Friday, April 12, 2024
Ignite the mind.


Plenary Proceedings, House of Reps, Thursday Oct 12, 2023.

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


After reading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Deputy Speaker observed and approved the votes and proceedings of Wednesday, October 11, 2023.




ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.The Deputy Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, read a letter from Hon. Bamidele Salam, from Osun State announcing the death of a former member of the House, Hon. Isiaka Adekola which was addressed to the Speaker. A one minute silence was observed in honour of the deceased.

  1. The Deputy Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, read another letter from Hon. Olufemi Ogunbanwo announcing the death of Chief Christopher Olanipekun OFR and addressed to the Speaker. A minute silence was observed in honour of the deceased.



                   PETITIONS:

There was no petition.



URGENT MATTERS:

Hon. Hussaini Mohammed Jalo from Kaduna state moved a motion on the ‘Need to implement the Price Control Act in the face of skyrocketing inflation and cost of living in the Country, as occasioned by the high cost of petroleum products and the ever increasing exchange rate differentials.

He called on the House to urge the Federal Ministry of Commerce to set up and inaugurate the Price Control Board with a view to implementing the existing Act.

He said the Board will oversee the price of petroleum products and ensure that marketers don’t take undue advantage of consumers depending on the prevailing price on the international market.

Debate:

Hon. Hussaini Mohammed Jalo from Kaduna state moved a motion on the ‘Need to implement the Price Control Act in the face of skyrocketing inflation and cost of living in the Country, and it was seconded by Hon. Kabiru Yusuf Alhaji from Bauchi state. The motion was adopted as passed and referred to the House Committee on Commerce.

  1. Hon. Gboyega Isiaka from Ogun State moved a motion on the Need for Urgent Intervention by the Inspector General of Police in the Security Challenges in Yewa North local government of Ogun State.

Presenting the motion, Hon. Isiaka said there’s been ongoing boundary disputes between Nigerians and Beniniores in Yewa community and has led to rising tension among residents.

He further cautioned that if the situation is not brought under control it could lead to avoidable loss of lives.

The motion was adopted, passed and referred to the House Committee on

  1. Hon. Kabir Ibrahim Tukura moved a motion on the Need to Address Security Challenges in Zuru and Fagai areas of Kebbi State.

The Deputy Speaker of the House Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu urged the lawmaker to go straight to the prayers for want of time.

Debate:

Hon. Kabir Ibrahim Tukura moved on the Need to Address Security Challenges in Zuru and Fagai areas of Kebbi State, and It was seconded by Hon. Abubakar Makki from Jigawa State. The motion was adopted, passed and referred to the House Committee on NEMA and Disaster Management when fully constituted.



PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

1.Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.494) (Hon. Jaafaru Yakubu) – First Reading.

2.Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.171 (Hon. Miriam Onuoha) – First Reading.

  1. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.478) (Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – First Reading.
  2. National Rice Production, Processing and Research Institute Igbemo, Ekiti, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.584) (Hon. Fatoba Olusola Steve) – First Reading.
  3. Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.585)
    (Hon. Fatoba Olusola Steve) – First Reading.
  4. Federal Institute of Vision and Optical Research, Erema, Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni, Rivers State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 586) (Hon. Victor Obuzor) – First Reading.
  5. Federal College of Optometry, Odiokwu, Rivers State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.587) (Hon. Victor Obuzor) – First Reading.
  6. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 588) (Hon. Victor Abang) – First Reading.
  7. Federal College of Science and Health Technology, Mbu Isiuzo, Enugu State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.589) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.

10.Federal University of Aviation Technology, Ako-Nike, Enugu State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.590) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.

  1. National Commission for Technology Transfer, Promotion and Acquisition (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 591) (Hon. Clement Jimbo) – First Reading.
  2. Federal Vocational and Skills Acquisition College, Yankaba, Kano State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.592) (Hon. Hassan Shehu Hussain) – First Reading.
  3. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.593) (Hon. Muktar Shagaya) – First Reading.
  4. Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.594) (Hon. Muktar Shagaya) – First Reading.
  5. Federal College of Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition, Minna, Niger State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.595) (Hon. Sagir Koki) – First Reading.
  6. Federal University of Health Sciences, Kano Municipal, Kano State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.596) (Hon. Sagir Koki) – First Reading.
  7. National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institutions Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.597)
    (Hon. Chinedu Ogah) – First Reading.
  8. National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 598)
    (Hon. Chinedu Ogah) – First Reading.
  9. Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Bill, 2023 (HB.599) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.
  10. National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.600) (Hon.

Benjamin Kalu) – First Reading.

  1. National Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Sciences (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.601) (Hon. Ibrahim Ayokunle Isiaka and Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  2. Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.602) (Hon. Akin Alabi) – First Reading.
  3. Chartered Institute of Cooperative Professionals of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.603) (Hon.

Alli Adeyemi Taofeek) – First Reading.

  1. Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 604) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubair) – First Reading.
  2. Nursing and Midwifery (Registeration, Etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.605) (Hon. Abdulmalik
    Zubair) – First Reading.
  3. Central Bank of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.606) (Hon. Amos Gwamna Magaji) – First Reading.

27.Nigerian Cooperative Societies Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.607) (Hon. Amos Gwamna Magaji – First Reading

  1. Agricultural Development and Modernization (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.608) (Hon. Lanre Okunlola) – First Reading.
  2. Aid for Economic Diversification Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.609) (Hon. Lanre Okunlola) – First Reading.
  3. Nigerian Council for Psychologist (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.610) (Hon. Alli Adeyemi Taofeek) – First Reading.
  4. Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill, 2023 (HB.611) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  5. Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria Bill, 2023 (HB.612) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  6. National Food Safety Council and National Food Safety Management Committee (Establishment) Bill,
    (HB. HB.613) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  7. Nigerian Weights and Measures Regulatory Agency Bill, 2023 (HB.614) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  8. Legislative House (Power and Privileges) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.615) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  9. Federal Produce Inspection Service (Enforcement of Exports Standards) (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB. HB.616) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  10. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Act (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB. HB.617) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  11. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Act (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.618) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  12. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Act (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.619) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  13. National Broadcasting Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB.620) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  14. National Planning Process Bill, 2023(HB.621) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  15. National Planning Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB.622) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  16. Public Accounts Implementation Tribunal Act (Repeal) Bill, 2023(HB.623) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.

44.National Tax Crimes and Oversight Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.624) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.

  1. Commodity Exchange Bill, 2023(HB.625) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  2. South–East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.626) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie
    Kalu and forty–two others) – First Reading.


PRESENTATION OF REPORTS:

Ad–hoc Committee on Gas Flaring:

Hon. Ahmed Munir:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee on the Need to Address the Lingering
Issues of Gas Flaring from 2013–2023 by Oil and Gas Companies in Nigeria” (HR. 07/06/2023).



      ORDERS OF THE DAY:


                      BILL:

1.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 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 and for Related Matters (HBs. 07 & 13) (Hon. Benjamin Okeize Kalu, Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi and six others) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Jonathan Gbefwi Gaza led the debate on the general principles of the bill saying that two bills were consolidated to remove any ambiguity in the appointment of the Chief of Defense Staff from among the various services within the armed forces.

He also said that retired military officers should be utilized as consultants in the training and retraining of junior officers given the huge investment made by the government in building their experiences over the years. He said the initiative has become necessary given the lack of needed resources to keep sending young officers outside the shores of the country for necessary training.

According to him, these retired officers can be called up as consultants to the services provided they are still within the age of 65 years.

The bill was adopted, passed and referred to the House Committee on Defence.



MOTIONS:

  1. Need to Investigate Alleged Victimization and Maltreatment of Nigerians in Addis Ababa,
    Ethopia:

Hon. O.K. Chinda
Hon.Abdussamad Dasukki
Hon. Laori Kwamoti Bittrus
Hon. Aliyu Madaki
Hon. Unyime Idem
Hon. Nkwonta Chris
Hon. Abbas Adogun
Hon. Kabiru Ahmadu
Hon. Ibe O. Osonwa
Hon. Ginger Onwusibe
Hon. Kelechi Nwogu

The House:

Notes the alleged incidence of victimization, maltreatment and forced imprisonment of Nigerians, including air travelers, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Also notes that one Dr. Paul Ezike in a “safe our soul message” circulated a message at the instance of a Nigerian allegedly arrested and put in Ethiopia prison;

Further notes that some Nigerians are currently serving at the Chaota Maximum Security and other prisons in Ethiopia most of whom are travelers that use the Ethiopian Airport as a transit point where they are indiscriminately arrested at the Ethiopia Airport in Addis Ababa, taken to the hospital and forcefully injected with some substances and later taken to the prison facilities;

Again notes that Nigerians in Addis Ababa and all over the world and their air travelers should be protected and should be accorded the same protection Nigeria gives to foreigners who live in Nigeria;

Aware that 250 Nigerians are currently serving prison terms in Ethiopia as a result of frequent attack and may die in prison, if urgent steps are not taken to save them;

Also aware that these Nigerians are not only poorly treated, but are also subjected to very agonizing conditions, poor feeding and without medication;

Cognizant that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) joined the rest of Africa to sign a remarkable Trade Agreement for the continent and the fact that Nigerians are industrious
entrepreneurs and have spent years transacting business in Addis Ababa and air travelers contributing
to their economy;

Worried that if early interventions and diplomatic measures are not taken by the Nigerian Government
to check the incessant attacks on Nigerian in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and air travelers would be at risk;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committees on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs to invite the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission to brief them on the preventive measures taken to
protect Nigerians and air travelers to Addis Ababa and report back within three (3) weeks for further

Debate:

Hon. Kingsley Chinda and 10 others moved the motion on the Need to Investigate Alleged Victimization and Maltreatment of Nigerians in Addis Ababa, Ethopia, and it was Seconded by Hon Lirien Okpara.

Hon. Mudashir proposed an amendment to include the Committee on Human Rights to be part of the investigation saying that the issue also borders on human rights abuse.

The motion was adopted and passed as amended and referred to the House Committees on Diaspora and that on Human Rights.

  1. Commemoration of the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being”

Hon. Kafilat A. Ogbara:

The House:

Notes that 11th of October every year is globally celebrated as International Day of the Girl-Child and this year’s theme is “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being”. It provides a platform for the global community to understand the disadvantages the Girl-Child faces in life;

Also notes that International Day of the Girl-Child is a day adopted by the United Nations to remind young girls of their uniqueness, strength and prowess; it is a day set aside to address issues such as early or child marriage, violence against girls, rape, child molestation, education deprivation and all other issues faced by girls;

Aware that the International Day of the Girl Child acknowledges the importance, power and potential of adolescent girls around the world by spotlighting other issues such as poor learning opportunities, discrimination, tackling issues posed by stereotypes and exclusion of children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities;

Also aware that adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated and healthy life, investing in girls’ leadership includes creating space and platforms for girls to raise their voices at every level of policymaking;

Further aware that in most countries, patriarchy and power dynamics affords boys comparative advantages compared to girls in most domain; last survey from UNICEF revealed that 18.5 million children are out of school, out of this number, 60% are girls a factor that left them behind across multiple dimensions;

Worried about the high number of out-of-school girls that engage in drugs and other vices, throughout history, girls have been systematically held back and undervalued in society;

Informed that investment in critical steps such as the Girls Rights under the Convention of the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) will help to fast track the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations;

Also informed that the current trend in Nigeria reveals that young girls who are sexually abused by their parents/guardians, return back to the same house where they were abused after police intervention;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other Stakeholders to initiate ways of educating and sensitizing adolescent girls on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in commemoration of the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child in Nigeria going forward;

(ii) also urge the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that are saddled with the responsibility of training and empowerment to ensure compulsory vocational skills acquisition training for girls to keep them engaged and productive enough to keep them away from drugs;

(iii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, the Maryam Babangida National Center for Women Development and the National Agency Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) to build a well-furnished rehabilitation shelter/homes for sexual abuse survivors across the 36
States and FCT;

(iv) again urge the Federal Ministry of Education to drastically reduce/eradicate the number of outof-school girls by ensuring compulsory free education for girls across the country; and

(v) mandate the Committee on Women Affairs to engage with all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Kafilat Ogbara moved the motion on the Commemoration of the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child with the theme: “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our
Leadership, Our Well-being. The motion was passed and referred to the House Committee on Women Affairs.

  1. Need to Replace Damaged Concrete Electric Poles in Gurka, Aviri, Gavin-Gumi and Makama and connect Neighbouring Communities in Zaki Federal Constituency of Bauchi State to the
    National Grid:

Hon. Mohammed Dan Abba Shehu:

The House:

Notes that reliable electricity is critical for sustainable development in any society and the core mandate of the Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria is to provide access to reliable electricity for rural dwellers in a way that would allow a reasonable return on investment at an appropriate tariff that is economically responsive and supportive of the average rural customers;

Also notes that it is the responsibility of the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) to promote, support and provide rural electrification through public and private sector participation;

Concerned that while contracts to provide electricity in Gurka, Arid, Garin-Gami and Makawa communities did not include connecting them to the national grid, Kafin Larabawa, Alangawari, Gumai, Lodiyo and Bursali all in Zaki Federal Constituency have never had electricity;

Cognizant that lack of electricity in rural areas stalls their progress, thus, connecting them to the national grid will grant them access to clean, safe and reliable energy and enhance socio-economic activities therein;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria to make provision in the 2024 budget estimates for the electrification and connection to the national grid of Kafin Larabawa, Alangawari, Gumai, Lodiyo, Bursali, Gurka, Arid, Garin-Gami and Makawa communities in Zaki Federal Constituency of Bauchi State;

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

Debate:

Hon. Mohammed Dan Abba Shehu moved the motion on the Need to Replace Damaged Concrete Electric Poles in Gurka, Aviri, Gavin-Gumi and Makama and connect Neighbouring Communities in Zaki Federal Constituency of Bauchi State to the National Grid. The motion after secondment was referred to the House Committee on Power once fully constituted.

5.Employment of Corps Members who were Victims of Election Violence into the Civil Service or Independent National Electoral Commission:

Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong–Udo:

The House:

Notes that the Independent National Electoral Commission held the Presidential and National Assembly Elections on February 25th, 2023, followed by Governorship and House of Assembly Elections on March 11th, 2023, and April 15th, 2023, for supplementary elections;

Also notes that the Independent National Electoral Commission co-opted over 200,000 youth Corps members as Ad-hoc staff to assist in the administration of the elections, thus, constituting approximately 80% of the INEC Ad-hoc staff;

Worried that some of the corps members were reported to have been victims of election violence, sustaining injuries from gunshots and matchets;

Cognizant that despite facing threats, the corps members remained committed in ensuring that the 2023 elections were conducted in accordance with their assigned roles;

Also cognizant of their sacrifice for this important National Assignment there is need to employ the corps members who were victims of the election violence to compensate for their losses and encourage future participation;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce a comprehensive list of corps members that participated in the last 2023 elections and are victims of election violence;

(ii) also urge the Federal Character Commission and the Federal Civil Service Commission to review and subsequently consider employing victims of election violence into public service of the Federation; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Federal Character, Public Service, and Electoral Matters to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong–Udo moved the motion on employment of Corps Members who were Victims of Election Violence into the Civil Service or Independent National Electoral Commission, and it was seconded by Hon. Bond Ekpo. The motion was passed and referred to the House Committee on Federal Character.

  1. Construction of Igbo/Chokota/Ikwerrenguro/Umuebule Uwaza Road:

Hon. Kelechi Nwogu
Hon. Ginger Obinna Onwusibe:

The House:

Notes that Igbo/Chokota/Ikwerrengwo/Umuebule/Uwaza neighbouring Communities in Rivers State and Abia State host about 117 Oil Wells, 3 Gas Plants, 5 Flow Stations and 3 Manifolds that contribute
richly to Nigeria’s economy;

Also notes that residents of the said communities are predominantly engaged in various agricultural activities including farming and fishing as well as trading in food items, thus the road plays a crucial
role in facilitating movement of food items to other parts of the country;

Aware that Section 7 (1)(b) of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act mandates the Commission to conceive, plan and implement projects and programmes for the sustainable
development of the Niger-Delta in the field of transportation including roads, jetties and waterways, health, education, employment, industrialization, agriculture and fisheries, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunications;

Worried that the aforementioned communities have no good access roads and the two main bridges connecting the communities at Imo River and Otamirioche River have collapsed, crippling socioeconomic activities and causing untold hardship to the people even as their land feeds the country’s
economy in great measures via oil exploration by international and local oil companies;

Also worried that failure to construct roads for the people and give them a sense of belonging could lead to unimaginable social vices;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to make provisions for construction of
Igbo/Chokota/Ikwerrengwo/Umuebule/Uwaza Road in the 2024 Budget estimates; and

(ii) mandate Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Honourables Kelechi Nwogu and Ginger Obinna Onwusibe moved the motion on the Construction of Igbo/Chokota/Ikwerrenguro/Umuebule Uwaza Road. The motion without debate was passed and referred to the House Committee on NDDC when fully constituted.

  1. Revitalization of the Biomas Ethan Project Abandoned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in Benue State:

Hon. Sekav Dzua Iyortyom:

The House:

Notes that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) was mandated by the Federal Government in 2005 to establish a domestic fuel ethanol industry, reduce Nigeria’s reliance on imported gasoline, and environmental pollution, and create a sustainable commercial sector;

Aware that as part of the August 2005 Federal Government directive, the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation Limited was directed to establish a fuel ethanol industry in six geo-political zones of Nigeria to improve automotive fossil fuel quality. The project included a sugar cane feedstock
plantation, a sugar mill, and a fuel ethanol processing plant;

Also aware that in 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited and the Benue State Government on the Biomass Ethanol Project in Benue State, aimed at establishing a biogas cogeneration plant that will generate 64 megawatts of electricity, carbon dioxide recovery and bottling plant to produce 2000 tonnes annually and animal feed plan;

Also Cognizant that the Benue State Government and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited have provided 50,000 hectares of unencumbered land, completed a perimeter survey, a topographical survey for engineering designs, educated and mobilized local communities for the
project, while Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited has completed feasibility studies, an
environmental impact assessment, and has unannounced core investors;

Worried that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, the Benue State Government, and
Federal Government of Nigeria have spent millions of dollars on the Biofuel ethanol project;

Further aware the project aims to reduce insecurity in North Central Nigeria, create over 10,000 jobs for farmers, and alleviate unemployment among the region’s youth and women;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited to revitalize the project and return to its original location, as per the MOU between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
Limited and the Benue State Government;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Downstream Petroleum to invite the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation Limited to ascertain why the project was abandoned and the need for it to be revitalized; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Sekav Dzua Iyortyom moved the motion on the revitalization of the Biomas Ethan Project abandoned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in Benue State, and it was seconded by Hon. Adebayo Adewale Maaruf.

The motion was passed and referred to the House Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream and Legislative Compliance once fully constituted.

  1. Reconstruction of the Kisi-Soro-Igboho Road in Oyo State:

Hon. Olaide Lateef Mohammed:

The House:

Notes that the Federal Government Trunk ‘A’ Road, a 29-kilometre economic artery in Oke Ogun, Nigeria, was constructed in 1959 but is currently in colossal disrepair, spanning Kisi, Soro, Igboho, to Ibadan and an alternative route to the northern parts of Nigeria;

Also notes that the federal road links agrarian communities like Igboho, Soro, Kisi, Igbeti, and Igbope, serving as a significant food basket in the Southwest and the country;

Worried that lack of regular maintenance and rehabilitation of the road since it was constructed 64 years ago has led to a harrowing experience for farmers, motorists, and other Nigerians plying this road;

Aware that an Auditor-General’s Annual Report of 2016 stated that a contract with reference number OORBDA/S/472/2014/VOL.1/027 was awarded in September 2014 by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, Abeokuta for ₦99.8 million to rehabilitate the Kisi-Igboho road;

Also aware that the Auditor-General’s Annual Report of 2016 revealed that the contractor was paid ₦87.8 million, but materials worth ₦39.5 million were not supplied, and expenditure on ₦5.2 million was unjustified;

Concerned that the poor state of the road has led to high rates of armed robbery, kidnappings, accidents, and other vices, causing insecurity and economic hardships in the area;

Cognizant of the detrimental effects of the road on the social and economic well-being of the affected communities, potential risks to human lives, and the local agrarian economy, including worsening security in Oke Ogun areas of Oyo State, which requires urgent attention;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to commence the design for the road and award the construction of Kisi-Soro-Igboho Road in Oyo State to enhance economic growth in Nigeria;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Appropriations and Works to include the reconstruction of KisiSoro-Igboho Road in Oyo State in the 2024 budget estimates; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Olaide Lateef Mohammed moved the motion for the reconstruction of the Kisi-Soro-Igboho Road in Oyo State, and it was seconded by Hon. Architect Austine Daniels. The motion without amendment was passed and referred to the House Committee on Works.

  1. Rehabilitation of the Jibiro-Sarou-Belel Road:

Hon. Aliyu Wakili Boya:

The House:

Notes the importance of good road infrastructure to the development of any community is of paramount importance, particularly as it affects the livelihood of people of the area;

Also notes that the rehabilitation of the Jibiro–Sarou–Belel Road was awarded for construction to alleviate the suffering of the people of the area due to the bad road which is very crucial for the
sustenance of their living;

Aware that provision for the rehabilitation of the Jibiro–Sarou–Belel road was made in the budget for the past Seven (7) years and allocations were made for the said road and a contract was awarded for which to the people’s utmost dismay there has been no visible progress of any work on the
road leaving them in a continued hardship;

Disturbed that funds allocated for the rehabilitation of the road are either misappropriated or mismanaged and that causes great concern;

Also disturbed that the failure to commence rehabilitation work on the road despite the contract awarded raises questions about the effectiveness of the procurement and execution process.

The delay has not only caused frustration for the people of the communities but also undermines public trust in the government’s commitments to infrastructural development;

Concerned that continuous neglect of the road impacted negatively on the people of the area causing unabated suffering, economic loss, limited access to essential services and significant
hardship on their livelihood;

Resolves to:

(i)urge the Federal Ministry of Works to take all the necessary steps to expedite action on the rehabilitation of the Jibiro–Sarou–Belel road by ensuring that the contract is executed promptly when the construction work commences; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Works to investigate the cause of delay in the commencement of the rehabilitation and execution, after funds were allocated and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Aliyu Wakili Boya moved the motion for the rehabilitation of the Jibiro-Sarou-Belel Road. The motion without any amendment was passed and referred to the House Committee on Works.

  1. Investigation of Alleged Weak Accountability, Reckless Spending, Deliberate Diversion, and
    Mismanagement N200 Billions of COVID-19 Intervention Funds from 2019 to 2022:

Hon. Nyampa Dauda Zakari:

Aware that COVID-19 broke out as a major pandemic in 2019 affecting families, businesses and economies of the nations of the world;

Also aware that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the loss of lives, jobs and economic opportunities for millions of homes in different parts of the world including Nigeria;

Notes that the COVID–19 pandemic disrupted economic activities, leading to global measures such as lockdowns, travel restrictions, business closures, and government shutdowns to control the virus’s spread Cognizant that the disruption of economic activities necessitated the introduction of various programs, policies, and interventions to alleviate and boost the economies of families, small businesses, and
public corporations;

Mindful of the fact that the Federal Government of Nigeria initiated a number of responses including
budgetary provisions as well as funding from International donor agencies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens;

Also aware that a sum of N83.9 Billion was appropriated for the COVID-19 response in the 2020 Appropriation Act as well as another sum of over N100 Billion Naira as intervention funds through supplementary budget and international donor agencies;

Disturbed that the Auditor-General’s report and other sources reveal that significant funds for COVID-19 palliatives and international donations were diverted and unaccounted for by various by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government;

Concerned that the lack of proper accountability of funds allocated for COVID-19 intervention by the
Federal Government and global donor agencies could potentially lead to negative economic ratings
and loss of opportunities for Nigeria;

Resolves to:

mandate the Public Accounts Committee to investigate the expenditure of funds appropriated or
disbursed as COVID-19 intervention to Ministerial Department and Agencies of the Federal Government from 2020 to 2022 and report back within 4 weeks for further legislative action.

The motion stepped down by the leave of the House.

  1. Flooding in Wudil Local Government Area of Kano State:

Hon. Abdulhakeem Kamilu Ado:

The House:

Notes that in an earlier resolution via a Motion, the House urged the Federal Government to take rapid preventive measures towards curtailing the predicted flooding events as stated by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for 2023;

Also notes that Wudil Local Government Area in Kano State, which has a large concentration of rice and fish farmers as the major occupation in the area, is bedeviled by recurrent flooding often leading to loss of lives and damage to farmlands and agricultural produce worth millions of Naira;

Concerned that a majority of the farmers affected by the flooding took loans under the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers’ programme may be unable pay back as a result of the losses incurred in the flooding incidents which has displaced a large number of the residents and destroyed their livelihood, causing them untold hardship;

Also concerned that flooding, which has defied various interventions by individuals and private organizations, has destroyed most of the buildings in the Aliko Dangote University of Science and Technology, Wudil, forcing academic activities to stop, thus the students are unable to continue in their various academic pursuits;

Worried that if the flooding in Wudil is not urgently checked, it will adversely affect the food supply chain, thus leading to food insecurity and economic hardships in Kano State and the country at large;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the victims of flooding in Wudil Local Government Area of Kano State;

(ii) also urge the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) to help with a temporary relocation of the displaced flood victims pending when
their communities are restored, and the Ecological Fund Office to provide a lasting solution to the problem of flooding in Wudil Local Government Area of Kano State; and

iii) mandate the Committees on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees (IDPs) and Ecological Fund to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Abdulhakeem Kamilu Ado moved the motion on Flooding in Wudil Local Government Area of Kano State, and it was seconded by Hon. Blessing Onuh. The motion was passed and referred to the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Management once fully constituted.

  1. Compelling Road Users to Obey Traffic Light Signals and Road Traffic Regulations in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja:

Hon. Igariwey Iduma Enwo:

The House:

Notes that traffic control lights are signalling devices placed at road intersections, Pedestrian crossings,
and other locations to control vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and are designed to regulate the flow of traffic and prevent accidents;

Concerned that rather than regulate the flow of traffic and prevent accidents, motorists in the Federal Capital Territory by commission or omission, constitute hazard to other road users, by refusing or neglecting to obey traffic signs, and particularly the amber, red and green signs, displayed on the traffic control lights;

Also notes that the greatest violators of the traffic control light signals are VIP vehicles, bullion vans, motorcyclists, despatch riders, tricyclists and taxi cab vehicles etc;

Concerned that data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, currently has the highest incident of car crashes in Nigeria;

Aware that in most jurisdictions, technology is deployed to track and arrest violators of traffic rules
and regulations;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Road Safety Commission to exercise their powers under the Federal Road Safety Commission, Act 2007 and arrest and prosecute persons who run against traffic light signals, and
violate other road traffic regulations;

(ii) also urge the Federal Capital Territory Administration to deploy technology that will track and arrest violators of traffic rules and regulations in the FCT; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Federal Road Safety Commission and the Federal Capital Territory to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Igariwey Iduma Enwo moved the motion for compelling road users to obey traffic light signals and road traffic regulations in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and it was seconded by Hon. Umar Ajilo. The motion was passed and referred to the House Committee on Road Safety Commission and that on the FCT.

  1. Non–Compliance to Extant Laws in Implementing Presidential Palliative and the National Social Investment Programmes:

Hon. Midala Usman Balami:

The House:

Notes that the Federal Government allocated approximately N3 trillion over the past seven years to implement Social Investment Programmes like N-Power, School Feeding, GEEP loans, and
Conditional Cash Transfer;

Also notes that the programmes were formulated in 2016 by the federal government as a response to
widespread socio-economic challenges bedeviling the country;

Concerned that the impacts created by implementation of the programmes fall short of expectation as 71 million Nigerians leaves in abject poverty;

Worried about the lack of reliable tracking methods for beneficiaries in these programs, such as national identity numbers (NIN) or bank verification numbers (BVN), is a concern.

Cognizant that President Tinubu ordered the implementation of a N500 billion palliative and expanded conditional cash transfer beneficiaries to 15 million Nigerians to mitigate the impact of the removal of the petrol subsidy;

Aware that the Federal Ministries of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, and Industry, Trade, and Investment are set, to continue implementing programs and presidential palliatives without a clear identification of beneficiaries;

Worried that the implementation of presidential palliatives is a concern due to potential lack of transparency and non-adherence to existing laws;

Resolves to:

(i) mandate the Committees on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation to engage the Federal Ministries of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Industry, Trade
and Investment to define the modalities for the implementation of the programmes with the view to ensuring transparency and non–adherence to extant laws of the Land; and

(ii) also mandate the Committees on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation to investigate the implementation of National Social Investment programs and to report back
within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

The motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need for the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) to collaborate with
    Relevant Health Agencies in States and Local Governments to ensure the functionality of Primary Healthcare Centres:

Hon. Fayinka Moses Oluwatoyin:

The House:

Notes that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, with a GDP of over $430 billion and a 213 million population, and is projected to double by 2050, putting pressure on the health sector;

Concerned that Nigeria’s primary healthcare sector faces alarmingly high rates of dilapidated facilities, it is estimated that Nigeria has about 39,983 hospitals and clinics as of 2020, with the primary Healthcare Centres accounting for about 34,000 which is 86%, however, only 20% of these primary Healthcare Centres are functional, particularly in rural areas lacking adequate facilities and staffing;

Also concerned that the lack of medical equipment, drugs, qualified personnel, electrical systems, beds, and road networks has increased the death toll in healthcare centers, necessitating revitalization with a budget of 80 million dollars for additional bed spaces;

Worried that the military regime of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and Prof. Olikoye Ransome Kuti has led to a 70% decline in primary healthcare, with many centres falling into disuse;

Alarmed that the Federal and State Health Ministries inaccurate representation of primary healthcare centres hinders proper budgeting and access to quality healthcare in rural areas, leading to premature deaths;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector and allocate significant votes to it in the 2024 budget estimates;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Health to encourage States to resuscitate the comatose primary
healthcare program at the grassroots level and provide qualitative and affordable Medicare for the masses;

(iii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with State Ministries, Local Governments, and other stakeholders, to establish a task force to eradicate medical malpractice,
particularly in rural areas and furnish the Committee on Healthcare Services with the summary reports in evaluating the standard of the primary Healthcare Centres from 2016-2022;

(iv) mandate the Committee on Healthcare Services, to oversight their activities to ascertain the real state of the Primary Healthcare Centres across the country; and

(v) also mandate the Committees on Healthcare Services, and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Fayinka Moses Oluwatoyin moved the motion on the need for the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) to collaborate with relevant health agencies in States and Local Governments to ensure the functionality of Primary Healthcare Centres, and it was seconded by Hon. Yusuf Danladi.
The motion was passed and referred to the House Committee on Health Care Services and that on Legislative Compliance.


CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS

House Majority Leader Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the consideration of reports, calling on the House to dissolve into the Committee of the Whole. His motion was seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

  1. A bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology Act, Cap. N116, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology Bill, 2023 to provide for Full-Time and Part-Time Courses of Instruction and Training for the General
    Development of Transport and Logistics Sector of the Nigerian Economy; and for Related Matters (HB.500) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 10/10/2023.

SYNOPSIS OF THE REPORT:

The House Leader in presenting the report for consideration said the bill is essentially a straightforward one, saying that Nigerians also know that “our transport system is chaotic,” and the aim of this bill is to provide enabling environment and the legal framework for the professional management and technological developments of the sector in Nigeria.

The bill, sponsored by the Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen Ph.D, contains 33 clauses and were all approved.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and Enact the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill, 2023 to Among other things, Provide for Establishment of Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Council for Effective and Efficient Administration of Justice In Nigeria (HB. 214) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 26/7/2023.

SYNOPSIS OF THE REPORT:

House Majority Leader, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere presented the report for consideration saying that the bills seeks to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. He said the document is a beautiful one which seeks to enable speedy dispensation of justice and also cause necessary reforms in the justice system of the country.

He argued that the bill is evident that Nigeria is actually moving forward giving kudos to the sponsor of the bill.

Deputy Speake in Chair, Hon Benjamin Kalu said “As a product of the judicial system in our country and a legal practitioner, I commend the intent behind the bill as presented by the leader.

The document which contains 506 clauses, including citation, schedule, explanatory memorandum and long title was approved by the Committee of the Whole.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Audit Ordinance of 1956 and Enact the Federal Audit Service Bill, 2023 to Establish Federal Audit Service, provide additional Powers and Functions of the Auditor –
    General for the Federation, Establish Federal Audit Board and for Related Matters (HB.98) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 25/7/2023.

SYNOPSIS OF THE REPORT:

House Majority Leader Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the consideration of the bill saying that it seeks to repeal the Audit Ordinance Act of 1953 and reenact the Federal Audit Service and all other related matters.

He said for him as an individual, the need to bring about the effectiveness and efficiency, as well as the independent of the audit service in Nigeria is highly commendable, and should be considered as a matter of national urgency.

However, Hon. Chijioke Okereke moved a point of Order asking for the report to be stepped down for more time to enable him go through the document before its consideration.

The Deputy Speaker in Chair urged him to always refer to his rule book which states that e-copies of reports of bills are made available to members ahead of l consideration. He further urged him to always task his Senior Legislative Aide to follow up on relevant documents necessary for his participation in debates on the floor of the House before each plenary session.

Hon. Bamidele Salam reacted to a call for amendment by a colleague that 15 years in private and public sector experience should be a yardstick for appointment into the board, saying that the Bill had actually passed through all the necessary stages and processes before it was recommitted to the House for consideration. Hon Salam said that the clauses should be allowed as they are so as to avoid any further delay in the passage of the Bill.

The Deputy Speaker in Chair, said the concern of the member regarding the Board or its membership was germain. Hon Salam however said he agreed with the second leg of the amendment, but that the Board should remain a Board.

Hon. Kingsley Chinda moved that the 15 years experience should be on accounting and auditing practices and not any other discipline.

Deputy Speaker in Chair, asked what if the person with such an experience is coming from the private sector, saying that such a person coming into the public sector would find him/herself in a new terrain, and as such, 15 years of experience in both private and public sector should be the ideal provision.

He argued further that accounting principles may be the same in both private and public sectors, but the experience may be different.

The amendment of having 15 years experience from both the private and public sectors as criteria for appointment onto the board was agreed on by members.

Hon. Isiaka Ibrahim raised further observation on those to be appointed as ex-officio members who are not subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The Deputy Speaker in Chair, noted that Hon. Ibrahim’s concern is on the definition of ex-officio and should be included in clause 49 stating who is an ex-officio.

Hon. Chinda moved that the provision that confirmation would be by the Senate should be amended to read “confirmation by the National Assembly.” It was seconded by Hon. Makki Yalleman and it was carried. Thus anywhere the word ‘Senate’ appeared was changed to the phrase ‘National Assembly.’

Hon. Ahmed Jaha from Borno raised observation on Clause 9(b) on the nature of service that should produce the chairman of the board. The Deputy Speaker in Chair, explained that given the previous amendment to Clause 4, the chairman has to come from the public sector.

Another amendment was proposed to the effect that a provision which states that staff of the Service should retire after 40 years of service or 60 years of age whichever one is earlier should be changed to conform with the Public Service Rules which provide for 35 years of service and 60 years of age whichever one comes first in retirement.

Hon. Bamidele Salam raised observation
on Clause 35(4) saying that should a resolution of the National Assembly be used to discipline the board or a decision of the Court?

The Deputy Speaker in Chair said Sections 88 and 89 of the constitution has so empowered the National Assembly to summon or invite anyone or organisation to answer questions on matters of public or national importance.

Amendment to 49, the Interpretation Clause was added a proviso to include the definition of ex-officio members. Hon. Bamidele Salam said it was necessary to cure the mischief of having them as other members not appointed by the president and not subject to the confirmation of the National Assembly.

Hon. Chinda explained that ex-officio are usually representatives sent to sit on the board by different relevant professional bodie and are not subject to presidential appointments nor legislative approval.

His explanation was taken as appropriate and incorporated into clause 49 to so mean.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Peace Corps to facilitate Peace, Volunteerism, Community
    Services, Neighbourhood watch and Nation Building and for Related Matters (HB. 309 & 482) and for
    Related Matters (HB.98) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 10/10/2023.

SYNOPSIS OF THE REPORT:

House Majority Leader Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the consideration of the report, saying that the bill seeks to establish the Nigeria Peace Corp with a view to plugging security gaps especially in civil institutions and public places such as schools, shopping malls and leisure centres.

He said: “I’ve been to schools in my former capacity as a lecturer and you have seen how unattended many of our civil facilities are security-wise.”

Clause 4 of the bill was amended by Hon Kingsley Chinda to remove confirmation by the Senate and replace it with the National Assembly.

On clause 5, a member who didn’t introduce himself before speaking said anyone who was disqualified from contesting an election to the House should also not be qualified for appointment as head of the Peace Corps. The amendment was seconded and adopted as carried.

Hon. Isiaka Ibrahim called for amendment on clause 13(2) raising the age requirement for employment into the Corps from 18 to 35, to — from 18 to 40 for inclusiveness. His amendment was rejected by the House on the ground of physical fitness requirements.

The session was brought to a close following a motion by the House Leader for the House to revert back to plenary and report progress. It was seconded by the Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda.


HOUSE IN PLENARY:

The Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu reported activities in the Committee of the Whole. He called on the House Leader to move for the adoption of the report of the Committee of the Whole. He was seconded by the Minority Leader.

The Deputy Speaker also called on the House Leader to move for the suspension of relevant rules to enable the House read the bills for the third time. The leader’s motion was seconded by Minority Leader.

The Deputy Speaker called on the Clerk of the House to read the long titles of the bills. Bills were read for the third time and passed.

The Deputy Speaker commended members for their robust participation in activities of the House. He also commended the Speaker for his commitment and leadership on behalf of the country.

The House subsequently suspended its relevant rules to allow for the Third Reading of the four bills considered and adopted at the Committee of the Whole. The House Leader Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved the motion for their Third Reading, while Minority Leader Hon. Kingsley Chinda seconded the motion. The four bills were then read for the third time and passed.

Adjournment:

The House at 1:59.pm adjourned to Tuesday October 17 by 11:AM following a motion for adjournment moved by the House Leader Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by the Minority Leader Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

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

Comments


Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *