Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Ignite the mind.


Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Tuesday, Oct 10, 2023

The Deputy Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu presiding. After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Deputy Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Thursday, October 5th 2023.



ANNOUNCEMENT:

Communication From Mr. President:

  1. Confirmation of Chairman and Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission. He expressed optimism that the House will find the candidates worthy for confirmation.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu praised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for keeping to the letter of the Law for bringing the names of the nominees for confirmation before the Senate in conjunction with the House of Representatives. He expressed optimism that the constitution of the leadership of the NDDC will ensure good governance and assured that the Legislature will do all within its legislative jurisdiction to ensure the NDDC functions for the good of Nigerians, especially those living in the Niger Delta region.

An Ad-Hoc Committee will in effect be set up to join the confirmation committee of the Senate for the exercise. The membership of the Ad-Hoc Committee was announced and is to be chaired by Hon. Ibori Erhiatake. The Committee is billed to sit for the confirmation exercise on Thursday, October 12th and brief the House on Tuesday, October 17th.


PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Uche Okonkwo laid a petition on behalf of a complainant on the mysterious death and hurried burial of a Nigerian in Dubai. The family of the deceased craves the intervention of the House in unraveling the circumstances behind the death.
  2. Hon. Paul laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against Shell Oil and some of its subsidiaries for defrauding Nigeria and the Niger Delta people to the tune of Billions of Dollars by fraudulently concealing the components of an insurance agreement.
  3. Hon. Chris Nkwonta laid a petition against the Chief Medical Director and Management of Maitama General Hospital for their negligence and unlawful unwillingness to treat the victim of a one-chance incident Miss Greatness Olorunfemi which led to her needless death.
  4. Hon. Martins Etim laid a petition on behalf of a complainant on the reinstatement of the complainant to the organization from which he was unlawfully discharged.
  5. Hon. Auwalu Gwalabe laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Federal College of Technology Asaba, Delta State which refused him admission on unscrupulous grounds.

The petitions were referred to the House committee on Public Petitions.


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Amos Magaji moved a motion on the urgent need to stop fuger disease from the cultivation of ginger in Southern Kaduna State, and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai. Hon. Magaji in leading the debate highlighted the numerous advantages of ginger as a cash/medicinal crop. He bemoaned the continuos spread of the disease ravaging the crops which has made the ginger farmers suffer huge devastation to their crops leading to unbearable economic losses as this is their main stay of survival.

Hon. Magaji urged the Ministry on Agriculture to establish a reliable research mechanism and provide improved ginger seedlings to farmers. He also called on the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide financial succor to the farmers who have lost so much. He then called on the relevant Committees of the House to ensure compliance.

Hon. Chinedu Ogah proposed an amendment to extend the prayer to other States which engage in the cultivation of ginger. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, as well as other relevant Committees of the House.

  1. Hon. Musa Adah moved a motion on the devastating flood disaster that ravaged some communities in Jos North, Plateau State, and it was seconded by Hon. Joseph Nwobasi. Hon. Musa in leading the debate expressed sadness at the devastation caused by the flood due to the torrential rainfalls.

He stated that the floods claimed a life and destroyed properties worth Billions of Naira. He further stressed that a lot of residents have now been displaced. He further stressed that the bridge linking the communities has been totally destroyed and the communities have been cut off from surrounding areas.

He called on the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and the National Emergency Management Agency to provide relief to the affected communities and that the relevant Committees of the House should ensure compliance and report back to the House within 2 weeks.

The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Humanitarian Affairs as well as that on National Emergency Management Agency.

  1. Hon. Adewale Adebayo moved a motion on the urgent need to avert further clashes between some communities in Osun State, and it was seconded by Hon. Ademorin Kuye. Hon. Adebayo in leading the debate bemoaned the effects of these clashes that have continued to claim lives and seen properties continuously destroyed all due to claims and counter claims to land. He condemned in strong terms the continuous barbaric killing of individuals and destruction of properties.

He commended the Osun State Governor for his swift intervention in the region. Hon. Adebayo called on the Inspector General of Police to ensure more police presence in the region to maintain peace. He further called on the National Boundary Commission to ensure the right and proper definition and appropriation of land to each community and that the House Committee on Police Affairs, as well as that on Special Duties to ensure compliance.

Hon. Ojema Ojotu moved an amendment to prayer 2 stating that the House does not need to commend the Governor who is doing the job for which he was voted into office. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Police Affairs, Special Duties as well as that on National Emergency Management Agency.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Federal College of Education, Kamba, Kebbi State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.549) (Hon. Rabiu Garba Kamba) – First Reading.
  2. Federal Medical Centres, Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 550) (Hon. Kabiru Yusuf Alhaji) – First Reading.
  3. National institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture Studies, Abigi, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.551) (Hon. Joseph Folorunsho Adegbesan) – First Reading.
  4. Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery, Awa-Ijebu, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.552) (Hon. Joseph Folorunsho Adegbesan) – First Reading.
  5. Federal Cancer Research and Treatment Centre, Asa, Kwara State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.553) (Hon. Muktar Shagaya) – First Reading.
  6. Federal College of Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition, Ilorin West, Kwara State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.554) (Hon. Muktar Shagaya) – First Reading.
  7. National Prosecution Management Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.555) (Hon. Mohammed Jamilu Katsina) – First Reading.
  8. Nigerian Agricultural Promotion Council Bill, 2023 (HB. 556) (Hon. Sesoo Ikpagher) – First Reading.
  9. Labour Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.557) (Hon. Sesoo Ikpagher) – First Reading
  10. Child Rights and Welfare Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.558) (Hon. Jesse Okey- Joe Onuakalusi) – First Reading.
  11. Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.559) (Hon. Jesse Okey- Joe Onuakalusi) – First Reading.
  12. National Agriculture Commodity and Price Control Board (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.560) (Hon. Abiola Peter Makinde) – First Reading.
  13. Bitumen Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.561) (Hon. Abiola Peter Makinde) – First Reading.
  14. Central Bank of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.562) (Hon. Ademorin Kuye) – First Reading.
  15. Nigerian Ports Authority Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.563) (Hon. Miriam Onuoha) – First Reading.
  16. Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund Act(Amendment)Bill, 2023 (HB.564) (Hon. Miriam Onuoha) – First Reading.
  17. Psychiatric Hospitals Management Board Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.565) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.
  18. Small Scale Enterprises Development Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.566) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.
  19. Minimum Qualification for Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors Bill, 2023 (HB.567) (Hon. Amos Gwamna Magaji) – First Reading.
  20. Examination Malpractices Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.568) (Hon. Amos Gwamna Magaji) – First Reading.
  21. Legal Aid Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.569) (Hon. Ime Okon) – First Reading.
  22. Army Colour (Prohibition of Use) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.570) (Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo) – First Reading.
  23. Investment and Securities Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.571) (Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo) – First Reading.
  24. Federal College of Agriculture , Mbatie, Buruku, Benue State (Establishment) Bill ,2023 (HB.572) (Hon. Sekav Dzua Iyortyom) – First Reading.
  25. National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.573) (Hon. Chinedu Ogah) – First Reading.
  26. Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.574) (Hon. Chinedu Ogah) – First Reading.
  27. National Park Service Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.575) (Hon. Victor Abang) – First Reading.
  28. Central Bank of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.576) (Hon. Akingbaso Festus) – First Reading.
  29. Dishonoured Cheques act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.577) (Hon. Akingbaso Festus) – First Reading.
  30. National Institute for Information Communication Technology, Suleja (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.578) (Hon. Adamu Tanko) – First Reading.
  31. Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.579) (Hon. Wale Hammed) – First Reading.
  32. Counterfeit Medical Products, Fake Drugs and Wholesome Processed Foods (Prohibition and Control) Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.580) (Hon. Wale Hammed) – First Reading.
  33. Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.581) (Hon. Wale Hammed) – First Reading.
  34. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.582) (Hon. Sagir Koki) – First Reading.
  35. Nigerian Institute for Trypanosomiasis and Chocerciasis Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.583) (Hon. Sadiq Ango Abdullahi) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT:

Ad–hoc Committee to Convene a Legislative Summit on Students Loans and Access to Higher Education in Nigeria.

Hon. Terseer Ugbor:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee to Convene a Legislative Summit on Students Loans and Access to Higher Education in Nigeria (hr.43/07/2023) (Referred: 5/7/2023).

The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Terseer Ugbor and seconded by Hon. Ahmed Adamu.


ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. Consolidation of Bills:

(a) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for the Appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff and for Related Matters (HB. 07) (Hon. Benjamin Okeize Kalu and six others ); and

(b) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for the engagement as Consultants of Senior Compulsory Retired Officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces to provide Training and Guidance to Serving Officers and for Related Matter (HB. 13) (Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi).

Debate:

Hon. Francis Waive moved for the consolidation of the 2 Bills and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Ambarura. The Bills were voted on, approved for consolidation and the House Committee on Rules and Business was told to schedule a date for the commencement of the debate on the new Bill.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Steel Development Act, Cap. N134 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and for Related Matters (HB. 36) Hon. Yusuf Gadi) – Second Reading.

Second reading of Bill stepped down by leave of the House.


MOTIONS:

  1. Reconsideration of Outstanding Bills from Preceding Assembly:
    Hon. Francis E. Waive:

(i) ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons (Ratification and Enforcement) Bill, 2023 (HB.314);​
(ii) Federal Roads Authority Bill, 2023 (HB.288);

(iii) National Transport Commission Bill, 2023 (HB.306);

(iv) Federal University of Agriculture Mpu Bill, 2023 (HB.308);

(v) National Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science Bill, 2023 (HB.310);

(vi) Armed Forces Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.311);

(vii) Nigerian Service Civil Defence Corps Act (Amendment) Bill 2023 (HB.312);
(viii) Nigeria Police Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.313);

(ix) Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.315);

(x) Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.316);

(xi) Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB 482);
(xii) Federal College of Education, Mutu Biyu Taraba State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.494);

(xiii) Federal College of Horticulture, Okigwe (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.171);

(xiv) Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.473);
(xv) Federal University of Sports, Afuze, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.476);

(xvi) Federal School of Nursing and Midwifery, Sobe, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.477);
(xvii) Nigerian Medical Research Council (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.470);
(xviii) National Ethics and Values Compliance Agency (Establishment Bill, 2023 (HB. 528);

(xix) Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.500) and
(xx) Federal Medical Centre, Sabon-gida-ora, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.478).

The House:

Notes that pursuant to Order Twelve, Rule 16 of the Standing Orders of the House, Bills passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence for which no concurrence was made or negatived or passed by the Senate and forwarded to the House for which no concurrence was made or negatived or which were passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the Assembly, the House may resolve that such Bill, upon being re-gazetted or clean copies circulated, be re-considered in the Committee of the Whole without being commenced de-novo;

Also notes that the aforementioned Bills were passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the last Assembly;

Aware that the Bills were re-gazetted as HBs. 314, 288, 306, 308, 310,311, 312, 313, 315, 316, 494, 211, 171, 473, 476, 477, 470, 500, 528, and 478 read the first time, respectively;

Resolves to:

Commit the Bills to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.

Debate:

Hon. Francis Waive moved a motion on reconsideration of outstanding Bills from the preceding Assembly but before it was seconded, Hon. Kingsley Chinda pointed out some items (Treaties and Agreements, College of Education Act/ Medical Centers Act) which need to be expunged from the list and handled separately. This position created a debate for and against this position.

Hon. James Faleke, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, Hon. Ahmed Jaha and Hon. Francis Waive were against this position, while Hon. Abubakar Fulata agreed with Hon. Chinda. The Deputy Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu in his ruling stressed that multiplicity of Laws made implementation hard, hence the need for unity of Laws and aligned himself with the position of Hon. Kingsley Chinda. In line of this, the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Francis Waive moved for the stepping down of the affected items to be treated separately, and it was seconded by Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the committee of the Whole.

  1. Need for the Reconstruction of the Federal Highway in Edo State.

Hon. Julius O. Ihonvbere​ Hon. Akpatason O. Z ​​Hon. Dennis Idahosa​​
Hon Marcus Onobun​​ Hon. Okojie Henry S. Dekeri ​Hon. lyawe Esosa​
Hon. Osawaru Billy ​​Hon. Omoruyi Murphy Osaro

The House:

Notes that the federal highways in Edo State are in poor condition, causing concern for daily motorists. These major highways connect the South-South to parts of the South East, South West, and Northern regions;

Also notes that the State serves as a transit point or drive-through for travellers, connected to the East via Ewu/Uronigbe/Agbor/Asaba roads, the West via Uzebba_Ifon/Ofosu/Okada/Ovia roads, and the North via Auchi/Ekpoma/Benin and Afuze/Sabongidda Ora/Sobe roads;

Observes that the state is facing serious threats of being cut off from the rest of the country, causing significant economic erodiment, as several failed portions on various routes have become a nightmare for travellers;

Aware that the roads in the State is strategically located between the South, East, West, and Northern regions, collectively produce over 45% of agricultural produce and are the highest producer of granulated cassava;

Also aware that the roads serve as major gateways to Edo State Government-owned Universities, including Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Federal Polytechnic Auchi, College of Education, Igueben, and University of Benin, providing knowledge and sustainable future endeavours;

Worried that the road gradual degradation and abandonment over the years is causing commercial buses and motorcyclists to abandon it for alternative routes, this has caused widespread dissatisfaction;

Concerned that the deplorable state of the road has caused chaos and insecurity, leading to avoidable deaths through armed robbery, kidnappings, accidents, and traffic jams, imposing inconveniences and danger to communities and the state;

Resolves to:

(i) mandate the Committee on Works to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Ministry of Niger Delta to come up with a workable modality that will ensure the speedy construction of the roads; and

(ii) also mandate the Committees on Works and Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation and report back to the House within four(4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved the motion on the need for the reconstruction of the highway in Edo State, and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Halims. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Works as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need for the Central Bank of Nigeria to Address the Impact of the Failing Naira against the Dollar and other Currencies on the Nigerian Economy.

Hon. Ismaila Haruna Dabo:

The House:

Notes that in June 2023, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmad Tinubu through the Central Bank of Nigeria announced changes to the country’s foreign exchange market, that is, the foreign currencies can now be bought and sold at rates determined by the market and not by the central bank;

Also notes that the President’s intention is to allow market forces to determine naira value, but the alarming exchange rate has impacted Nigeria’s economy, causing untold hardship due to increased demand for dollars and a dollar shortage;

Aware that about 90% of Nigeria’s total export earnings are from oil, which is the mainstay of the country’s economy, but changes in the price of oil around the world have a big impact on the country’s foreign exchange market, this explains why the naira has continued to depreciate;

Recognizes that Nigeria’s foreign exchange inflows are lagging despite unification in June, with high demand for foreign currency and limited access to official markets incentivizing black market purchases, the naira has lost a greater percent of its value against the dollar, falling from N778.602/$ as of September 26, september 2023, and nearly N1000/$ at the parallel market, making it the first time Nigeria has lliberalised the foreign exchange market;

Worried about inflation and the cost of living, depreciating naira makes imported goods more expensive, leading to higher inflation rates. This increased cost of living disproportionately affects the most vulnerable citizens, as they struggle to afford basic necessities, which are now glaring across the country;

Also worried about the reduction in investment, as the value of the naira continues to lose value and depreciates against the dollar and other foreign currencies, foreign investors may be deterred from investing in Nigeria, fearing potential currency losses, which is capable of stunting economic growth and hindering the creation of new job opportunities for unemployed Nigerian youth;

Aware that a weaker and depreciating Naira could increase Nigeria’s external debt servicing costs, potentially reducing government spending on critical sectors like healthcare and education

Also aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) frequently uses its foreign reserves to stabilise the naira, but this can deplete its reserves, making the country vulnerable to economic shocks;

Cognizant that addressing Nigeria’s financial challenges requires collective responsibility from all stakeholders, including Parliament, which has been the voice of the common man;

Resolved to:

(i) urge the Central Bank of Nigeria to implement monetary policy adjustments to stabilise the currency, address speculative activities in the forex market, and increase the withdrawal limit of the naira to reduce the pressure on dollars and other foreign currencies;

(ii) also urge the Federal Government to formulate policies and structural Reforms to reduce corruption and promote economic diversification within the nation’s economy;

(iii) further urge the Federal Government to promote exportation and reduce importation by enhancing foreign investors’ Confidence on its Fiscal and Monetary Policies;

(iv) mandate the Committees on Banking Regulations and National Security and Intelligence to interface with the Central bank of Nigeria with the purpose of initiating compliance strategies; and

(v) also mandate the Committee on Banking Regulation to investigate the use of US Dollars and other foreign currencies as legal tender for domestic transactions in Nigeria.

Debate:

Hon. Ismailia Dabo moved the motion on the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria to address the impact of the failing Naira against the Dollar and other currencies on the Nigerian economy, and it was seconded by Hon. Bamidele Salam.

Hon. Ademorin Kuye in contributing to the motion commended the patriotic spirit behind it seeking the betterment of Nigerians by ensuring price stability and a sound currency. He called for the halting of the practice of charging Nigerians for goods and services in Dollars due to the instability of the Naira to the Dollar.

Hon. Mark Obeta stated that the motion is apt and urged for an improvement in agricultural practice to reduce the over-dependence on imported goods.

Hon. Bamidele Salam lamented the way good economic policies implemented in Nigeria do not get the anticipated results that work in other countries. He called for a state of emergency on the economic sector of Nigeria as living expenses have risen sharply.

Hon. Dachung Bagos called for the House to liaise with the Ministry of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to hold them to account on these policies to get it right.

Hon. Mohammed praised the mover of the Motion but wondered if the Central Bank of Nigeria has the current capacity to regulate the financial market due to the pressure on foreign exchange with the high price both at the general and parallel markets. He reiterated for the need to increase food production and exportation to earn more foreign exchange.

Hon. Afolabi Moruf called for a holistic change of approach to dealing with the dwindling Naira and ensure an improvement in the production and manufacturing sector instead of thinking of the CBN to just adjust current economic policies which may provide only temporary solutions, if at all.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha proposed an amendment to add a call for the Federal Government to make a fundamental shift in approach to reduce waste in governance, oil theft etc. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Banking Regulations.

  1. Alleged Mismanagement of Funds and Other Irregularities in the Operations of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

Hon. Esosa Iyawe:

The House:

Notes that the National Health Insurance Authority, formerly known as the National Health Insurance Scheme, was established in 1999 to ensure the effective implementation of the National Health Insurance Policy and address the gaps in getting affordable treatment as well as ensuring universal access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians;

Also notes that the Federal Government has, over the years, driven the Health Insurance Policy through budgetary allocation under the management of the National Health Insurance Authority and some Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs);

Aware that HMOs were engaged and funded by the Federal Government to play an intermediary role in the implementation of the health insurance scheme by providing a wide range of medical services for enrollees;

Concerned that despite the huge budgetary allocations, records have shown that only a negligible 3% of persons in the formal sector have access to health insurance, leaving over 170 million Nigerians without Health Insurance;

Also concerned that the programme has been fraught with poor service delivery by the HMOs as well as low-quality services on the part of the healthcare service providers, as evidenced by the high level of dissatisfaction amongst enrollees who are thus discouraged from recommending the scheme to potential subscribers;

Disturbed by reports that in some hospitals, the pharmacy for patients covered by the NHIA is separate from the hospital’s main pharmacy, and is allegedly stocked with low-quality drugs, as against the main pharmacy;

Also disturbed by reports that funds allocated for the implementation of the national health insurance policy are being mismanaged, as well as allegations that some HMOs fail to remit funds or pay monthly capitations to the healthcare providers;

Worried that 25 years after the programme commenced, reports have shown that, out of a population of about 200 million, only about four million Nigerians are covered under the scheme, which is contrary to the claim by the Authority that over 10 million Nigerians are currently enrolled in the programme;

Also worried that the implementation of the scheme had been mired with corruption, lack of transparency and accountability, irregularities among HMOs and ill-treatment of enrollees by healthcare providers;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Healthcare Services to investigate alleged mismanagement of funds and other irregularities in the National Health Insurance Authority with a view to making relevant interventions to ensure effective implementation of the National Health Insurance Policy.

Debate:

Hon. Esosa Iyawe moved the motion on alleged mismanagement of funds and other irregularities in the operations of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and it was seconded by Hon. Ayuba Ganiyu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Healthcare Services as well as that on Insurance.

  1. Need to Commence the Construction of Section V, of the East West Road to Link Oron, Akwa Ibom State and Odukpani Calabar in Cross River State.

Hon. Bassey Akiba​​​Hon. Mike Etaba​​ Hon. Alex Egbona
Hon. Joseph Bassey ​​​Hon. Emil Inyang​​ Hon. Victor Abang
Hon. Peter Akpanke​​​ Hon. Godwin Offiono:

The House:

Notes that the East-West Road, a 388-kilometer Federal Trunk A2 dual carriageway, connects the Niger-Delta states and Ikom Federal Trunk A4 road, initially designed with 42 bridges and 1000 culverts was awarded N246 Billion naira in 2006;

Alsop notes that the road is divided into five sections, Warri – Kaiama in Delta/Bayelsa State, Port Harcourt–Ahoada–Kaiama in Rivers/Bayelsa State, Eleme – Onne – Ete in Rivers/Akwa Ibom State, Ikot Abasi – Eket–Oron Road in Akwa Ibom/Cross River State;

Aware that Sections I to IV of the road have reached 85% completion, with the Federal Government releasing funds for a new bypass and other works. This has increased the contract sum from N246 billion to N506 billion, with over 80% of the funds already released;

Concerned that the construction of Section IV of the 30km dual carriageway from Oron to Calabar is still ongoing, despite contract awards from the Federal government. The road, which links Cross River and Akwa Ibom states, is in poor condition with potholes causing numerous losses and forcing commuters to travel by sea;

Believes that the construction of Section V of the East-West Road is expected to address Nigeria’s infrastructural deficit and enhance economic stability by facilitating the movement of goods;

Cognizant that construction of a new East-West road section is expected to alleviate the current six-hour journey time, which has significantly increased transportation costs in the region;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Work to ensure commencement of the construction of section V of the East West Road.; and

(ii) mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriations to make provision for the Construction of Section V of the East West Road to link Oron, Akwa Ibom State and Odukpani Calabar, Cross River State in the 2024 budget estimates.

Debate:

Hon. Joseph Bassey moved the motion on the need to commence the construction of section V, of the East West road to link Oron, Akwa Ibom State and Odukpani Calabar in Cross River State, and it was seconded by Hon. Felix Nweke. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Works as well as that on Appropriations.

  1. Need to Intervene on the Perennial Gully Erosion Menace in Nkisi Aroli 1 and Obeleagu Communities of Onitsha North/ South Local Government Areas of Anambra State.

Hon. Idu Emeka G. O:

The House:

Notes that Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), provides that the security, safety, and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government and that the National Assembly is saddled with the task of making laws for the peace, order, and good governance of the Federation;

Also notes that the issue of gully erosion is a significant concern in the Nkisi Aroli and Obeleagu communities of Onitsha North Local Government Area, Anambra State;

Aware of the massive devastation and destruction of private and public buildings in the Nkisi Aroli and Obeleagu communities of Onitsha North Local Government Area in Anambra State has resulted in the loss of lives and properties;

Worried that the menace poses a significant threat to the communities, thus causing displacement and disruption of economic and commercial activities and the loss of ancestral homes and graves;

Also worried that despite efforts by successive State Governments, the erosion menace in the State is causing immense destruction to the lives and properties of residents in the area;

Concerned that since the rainy season began this year, numerous buildings have collapsed, leaving residents homeless, this devastation is beyond the state government’s capacity, thus, and requiring urgent intervention by the Federal Government.

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Environment, Ecological Fund Office and other relevant Agency of the Government to contain and stop the gully erosion in Nkisi Aroti / Obeleagu Area of Onitsha North/South Local Government Areas of Anambra State; and
(ii)​mandate the Committees on Environment and Ecological Fund to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Idu Emeka moved the motion on the need to intervene on the perennial gully erosion menace in Nkisi Aroli 1 and Obeleagu communities of Onitsha North/ South local government areas of Anambra state and it was seconded by Hon. Kabiru Yusuf. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Environment as well as that on Ecological Fund.

  1. Need to Control the Erosion Ravaging Bauchi –Gombe, Alkaleri/Kirfi Local Government Areas, Section of the Federal High Way of Bauchi State.

Hon. Kabiru Yusuf Alhaji:

The House:

Notes the devastating effect of ravaging gully erosion and landslide on the Bauchi-Alkaleri Gombe Federal road between Alkaleri and Bara, all within Alkaleri/Kirfi Federal Constituency, Bauchi State;

Also notes that the road has been cut off by the gully erosion and the entire road network is under serious threat of imminent collapse;

Worried that the erosion and landslide are creating traffic gridlock along the section of the Bauchi-Gombe Highway thereby causing untold hardship to road users, loss of lives and destruction of farmlands;

Concerned that if the menace of gully erosion and landslide is not urgently controlled, the section of the road will completely cave in, thus leading to disconnection of the highway with attendant severe consequences and cutting off of vehicular movement into Bauchi, Gombe and other North Eastern States;

Also concerned that the magnitude of the menace is beyond the control of the State Governments;

Worried that the Bauchi-Gombe highway is a gateway to business activities and other relationships between the North-East and the North Central of Nigeria;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to Commence reconstruction of the affected parts of the Bauchi-Gombe Federal road and particularly, the section between Alkaleri and Bars, in Alkaleri/Kirfi Local Government Areas of Bauchi State;

(ii) also urge the Ecological Fund Office and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ensure regular surveillance of erosion-prone areas to rip erosion threats on the Federal roads across the country; and

(iii) mandate the Committee of Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ensure implementation.

Debate:

Hon. Kabiru Yusuf moved the motion on the need to control the erosion ravaging Bauchi-Gombe, Alkaleri/Kirfi local government areas, section of the federal highway of Bauchi state and it was seconded by Hon. Kayode Moshood. An amendment was proposed to incorporate the cost of the rehabilitation of the road in the coming budget, that the North East Development Commission should ensure the construction of the full road and that the relevant committees of the House should ensure compliance.

Hon. James called on the Ecological Fund to be applied to control the ecological disaster portion of the prayers. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency, North East Development Commission, Ecological Fund as well as that on Appropriations.

  1. Establishment of Functional Libraries in the Seven Hundred and Seventy–Four Local Government Areas in Nigeria.

Hon. Jesse Okey–Joe Onuakalusi​Hon. Mohammed Murtar​Hon. Dabo Haruna
Hon. Salman Idris​​​Hon. Hassan K. Jakduwa​Hon. Engr. BukarTalba
Hon. Rufai Jingi​​​Hon. Olawande George​Hon. Hassani M. Jallo:​​

​The House:

Notes that Libraries serve as vital catalysts for intellectual growth, education, and societal progress and that many local governments lack functional libraries within their communities;

Also notes that the establishment of functional libraries at the local government levels will enhance literacy rates and educational opportunities and provide access to a diverse range of books, educational resources, and learning materials, enabling children, youth and adults to develop their reading skills, expand their knowledge, and pursue lifelong learning;

Aware that local libraries will provide essential information, empowering individuals to make informed decisions, develop critical thinking skills, and promote cultural exchange, social cohesion, and engagement through educational programs, workshops, events, and cultural celebrations, fostering a sense of belonging and unity;

Informed that functional libraries can bridge the digital divide by offering computers, internet connectivity, and digital literacy training, enhancing digital skills, online resources, and employability prospects;

Also aware that establishing functional libraries requires a suitable infrastructure, including buildings, furniture and necessary equipment , the need for Local governments to collaborate with educational institutions and utilize existing facilities or consider repurposing community spaces to minimize costs;

Convinced that the establishment of active functional libraries in all 774 Local government areas in Nigeria will contribute to the overall development of the nation;

Further aware that Nigerians’ reading culture is low, and functional libraries can reshape reading habits and enhance the agricultural revolution. These libraries provide practical information and pedagogic knowledge on farming and farm implementations;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Education to establish an active and functional library and e-library across the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on University Education to ensure implementation.

Debate:

Hon. Jesse Okey-Joe moved the motion on establishment of functional libraries in the seven hundred and seventy-four local government areas in Nigeria, and it was seconded by Hon. Paul Ekpo. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Education as well as that on University Education.

  1. Need to Rehabilitate the Okpanam–Asaba Federal Highway, Delta State.

Hon. Ngozi Okolie:

The House:

Notes that the Okpanam-Asaba Road in Delta State is a strategic road which connects the State and major parts of the South to the Eastern part of the country;

Also notes that the road is an essential aspect of infrastructural development that would enhance economic activities in the region being a link road to the commercial city of Onitsha;

Concerned that the road is currently in a deplorable state as it is at the verge of being cut off by erosion, thus impeding the human and vehicular movement and consequently slowing down economic activities as well as posing great threat to both the lives and livelihood of the people who depend on the road for business activities;

Worried that if the road is not urgently rehabilitated, it could deteriorate even further with the resultant effect of completely paralyzing economic activities within the region;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to include reconstruction of the Okpanam-Asaba Road in Delta State in the 2024 budget estimates;

(ii) also urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to commence remedial work on parts of the road that are not completely destroyed; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Ngozi Okolie moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate the Okpanam–Asaba Federal highway, Delta State, and it was seconded by Hon. Regina Akume. 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 Investigate the Untimely Death of Medical Personnel on Duty.

Hon. Adedayo Samuel Adesola:

The House:

Notes the importance of medical personnel as the fulcrum of the healthcare delivery system;

Aware that on September 17, 2023, a medical officer on residency programme in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Michael Umoh reportedly died after spending 72 hours on duty in the Neurosurgery unit of the Institution;

Also aware of a recent related incident of a young female medical doctor who lost her life due to elevator failure in a general Hospital, which could have been avoided with improved working conditions;

Concerned that there have been several other reports of medical personnel dying as a result of harsh working conditions and other forms of negligence, thus robbing the country of her best brains;

Cognizant that such similar cases have reinforced the agitation of National Association of Resident Doctors, Nigeria Medical Association and other associated bodies for improved conditions of service as evidenced by the recent industrial strike embarked upon by Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to press home their demands;

Resolves to:

(i) observe a minute of silence in honour of the deceased doctors; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Health Institutions to investigate the anomalous deaths of Dr. Michael Umoh, a medical personnel at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) to ensure that medical personnel in Nigeria work under favourable conditions and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Adedayo Adesola moved the motion on the need to investigate the untimely death of medical personnel on duty, and it was seconded by Hon. Ayodele Festus. Hon. Dachung Bagos proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity into the investigation. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Health Institutions as well as that on Labour, Employment and Productivity.

  1. Need to Rehabilitate and Adequately Equip Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano.

Hon. Hassan Shehu Hussain:

The House:

Notes that the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital was established in 1988 to provide specialist medical attention to the sick, train medical personnel and undertake research for the advancement of medical knowledge;

Concerned that the hospital, which caters for patients from Kano and neighbouring States, including Jigawa, Gombe, Yobe, Katsina, and Bauchi is overstretched and lacks adequate equipment to function optimally, especially in critical units such as the Accident and Emergency (A&E) section;

Also concerned that the hospital’s Cardiology Department, which was widely reputed for excellence, is currently in a deplorable state and may soon become moribund as most of the equipment are obsolete and non-functional;

Worried that considering the rising cases of cardiovascular diseases in the country and the inadequacy of specialized care for such cases in public hospitals, patients are often referred to private hospitals which they mostly cannot afford, hence the increasing death rate from the disease continues to rise;

Also worried about the shortage of experts such as Cardiovascular Percussionists, anesthetists and heart surgeons in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Health to rehabilitate, adequately equip and recruit relevant personnel, including experts required for effective and efficient operations in the Cardiology Department and the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano; and

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Health Institutions to conduct a needs assessment of the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano and make provision in the 2024 budget estimates to ensure that the hospital is rehabilitated and adequately equipped to provide specialized and optimum healthcare services to Nigerians, and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Hassan Hussain moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate and equip Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, and it was seconded by Hon. Ismail Sada. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Health Institutions as well as that on Appropriations.


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

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Fire Service Act, Cap. F29, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Federal Fire and Rescue Service (Establishment) Bill, 2023; and for Related Matters (HB. 211) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 26/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the Bill seeks to repeal the former Act and enact the proposed one to reflect the fire fighting sector as a statutory service provider for social maintenance of law and order after fires, protect and rescue victims, resuscitate victims where necessary etc.

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 1-8, 10-50
Clause amended and approved: 9.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish a National Centre for the Coordination and Control of the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria; and for Related Matters. (HB. 207) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 25/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the Bill seeks to address the proliferation of small arms and light weapons by bringing together relevant agencies to work in tandem to monitor and prevent the infiltration and possession of these weapons by unscrupulous characters.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-5, 7-47
Clause amended and approved: 6,


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 15:14 PM adjourned plenary to Wednesday, October 11th 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.

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