeokuta Expressway is the only road that connects Ogun State and Ikeja parts of Nigeria;

Also notes that the deplorable condition of the road calls for the Federal Government’s intervention as road users spend 5-7 hours in gridlock daily;

Further notes that the reconstruction of the road was awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria and Reynolds Construction Company Limited at the cost of N22,000,000,000.00 since 2018 and no tangible work has been done on the road for the past six years;

Aware that the road has not witnessed any rehabilitation as commuters and heavy-duty vehicular find it difficult from Abeokuta to Lagos to ply the road resulting in the loss goods daily basis;

Also aware that section 1 of the Federal Highways Act empowered the Minister, Federal Ministry of Works to carry out reconstruction and maintenance of Federal roads;

Concerned that with the deep potholes and gully erosion ravaging the road caused by torrential rainfalls, it has not only become a death trap for commuters and residents of adjoining communities but also a breeding ground for robbery and other criminal activities;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to resume work and complete the construction of the Sango–Ifo–Abeokuta Expressway; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Works to investigate the cause of abandonment of work on the road and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate
Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka moved the motion on the need for the reconstruction of Lagos-Sango-Abeokuta expressway and it was seconded by Hon. Aminu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Works.


CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE) Hon. Benjamin Kalu Chaired:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend Federal Medical Centres Act to Establish Federal Medical Centre, Rano Kano State and for Related Matters (HB.91) (Leader ) – Committee of the Whole:18/7/2023

Synopsis of the report:
Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the Bill seeks to amend the second schedule and include the institution as one of the federal medical centers in the nation.

Summary of voting:
Clause voted on and approved: 1
Clauses amended and approved: 2, 3

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal College of Education, Bende to Provide full-time Courses, Teaching, Instruction and Training in Technology, Applied Sciences, Commerce, Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities and Management and to carry out Research in the Development and Adaptation of Techniques; and also make Provision for the Appointment of a Provost and the Officials of the College to carry out the Administration and the Discipline of Students of the College and for Related Matters, 2021 (HB. 125) (Leader ) – Committee of the Whole: 25/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:
Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the Bill seeks to establish the college of education to provide full training in sciences, technology, arts, social sciences etc. for adaptation into specialized education as is provided for worldwide and Nigeria should not be seen to be lagging behind

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 1, 2, 4, 6-16, 18-23
Clauses amended and approved: 3, 5, 17

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Oaths Act, Cap. O1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Oaths Act, 2023 to take cognisance of Technological Advancements and make provisions for Digital and Electronic means of Administering Oaths and Affirmations in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB.122) (Leader ) – Committee of the Whole:25/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:
Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the Bill seeks to ensure technological advancement and electronic use in the administration of oaths for ensuring the adequate digital storage and retrieval of oaths of office for public office holders in order to promote accountability for record purposes.

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 1-4, 6-19
Clause amended and approved: 5


HOUSE IN PLENARY
The House reverted to plenary and adopted the report of the committee of the Whole following a motion by Rep. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda


Adjournment:
The House at 15:27 PM adjourned plenary to Thursday, October 5th 2023 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

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

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