Sunday, December 10, 2023
Ignite the mind.


Nigeria Parliamentary proceedings, House of Representatives for Thursday, October 5th 2023

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


After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Deputy Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Wednesday, October 4th 2023


ANNOUNCEMENT

  1. Some committees of the House were inaugurated. They include:
    Appropriations, Public Accounts, House Services, Niger Delta Development Commission, North East Development Commission, Public Petitions, Federal Character, Ecological Fund, Constitutional Review Local Content, Works, Finance Defense, Agricultural Production and Services etc.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu while appreciating the clamor of Nigerians on the need for mass rehabilitation of federal roads nationwide stated that over 269 demanding road projects exist nationwide which is expected to gulp huge presently unavailable funds. He stressed that after looking at the financial requirements it would take to address road construction in parts of the Southeast alone, he found the financial implications staggering. Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu stated that the reality of the day is that there is dire need to galvanize the private sector for infrastructural development. “Even after passing the Federal Road Fund Bill; with commitment from the Federal Government for partnership from various public and private partners, the financial commitment cannot completely be met now” he stated. He advised Honorable members to be patient and explore other private partnerships for the necessary development of critical roads in their communities within the country, especially with those firms who do business in these regions.


PETITIONS

  1. Hon. Olusola presented a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Federal Mortgage Bank on a passionate appeal for the House intervention to ensure the payment of his pension and gratuity after over 20 years of retirement.
  2. Hon. Oju Rufus laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its delebrate refusal to pay contractual agreements since 2021
  3. Hon. Matthew Owogu laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Nigeria Customs on the sales and conversion of selected containers.

MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

  1. Hon. Mudashiru Lukman moved a motion on the need to address the death of Miss Greatness Oluwafemi by one-chance syndicates in the Federal Capital Territory and it was seconded by Hon. Philip Agbese. Hon. Lukman in leading the debate stressed the need for government to ensure the safety of life and property of citizens nationwide. He further expressed deep worry at the means and manner at which these miscreants operate without fear of apprehension. Hon. Lukman stressed that hot-bed areas where these crimes prevail include most Areas of Garki, Kubwa, Lugbe, Agbaji etc. He called on all security agencies to provide adequate synergy of operations of men and means to bring such perpetrators to book. He further called for the compulsory installment of cameras in all such commercial vehicles to track their activities. He then called for a compulsory stop-and-search for all such vehicles, especially those which are tinted. Hon. Mohammed Katsina proposed an amendment calling for other affected states around the nation to be incorporated into the prayers of the motion.

Hon. Yusuf Gagdi in contributing to the motion expressed worry on how Parliament continues to advocate for the promotion of security measures for the protection of the citizenry and unfortunately these measures are either not fully implemented or not implemented all together.

Hon. Olumide Osoba proposed an amendment to investigate the funds expended on establishing so many close circuit cameras round the FCT and why those cameras never function

Hon. Dachung Bagos proposed an amendment calling for a National Security dialogue to be incorporated into the prayers of the motion, this he said is to address the teeming issues of insecurity bedeviling the nation. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the relevant committees of the House.

  1. Hon. Inuwa Garba moved a motion on the urgent need to intervene on the recent flooding in significant parts of Gombe state on October 1st 2023 and it was seconded by Hon. Abubakar Nalaraba. Hon. Garba in leading the debate bemoaned the effects, damage and sad loss of lives and properties caused by the flood of October 1st 2023 in many parts of Gombe state. He stressed that the flood has caused serious suffering in the lives of residents which has led to various displacements of the survivors. He commended the Majority Whip of the House, Hon. Bello Kumo who was in Gombe state helping to coordinate relief efforts for victims. He urged the National Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Government through the Ecological Fund, Ministry of Agriculture as well as that on Disaster Management to provide succor to the victims and that the relevant committees of the House should ensure compliance. An amendment to the prayers of the motion was added for a minute silence for those who lost their lives in the flood. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on National Emergency Management Agency, Ecological Fund, Legislative Compliance as well as that on the North East Development Commission.

TRIBUTES TO TEACHERS ON TEACHER’S DAY

  1. Hon. Philip Agbese praised his former teacher: Mrs. Vicky and all other teachers in his primary school who taught them under a mango tree in his constituency in Benue state. He further praised all other teachers worldwide for their efforts at human capacity development.
  2. Hon. Kayode Moshood wished all teachers a happy teacher’s day and praised them for all their efforts in building those in the society.
  3. Hon. Clement Jimbo recalled how Mr. Felix his former chemistry teacher taught him to appreciate the basics of chemistry and its impact on his basic day-to-day living.
  4. Hon. Khadija Ibrahim in celebrating teachers who she described as a great category of individuals who have taught all in society to be better citizens through examples of patience, dedication and commitment for the development of the human race called on Nigerians never to forget the legacies of teachers ensure they are fully rewarded.
  5. Hon. Umar Shehu commended the teachers in his life, especially Mallam Umar Shehu who carved in him and his peers the need for excellence, commitment and dedication to the due discharge of duties in life. He prayed God Almighty to continue to bless all teachers for these human developmental efforts.
  6. Hon. Dennis Nwachukwu called for a system that will ensure continuous benefits and development for teachers in all sectors of their livelihood.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu commended and appreciated all teachers, including those within the House of Representatives. He assured that the House of Representatives will continue to do all within its legislative powers to ensure the conditions of teachers continued to be catered for. Rt. Hon. Kalu on behalf of all Honourable Members of the House wished all teachers a happy teacher’s day.


CELEBRATING NIGERIA @63

  1. Hon. Francis Waive in celebrating Nigeria commended the freedom, diversified population, natural/human resource, peace and unity enjoyed by Nigerians and prayed God to continue to bless Nigeria. He prayed for stronger institutions and policies for the benefit and development of all Nigerians.
  2. Hon. Abubakar Yalleman called for an analysis of the present state of the nation. He commended the progress Nigeria has made so far, but called for better efforts and patriotism on the part of all Nigerians for a peaceful and more prosperous Nigeria. He called for the support of all Nigerians to ensure the government succeeds.
  3. Hon. Isiaka Gboyega assured of a better Nigeria as its story has not been all bad. He stated that despite the challenges, Nigerians will definitely overcome the present challenges. Hon. Gboyega stressed the need for the improvement of the living conditions of those living within the border towns who lack basic federal opportunities and attention.
  4. Hon. Bashir Usman Gorau stated that Nigerians have diverse things to celebrate such as unity, uninterrupted democratic rule etc. He however lamented such indices as the poor economic level of living of Nigerians, high insecurity levels nationwide with bandits forming parallel authorities in states, the high poverty levels of citizens as well as the increasing living costs, high inflation rates etc. He called for the implementation of policies to ensure Nigeria gets it right.
  5. Hon. Aliyu Madaki expressed optimism that with unity of purpose, determination and dedication the problems of Nigeria can be surmounted. He sent a word to connivers of insecurity that their day of reckoning is at hand.
  6. Hon. Obi Ofoucha in his contribution called for the empowerment of the youth who are the future of the nation. He called for a level playing field for all Nigerian youth to thrive. Hon. Obi further called for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu who is his constituent as has been directed by the Court. This he stated will return peace and reduce criminality in the Southeastern part of Nigerian.
  7. Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa congratulated Nigerians for all that has been achieved in the 63 years of the country’s independence. He stated that the Nigerian project is however not yet uhuru. While acknowledging the fact that the problem of insecurity is one that started long time ago, he called on the federal government of the day to do all possible for the problem to be handled within its tenure. He called on Parliament to effectively oversight the security agencies to ensure they remain up and doing in ensuring the safety of lives and properties of Nigerians. Hon. Doguwa also called on all security related committees of the House to ensure funds expended for the national security apparatus are judiciously applied for the due security of Nigerians. He wished Nigerians a happy 63rd independence celebration.
  8. Hon. Solomon Bob praised the potential of greatness of Nigeria, but bemoaned its actual lack of greatness. He stressed that the diversity in tribe, religion and geography which should have made Nigeria great have become the very fault lines by which it is being destroyed. He called for the revisiting of the constitutional framework of Nigeria and its due implementation for true economic development. He called on president Bola Ahmed Tinubu to submit a proposal for the economic reform framework and constitutional restructure to the Parliament for Nigeria’s development.
  9. Hon. Ogbara Kafilat expressed mixed feelings on the development of Nigeria. She praised the strides of Nigerians in business, media, the arts and entertainment. She however called for gender equality in all national dealings.
  10. Hon. Peter Ibrahim prayed for Nigeria as a country to be free from corruption, have uninterrupted power supply, overcome unemployment, have working refineries, be unified beyond just during national football matches etc. He wished Nigerians a happy 63rd Independence.
  11. Hon. Abubakar Fulata in celebrating Nigeria extolled the strong foundation laid by the founding fathers of Nigeria aimed at freeing Nigeria from colonial rule. He also remembered how prosperous and safe the Nigerian society used to be. Consequently he called on Honorable members to promote bringing Nigeria back to the glory days and ensure Her progress.
  12. Hon. Wale Ahmed stated that there is indeed diverse reasons for celebrating Nigeria as the largest market in Africa. He called for the strengthening of critical institutions such as security infrastructure and the National Youth Service Corps. Hon. Ahmed called on National Youth Service Corp members to stop influencing their postings and go to diverse parts of the country to serve and experience life.
  13. Hon. Joshua Gana suggested that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should announce an economic team that will ensure full implementation of the government’s economic policies. He also called for better social cohesion that will increase national unity. He further called that the new team of the Central Bank of Nigeria should leave the national fiscal policy to the ministry of finance and stick to their mandate.
  14. Hon. Emmanuel Uguru expressed joy at the development of Nigeria and younger states like Ebonyi state. He stressed the need for strengthening the national security apparatus. He called on leaders to stop playing lip service with expectations of Nigerians. Hon. Uguru also called for adequate cushioning of the effects of the fuel subsidy removal for Nigerians to thrive.
  15. Hon. Kabiru Maipalace in celebrating Nigeria at 63 stated that there are more physical and human resources than at the early independence era. He however lamented the dwindling infrastructure and public/private companies in recent times due to insecurity, lack of power as well as the lack of a true conducive environment for doing business. He called for genuine political freedom for Nigerians.
  16. Hon. Austin Achado harped on the insecurity issues in Nigeria which is reflected on the prevalence of such issues on the Order Paper of the House each plenary day. He called for more proactivity and better sincerity of purpose by the security agencies and the Armed Forces.
  17. Hon. Akin Alabi bemoaned how the negatives in the Nigerian narrative has overtaken positive achievements of the past. He called on Nigerians to continue supporting the National Assembly in its aim to hold government institutions to book for better service delivery.
  18. Hon. Alaoakala called for the strengthening of local governments through their autonomy. He urged Nigerians to ensure that when the National Assembly passes the Local Government Autonomy Bill again they ensure its passage at the level of the State Houses of Assembly as this is the only way to ensure development gets to the grassroots in the local government.
  19. Hon. Salisu Yusuf called for the implementation of the primary purpose of government which is to provide security and welfare of the governed through all constitutional means.
  20. Hon. James Baka stressed that Nigerians should believe in the hope of a better Nigeria as a blessed nation. He called for leaders to lead by example and give Nigerians a path of success to follow.
  21. Hon. Inuwa Garba used his personal story to preach hope for Nigerians as a land of opportunity. He stated that he was born without means but the opportunity in Nigeria made him successful. He called on the federal government to ensure the development of the production, industrialization and manufacturing sectors of Nigeria as this will positively engage Nigerians to be prosperous and not indulge in vices as well as acts of insecurity.

Hon. Sada Soli moved a Point of Order bordering on Infringement of Privileges and stressed the need for the National Assembly Management to open the completed main gate to ease access as Honorable members are finding it stressful to gain access into the National Assembly. To this effect, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu called for a meeting with the leadership of the Estate and Works Department of the National Assembly.

Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa called for the incorporation of the FCDA into the meeting. The meeting between the leadership of the House and the Estate/ Works Department of the National Assembly as well as the FCDA who handles most construction within the National Assembly is scheduled for Friday October 6th, 2023 by 12:00 PM at the Office of the Deputy Speaker.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS

  1. Nigerian Real Estate Exchange (NREX) (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.525) (Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali Halims) – First Reading.
  2. Copyright Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 526) (Hon. Olumide Babatunde Osoba) – First Reading.
  3. Nigerian Police Academy Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.527) (Hon. Mohammed Danjuma Hassan) – First Reading.
  4. National Ethnics and Values Compliance Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.528) (Hon. Mohammed Danjuma Hassan) – First Reading.
  5. Harmonized Retirement Age for Staff of National Assembly Service of Nigeria Bill, 2023 (HB.529) (Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki) First Reading.
  6. Federal University of Agriculture, Ako–Nike, Enugu State (HB.530) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.
  7. Petroleum Industry Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.531) (Hon. Whingan Sesi Oluwaseun) – First Reading.
  8. Central Bank of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.532) (Hon. Whingan Sesi Oluwaseun) – First Reading.
  9. National Health Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.533) (Hon. Amos Gwammna Magaji) – First Reading.
  10. Nigerian Railway Corporation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 534) (Hon. Amos Gwammna Magaji) – First Reading.
  11. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.535) (Hon. Ikeagwuonu Onyinye Ugochinyere) – First Reading.
  12. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.536) (Hon. Ikeagwuonu Onyinye Ugochinyere) – First Reading.
  13. Nigerian Military Academy, (Establishment) Obeagu – Uno/Amodu Akwunnawa, Enugu State Bill, 2023 (HB.537) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – First Reading.
  14. Federal College of Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.538)(Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – First Reading.
  15. Federal Medical Centre, Ode-Irele, Ondo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.539) (Hon. Odimayo Okunjimi John) – First Reading.
  16. Federal College of Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition, Olomoro, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.540) (Hon. Ukodhiko Ajirioghene Jonathan) – First Reading.
  17. Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery, Owhelogbo, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 541) (Hon. Ukodhiko Ajirioghene Jonathan) – First Reading.
  18. Federal College of Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition, Mbaitoli, Imo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.542) (Hon. Akarachi Etinosa Tosan) – First Reading.
  19. Nigerian Institute of Centre for Vocational Training and Certification (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.543) (Hon. Akarachi Etinosa Tosan) –First Reading.
  20. Federal Medical Centre, Damasak, Borno State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.544) (Hon. Mallam Bukar Gana) –First Reading.
  21. Federal College of Agriculture, Kukawa, Borno State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.545) (Hon. Mallam Bukar Gana) –First Reading.
  22. National Commission for Colleges of Agriculture (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.546) (Hon. Dumnamene Dekor) –First Reading.
  23. National Youth Service Corps Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.547) (Hon. Odimayo Okunjimi John) – First Reading.
  24. Venture Capital and Start up investment Bill, 2023 (HB.515) (Hon. Lanre Okunlola) –First Reading.
  25. Federal University of Medical and Health Sciences, Ondo, Ondo State (HB.548) (Hon. Abiola Peter Makinde) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT

Ad–hoc Committee to Investigate incidence of Aviation Fuel Contamination, Associated Safety Risks and Non–adherence to International Standards and Industry Best practices in Fuel supply and Distribution in the Aviation Oil Industry
Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee to Investigate incidence of Aviation Fuel Contamination, Associated Safety Risks and Non–adherence to International Standards and Industry Best practices in Fuel supply and Distribution in the Aviation Oil Industry” (HR. 119/07/2023). (Referred: 20/7/2023).

The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Aliyu Madaki and seconded by Hon. Emeka Chinedu


ORDERS OF THE DAY

MOTIONS

  1. Need to Investigate the Fraudulent Deforestation by Unregistered Foreign Forest Timber Loggers:
    Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali Halims:

The House:

Notes the unlawful plundering of the nation’s forest reserves by fraudulent local and foreign timber loggers in our Country;

Disturbed that an estimated 80% of Mahogany and up to 50% of pine Nigeria’s main timber export, is produced in violation of Government Regulations;

Worried that illegal logging is responsible for deforestation and extinction of various species of animals and also contributes to adverse effects;

Concerned that despite massive forest deforestation and destruction over the last thirty (30) Years the country has failed to find a solution to the crisis of illegal loggings and loggers;

Observes that the Government appears helpless without a concrete strategy in place to tackle this monumental economic sabotage;

Resolves to:

(i) condemn in the strongest terms the mindless and unlawful plundering of the forest reserves;

(ii) urge the Inspector-General of Police to be alive to the responsibility of bringing the illegal miners to book and take concrete steps towards ending the illegal deforestation of forests by timber loggers.

(iii) Mandate the Committee on Environment to interface with the Federal Ministry of Environment on illegal deforestation of Nigeria forest with a view of to finding lasting solutions to the problem

The motion was stepped down by leave of the House

  1. Need to Commence Immediate of Academic Activities at the Air Force University, Tafawa Balewa:
    Hon. Jafai’aru Gambo Leko:

The House:

Notes that in June 2019, former president Muhammadu Buhari approved the renaming the former Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Centre, Dass, to Airforce University, Tafawa Balewa;

Also notes that the Airforce University, was established to promote education and to foster wide-range research geared towards combating new and unknown security challenges that the 21st century present;

Recalls that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) made full compensations on the Abubakar Tafawa University Centre and handed the Centre over to the Nigerian Airforce to be converted to Airforce University, Tafawa Balewa;

Aware that in addition to boosting tertiary education, the Airforce University is intends to cushion the effect of insecurity in the area through the Special Forces Unit to be established, therein;

Worried that since its approval, the Airforce University is yet to commence academic activities for no reasons; and

Also worried that economic and commercial activities across communities in Dass/Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency, which should receive a boost as a result of a fully functional Airforce University, has being stalled and its structures left to rot;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund to brief the Committee on University Education on the delay in the commencement of academic activities in the Airforce University, Tafawa Balewa;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigerian Airforce to set out modalities for the commencement of academic activities at the Airforce University; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on University Education, Airforce and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate
Hon. Jafai’aru Leko moved a motion on the need to commence immediate academic activities at the Air Force University, Tafawa Balewa and it was seconded by Hon. Paul Nnamchi. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on University Education, Airforce as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Checkmate the State of Insecurity in Wamba, Akwanga and Nasarawa Eggon, Nasarawa State:
    Hon. Jeremiah Umaru:

The House:

Notes the alarming rate of kidnapping for ransom in Nasarawa State and the Country as a whole;

Also notes that the security challenges pose a threat to the peace and stability of the people of Nasarawa State and have worsened after the 2023 general elections;

Alarmed at the mass invasion of criminals into Nasarawa State from neighbouring States, the State is gradually becoming a sanctuary for armed criminals and kidnappers whose activities are making the State unsafe for habitation, despite the efforts of the State Government and security agencies;

Also alarmed that the former Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State was recently kidnapped at Rinza village near Wamba, within the same week, three family members of the former Minister of Information and other innocent citizens were kidnapped and ransom was paid for their freedom;

Worried that the recent activities of kidnapping in Wamba, Akwanga Nasarawa Eggon and other parts of the State have triggered fear among the inhabitants of the State;

Convinced that if the rising trend of insecurity and kidnapping is not checked it will destroy lives and ruin the economic fortunes of the State;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the federal government to establish a permanent military, police and other security formations to strengthen the security of the State;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Defence, Army, Airforce, Police Affairs and Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to ensure implementation.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House

  1. Need to Rehabiliate Mubi – Maiha, Mubi – Gella and Mubi – Sahuda Road:
    Hon. Jingi Rufai:

The House:

Notes that Mubi North and Mubi South Local Governments Constitute significant pillars of trade, commerce and agricultural activities that contribute towards economic development of Adamawa State and the Country in general;

Aware that the strategic locations of Mubi-North and South neighbouring the Republic of Cameroon create a flourishing environment to maximize the prospects of the presidential Economic Diversification Initiative (PEDI), aimed at improving the welfare, security and economic prosperity of Nigerian citizens;

Worried that the deteriorating condition of Mubi-Maiha, Mubi-Gella and Mubi-Sahuda roads will constitute an impediment towards realizing the anticipated socio-economic opportunities;

Concerned that the condition of the roads resulted in a massive decline in economic activities and loss of lives as a result of frequent accidents;

Regrets that the primary purpose of government may be completely lost if urgent action is not taken to address the dilapidated existing road infrastructure connecting Mubi-North and Mubi-South to the neighbouring Local Governments to sustain the traditional established socio-economic activities in the affected areas;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to include the road rehabilitation project of Mubi-Maiha, Mubi-Gella and Mubi-Sahuda in the 2024 budget estimates and;

(ii) mandate Committee on Works to ensure compliance.

Debate
Hon. Jingi Rufai moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate Mubi – Maiha, Mubi – Gella and Mubi – Sahuda road in order to avert loss to lives in the communities and it was seconded by Hon. Eze Nwachukwu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Works.

  1. Need to Investigate the Nation’s Galloping Non-Debt Recurrent Expenditure:
    Hon. Ademorin A. Kuye:

The House:

Notes that the federal government personnel expenses, pensions and other non-debt recurrent expenditures increased by 241% in 13 years from N2.4trillion in 2011 to N8,27trillion in 2023;

Also notes that the total non-debt expenditure from 2011 to 2023 is N51.97trillion while N42.24trillion expended from 2015 till date represents 81.8% of the total expenditures of the period under review;

Aware that the country’s revenue within the period received massive hits from debt servicing obligations, the government have little or nothing left for the recurrent expenditures and has resorted to borrowing;

Also aware that the Debt servicing obligations gulped 97 per cent of the total revenue of the N3.42 trillion generated in 2011, Nigeria expended N3.34 trillion on debt servicing, meaning all Federal Government’s salaries, overhead and Capital Expenditure was financed with loans and Central Bank of Nigerian support;

Informed that the country’s revenues of N3.42trillion in 2020, N4.39trillion in 2021 and N7trillion in 2022 could hardly fund the wage bill of N5.7trillion, N5.76trillion and N7.1 trillion in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively;

Worried that the Federal Government wage bill, pension obligations and other non-debt recurrent expenditures continue to grow significantly, despite the marginal increases in revenues and apparent increases in debt servicing pressure;

Also worried that the sharp difference in the wage bill from N2.4 trillion in 2011 and N8.7 trillion in 2023 in a country of 113 million people living in multidimensional poverty is alarming and unjustifiable;

Concerned that despite the present administration economic restructuring policies, revenues cannot continue to pay salaries and other recurrent expenditures when there are still humongous debt servicing obligations to be taken care of;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to carry out a forensic audit of its staff to address the problem of ghost workers to save money and reduce the increasing wage bill; and

(ii) also urge the Federal Government to embark on cost-cutting measures to reduce other non-debt recurrent expenditures; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation.

Debate
Hon. Ademorin Kuye moved a motion on the need to investigate the nation’s galloping non-debt recurrent expenditure and it was seconded by Hon. Aliyu Ahmadu. Hon. Sada Soli stated that the motion is a sad indictment on the National Assembly. He wondered why personnel and recurrent expenditure has always been a no-go area in the budget process. He called for a thorough scrutiny of these expenditures in coming budget processes. The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu agreed and stated that the leadership of the House has agreed to introduce electronic monitoring of MDAs in a view to improve the oversight functions of committees of the House.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha praised the spirit of the motion as it is aimed at ensuring synergy in the socioeconomic workings within Nigeria. He stressed that the due application of the prayers of the motion is vital in the execution of the Contribution Pension Act that stipulates the percentage of contributions between employers and employees. He bemoaned the fact that some employers have not been meeting up to this percentage which is frustrating the implementation of the Law that is supposed to protect the concerns of workers.

Hon. Ojema Ojotu proposed an amendment to call for the incorporation of the House committee on Finance into the prayers of the motion to also be part of the investigation and that the true state of the contributory pension scheme should be ascertained. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Legislative Compliance, Pension as well as that on Finance.

  1. Need to Construct the Akonike Junction–Ugwuomu–Emene NNPC Depot-Abakaliki/Ogoja Gateway in Enugu State to Reduce the High Rate of Accidents in the Area:
    Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi:

The House:

Notes that Akonike Road Junction–Ugwuomu–Emene -NNPC Depot/Abakaliki/Ogoja gateway road approximately 24.1 km is a major highway linking the Southeast and parts of south-south to the Northern region of the country;

Also notes that the socio-economic development of the constituency bordering the road has stalled because of the deplorable state of the roads which adversely affected the free flow of traffic and occasioned a high rate of accidents and deaths;

Further notes that the road sections from Ako-Nike junction along Enugu/Ugwogo/ OPI Nsukka road harbours major economic concerns such as the NNPC Depot, Federal Ministry of Works, a private University and a Nigeria Army Estate, this stimulates a high volume of human and vehicular traffic estimated to be around 4,231,980 daily for the movement of essential goods, services and passengers in and out of the southeast and northern parts of the country;

Disturbed that the month-long gas flaring from an OPL gas well in the area could not be accessed for weeks due to limited road access;

Also disturbed that the deplorable and impassable state of the roads is a source of worry for over 10 million people who transverse the roads, thus becoming a haven for kidnappers, armed robbers and urchins for nefarious activities on innocent citizens unhindered;

Worried that as of December 2022, the Federal Road Safety Commission, recorded a total of 9,383 incidents, with 2,587 being fatal and 5,121 people killed across the country within the period, while the two Local Government Areas account for 516 crashes and 197 deaths;

Aware of the social-economic importance of the road to the area as it will create room for employment, and contribute to infrastructure development;

Cognizant that if urgent action is not taken to construct the Akonike Junction–Ugwuomu–Emene Nnpc Depot-Abakaliki/Ogoja Gateway in Enugu State to forestall further accidents and loss of lives and properties it will lead to economic devastation to the nation;

Resolves to:

(i) mandate the Committee on Works to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to come up with a workable modality that will ensure the speedy construction of the Akonike Junction–Ugwuomu–Emene NNPC Depot -Abakaliki/Ogoja road;

(ii) also mandate the Committee on Works, Appropriations to include Construction of the Road in the 2024 budget estimates.

Debate
Hon. Paul Nnamchi moved the motion on the need to construct the Akonike junction –Ugwuomu–Emene NNPC depot-Abakaliki/Ogoja gateway in Enugu state to reduce the high rate of accidents in the area and it was seconded by Hon. Sadiq Abdullahi. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to House committee on Works and Appropriations.

  1. Need to Stem the Rising Cases of Environmental Degradation in Etsako Federal Constituency, Edo State.
    Hon. Anamero Dekeri The House:

Notes the increasing rate of environmental degradation in Etsako Federal Constituency, Edo State, due to rainstorm disasters and gully erosion destroying lives and properties, including farms lands and agricultural produce and rendering some places inaccessible;

Aware of the recent rainstorm disaster that affected Okpella in Etsako East Local Government Area, washing away the bridge connecting Iddo-Okugbe with Awuyemi leading to the Federal Highway, electricity poles and communication routes connecting parts of the State in the country;

Also aware that in Etsako West Local Government Area, there are several cases of gully erosion sites at different magnitudes posing significant danger to lives and properties. In Ogwokhai community, Aibotse Hitage Zone, Osomeke and Oshiomhole Village, and along Aviele-Auchi Federal Highway by Osokwili Axis (Etsako West, State Constituency 1), from one side and on the other side (State Constituency 2) the Auchi to Agenebode Federal Highway has been cut off by a large gully at the Ayogwiri-Ogbona axis of the road, rendering vehicular movement from the Northern to Southern parts of the country through the route impassable;

Cognizant of the need to stem this ugly trend of environmental degradation in Etsako Federal Constituency, Edo State;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Rural Electrification Agency to replace the damaged electricity poles, wires its other components; and reconnect the affected communities to the national grid;

(ii) also urge the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently intervene and reconstruct the bridge linking Iddo-Okugbe Communities with Awuyemi Community and Ayogwiri-Ogbona axis of the Auchi to Agenebode Federal Highway to allow immediate access by vehicles and commuters to other parts of the country;

(iii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Works to compel the Contractor handling the road project to resume work without delay;

(iv) again urge the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Office of Ecological Fund to declare a state of emergency on Auchi and its environment to provide holistic remediation to safeguard lives and properties in Etsako Federal Constituency, Edo State;

(v) Finally urge the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to affected Communities across Etsako Federal Constituency, Edo State; and

(vi) mandate the Committees on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, National Emergency Management Agency, Ecological Fund and National Rural Electrification to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate
Hon. Anamero Dekeri moved the motion on the need to stem the rising cases of environmental degradation in Etsako federal constituency, Edo state and it was seconded by Hon. Ahmed Saba. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to House committee on Federal Road Management Agency, Disaster Preparedness, Ecological Fund, as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Rehabilitate the Otuocha Anam Nzam-Innoma Iheaka-Ibaji Ajtgwu Federal Road in Anambra East and West Federal Constituency of Anambra State:
    Hon. Peter Aniekwe:

The House:

Notes that the Otuocha-Anam-Nzam-Inoma-Iheaka-Ibaji-Odulu-Ajegwu Federal road is a strategic road linking Anambra and Kogi States through Anambra West Local Government, connecting Ibaji Local Government as well as other Northern States from the South-East;

Also notes that the road is about 88 kilometres to Lokoja and the shortest route from South-East to Abuja, as well as other Northern States;

Worried that the rehabilitation of the road was abandoned due to lack of funds, living the road in a deplorable condition, thus giving room to armed robbery attacks and kidnappings, thereby endangering the lives of commuters and other users within the axis;

Aware that the Federal road cut across over twenty-five communities in Anambra and Kogi States who are agrarians, but the deplorable road poses a threat to the socio-economic life of the people;

Worried that about 80% of agricultural produce is from Anambra and Kogi States, who are among the food baskets of the nation which contributes about 4096 to the nation’s Agricultural sector;

Also worried that people no longer ply this road, with the rainy season here, harvesting farm produce will be difficult ,thereby translating into huge wastes and losses;

Cognizant of current harsh economic reality in the country, the Otuocha-Anam-NzamInnoma-Iheaka-Ibaji-Odulu-Ajegwu Federal Road in Anambra East and West Federal Constituency of Anambra State is rehabilitated it reduce the escalating bad economic conditions of the people;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to interface with the Federal Ministry of Works and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to commence the rehabilitation on the road;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate
Hon. Peter Aniekwe moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate the Otuocha Anam Nzam-Innoma Iheaka-Ibaji Ajtgwu federal road in Anambra East and West federal constituency of Anambra state and it was seconded by Hon. Donnatus Mathew. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Federal Road Management Agency as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Increase Military Presence and Operations in Anka, Talata-Mafara, Bukkuyum, Maradun and Bungudu Local Government Areas of Zamfara State:
    Hon Isa Mohammed Anka:

The House:

Notes that recently there has been increased banditry, kidnappings for ransom, killings and displacement of indigenes in Anka, Talata-Mafara, Bukkyum, Maradun and Bungudu local government areas of Zamfara State;

Also notes that the infiltration of illegal and/or artisanal miners contributed to the increasing insecurity in the areas;

Aware of the nature of illegal miners with the absence of accurate data is making monitoring and regulating their activities a herculean task;

Also aware that the attacks on the people have generated public outcry, thus necessitating the need for special military presence in communities Zamfara State;

Worried that the continuous attacks on Anka, Talata-Mafara, Bukkuyum, Maradun, and Bungudu Local Government Areas of Zamfara State have led to the loss of lives, properties and liberty;

Cognizant that the Chief of Army Staff recently launched “Operation Hakorin Damisa” in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State to deal with security upsurge in the state and if replicated in Zamfara State it will go a long way in curbing insecurity in the State;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Chief Army Staff to launch a special operation in the affected areas of Zamfara State to deal with the issue holistically and ensure air surveillance in Zamfara State to identify hideouts of bandits and crush them entirely;

(ii) also urge the State Security Services (SSS) to increase security information gathering across Zamfara State to identify bandits or informants or protectors of the bandits in the communities and deal with them according to the law of Terrorism of the country;

(iii) further urge the Inspector General of Police (“IGP”) and other security operatives manning the roads of the affected areas of Zamfara State to increase surveillance of those roads to protect people plying the roads and filtering bandits that may test the efficacy of the security on those roads;

(iv) again urge the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, the Mining Cadaster Office and other relevant agencies of the mining sector to devise strategic mechanisms of enumerating illegal or artisanal miners to regulate and monitor their activities to enhance the security of the affected areas; and

(v) mandate the Committees on Army and Police Affairs to ensure compliance .

Debate
Hon. Mohammed Anka moved the motion on the need to increase military presence and operations in Anka, Talata-Mafara, Bukkuyum, Maradun and Bungudu local government areas of Zamfara state and it was seconded by Hon. Adesola Adedayo. Hon. Suleiman Gummi proposed an amendment to prayer 1 to adopt a regional approach to fight banditry in the Northwest as well as to urge the Chief of Defense Staff to create more military bases in the affected areas to provide for more rapid approach in replying to attacks from bandits.

Hon. Mansur Manu proposed an amendment to call on on the Chief of Army Staff as well as the Chief of Defense Staff to conduct an on-the- spot assessment in Zamfara and Sokoto states with the view to launching a response mechanism and continuous air surveillance to tackle the bandits in the Northwestern part of Nigeria. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Defense, Army, Police as well as National Intelligence.

  1. Need to Reconstruct Aba Branch-Afor Oru-Ahiara Junction Ahiazu Mbaise-Eke Nguru Aboh Mbaise – Oboama Ezinihitte and Okpala Expressway in Imo State:
    Hon. Emeka Chinedu Martins:

The House:

Notes that Aba branch Mbano-Afor Oru-Ahiara junction-Ahiazu Mbaise–Eke Nguru-Aboh Mbaise-Oboama-Ezinihitte-Okpala expressway, which cuts across Ehime-Mbano, Ahiazu- Mbaise, Ezinihitte-Mbaise, Aboh- Mbaise and Ngor-Okpala Local Government Areas in Imo State is a major link road that connects Imo State to Enugu, Abia, Rivers and other States in the country;

Concerned that due to many years of neglect, the road has broken badly and is in such a deplorable State that it has become impassable, putting commuters at great risks as they try to navigate the route;

Also concerned that as a result of the devastating condition of the road, commuters are forced to create alternative routes by creating pathways through peoples’ ancestral homes and compounds, which often results in destruction of farmlands and incessant altercation between the villagers and motorists;

Worried that the inaccessible state of the road has greatly disrupted socio-economic activities in the surrounding areas, even as cases of vehicular gridlock and accidents abound, leading to loss of lives and properties as well as man hours that could have been spent on productive ventures;

Cognizant of the urgent need for reconstruction of the road as to ease the suffering of both the inhabitants and commuters alike;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to include full-scale reconstruction of Aba branch – Ahiara Junction Ahiazu Mbaise- Eke Nguru Aboh Mbaise – Oboama Ezinihitte – Okpala expressway in the 2024 budget estimates

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

Debate
Hon. Emeka Martins moved the motion on the need to reconstruct Aba branch-Afor Oru-Ahiara junction Ahiazu Mbaise-Eke Nguru Aboh Mbaise – Oboama Ezinihitte and Okpala expressway in Imo state and it was seconded by Hon. Terseer Ugbor. Hon. Ademorin Kuye proposed an amendment to call on the House committee on Appropriations to be incorporated to ensure compliance. 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 Ensure the Proper Payment of Top Priority Judgment Debt Incurred by Ministries Departments and Agencies through Promissory Notes:
    Hon. Lanre Okunlola:

The House:

Notes the need to resolve the top priority judgment debt incurred by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government through the issuance of promissory notes for USD 556,754,584.31 GB398, 526.17 and N 226,281,801,881.64;

Aware that various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government have incurred substantial judgment debt totaling the sum of USD 556,754/584.81/ GB 98,526.17 and N 226,281,801,881.64 which poses a significant financial burden on the nation’s finances;

Concerned that the judgment debts are top-priority obligations that require prompt resolution to ensure financial stability and reputation of Government;

Cognizant that it is essential to address these judgment debts in a responsible and transparent manner.

Resolves to:

(i) Acknowledge the existence and magnitude of the judgment debt incurred by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government;
(ii) Recognizes the urgency of addressing the judgment debts to safeguard the financial stability of the government;
(iii) Authorise the issuance of a Promissory Note to settle the judgment debts;

(iv) mandate the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management to oversee the process of issuing promissory notes and report back for further legislative action.

Debate
Hon. Lanre Okunlola moved the motion on the need to ensure proper payment of top priority judgements incurred by Ministries Departments and Agencies through promissory notes and it was seconded by Hon. Joshua Gana. Hon. Ademorin Kuye proposed an amendment to incorporate the House committee on Justice to ensure compliance to the motion.

Hon. Akinlayo Kolawole proposed an amendment to expunge paragraph 3 of the motion which seeks to tie the House to direct the issuance of the promissory note.

Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka called for caution on the path of the House in adopting the motion in its totality as it has financial implications that may make the House look bad. He suggested that the House committee on Aids & Loans Management as well as that on Justice should investigate the viability of the claims in the motion and report back to the House for further legislative action. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Loans and Debt Management as well as that on Justice.

  1. Need to Curb the Proliferation of Sub-standard Steel Production in Nigeria:
    Hon. Aluko Ahmed Yinka:

The House:

Notes that the increasing rate of building collapse claiming the lives of Nigerians, is not unconnected to the circulation of substandard steel products;

Aware that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has the mandate to ensure standard production across sectors;

Also aware that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is mandated by law to promote and protect the interests of consumers over all products and services;

Worried about the high rate of substandard steel products in the markets is alarming;

Disturbed that the production and distribution of sub-standard steel products expose the lives of Nigerian consumers to the threat.

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to stop the compromising and commence massive enforcement of its mandate to prosecute anyone dealing in substandard steel products to face the law as enshrined in section (4) subsection (l) of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Act,2015;

(ii) also urge the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to live up to its core mandate as stipulated in the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (FCCPA) by eliminating hazardous and substandard products from the market.

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

Debate
Hon. Aluko Yinka moved the motion on the need to curb the proliferation of sub-standard steel production in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Emeka Idu. Hon. James Barka proposed an amendment to prayer 1 to urge the Standard Organization of Nigeria to ‘ensure’ non-compromise of its mandate and not to say ‘stop’ as that is an indictment on the Standard Organization of Nigeria without due investigation into the fact.

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere proposed an amendment to add an additional prayer urging the Federal Government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel to ensure the functionality of moribund steel complexes that is then expected to ensure the proper/standard quality of locally produced steel.

Hon. Nkwonta proposed an amendment to prayer 1 to incorporate COREN to be among the parties of inspectors. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Industry, Customs and Excise as well as that on Steel Development.

  1. Honouring Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi (Designer Of The Nigerian National Flag):
    Hon. Kelechi Nwogu​​​​​​ Hon. Abbas Adigun:

The House:

Notes that the Nigerian National Flag (Green White Green) designed by Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi at the age of 87, until his demise, was commonly referred to “Mr. Flag Man”;

Also notes that the national flag unveiled in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, made history in the Guinness World Records as the largest flag in the world covering 3,275 square meters;

Pained that Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, a patriotic Nigerian, was born on 10 May, 1936 and died after a brief illness on the 29 August, 2023 at the age of 87 years;

Aware that he held the National Honour Award of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) and Honourary Life Presidential Adviser and the National Flag fly at half-mast as directed by the Federal, State and Local Governments Area Councils in commemoration of the National Mourning;

Resolves to

(i) Observe a minute silence in his honour of late Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi;

(ii) urge the Federal Government to declare 29 August annually, as Public Holiday (National Flag Day) in commemoration of his death;

(iii) send delegation to condole with the family;

(iv) also urge the Federal Government to direct that the flags be fly at half-mast in all government institutions on the day of his funeral and give late Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi befitting State burial;

(v) transmit the resolutions to the senate for concurrence;

Debate
Hon. Kelechi Nwogu moved the motion on the need for honouring Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi (the designer of the Nigerian National flag) and it was seconded by Hon. Abbas Adigun. Hon. Kelechi Nwogu in leading the debate expressed the need to celebrate the critical role played by late Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi, especially during the celebration of Nigeria’s 63rd independence. He bemoaned the fact that the flag designed by Pa Akinkunmi is being adulterated by people by putting the Coat of Arms in the flag which is not supposed to be.

Hon. Abbas Adigun in contributing to the debate paid glowing tribute and extolled the person of late Pa Taiwo Akinkumi who was a detribalized Nigerian who designed the Nigerian flag at the age of 23.

Hon. Aliyu Madaki proposed an amendment to prayer 2: instead of declaring a public holiday on August 29th, is should be declared Pa Taiwo Akinkumi day and that prayer 4 be also amended: instead of asking for the flag to fly at half-mast, there should be a befitting state burial organized for Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi.

Hon. Ahmadu proposed an amendment calling on the federal government to name a national asset after late Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the relevant committees of the House.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu stressed the need for Nigerians and all other Honorable members to ensure that use the proper Nigerian flag devoid of the Coat of Arm.


BILLS

  1. A Bill for an Act to the Amend Federal Medical Centres Act to Establish Federal Medical Centre, Rano Kano State and for Related Matters (HB.91) – Third Reading.

Debate
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.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish 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 (HB. 125) (Leader ) – Third Reading.

Debate
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.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Oaths Act, Cap. O1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Oaths Bill, 2023 to take cognizance 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 ) – Third Reading.

Debate
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.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of Chartered Institute of Cooperatives and Social Enterprise Management to Regulate, Control and Determine the Standards of knowledge to be attained by Persons seeking to become Chartered Cooperators and Social Entrepreneurs and for Related Matters (HB. 09) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu and Six Others) – Second Reading.

Debate
Hon. Kayode Moshood moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka. Hon. Moshood stated that the Bill seeks to professionalize the Cooperative and Social Enterprise Management sector through continuous training, coordinating with the proper regulators of the sector as well as ensuring adequate funding options for its due execution. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Commerce.


Adjournment:
The House at 15:46 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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