Sunday, December 10, 2023
Ignite the mind.


National Assembly: Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Tue, Oct 17th, 2023.

The Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen presided.


After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Thursday, October 12th, 2023.


ANNOUNCEMENT:

  1. The Minority caucus of the House announced a meeting of the 35 Labour Party members, at meeting room 201 after plenary.

PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Obetta Chidi laid a petition on behalf of Mr. Chika Emmanuel against the bureaucracy of the Supreme Court who are refusing to docket and handle his case on an election matter. He called on the House to enable him get his matter heard.
  2. Hon. Patrick Umoh laid a petition on behalf of a complainant over his allegei wrongful termination of appointment by Mobil Energy limited. He craved the intervention of the House to ensure he gets all his due entitlements and benefits.
  3. Hon. Igariwey Enwo laid a petition on behalf of some complainants on the rejection of the sale of a property they use for transportation within their community, as well the illegal use of the Army to coerce the sale.
  4. Hon. Ime Okon laid a petition on behalf of Mr. Samson Achibong against officers and men of the State Security Service on alleged unethical and wanton action of abuse of power, threat to life and breach of human rights in the constitution. He called for the intervention to enable him get justice.
  5. Hon. Deko from Rivers state laid two petitions on behalf of two different complainants: one is about redress for an alleged fraudulent land agreement against Airtel Nigeria Ltd. The second is the alleged refusal of 4 medical personnel to treat a gunshot victim due to his inability to produce a police report on the matter, which ultimately led to his death. He called on the House to take action on both pressing issues.
  6. Hon. Stainless Nwogu laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against a Director of the FCTA on his alleged abuse of office and failure to declare his assets against the relevant Code of Conduct rules.
  7. Hon. Steve Fatoba laid a petition on behalf of the forum of Non-Governmental Organizations against the Nigeria Ports Authority on alleged vagueness of funds supposed to be in their possession and allegedly expended on specific functions running into billions of Naira that was not duly accounted for.

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


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Terseer Ugbor moved a motion on the urgent need for intervention in the Nigeria-Cameroon banditry crisis and environmental degradation stemming from the discovery and mining of gold in Benue State, and it was seconded by Hon. Muktar Shagaya. Hon. Ugbor in leading the debate stated that the community in Benue State bordering Cameroon has suffered many bandit attacks leaving so many people homeless and stranded.

He bemoaned the spillover of refugees due to the clash between the Anglophone separatists and the Cameroonian military. This he stated has caused a lot of unrest and insecurity.

He further stated that the discovery of gold in the region has brought a new dimension to the insecurity issue in Benue State and if unchecked, it can cause the type of mine-related banditry obtainable in Zamfara State. Hon. Ugbor called on the National Security Adviser to coordinate that Security apparatus to ensure security in the region is maintained. He further called on the Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure illegal immigrants do not cause further clashes.

He also called on the Ministry of Trade to open up the region to legal investment and trade. Hon. Ugbor further called on the Nigeria Refugee Commission to ensure all refugees are duly coordinated not to constitute further discord. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on National Security, as well as that on Interior.

  1. Hon. Kabiru Ahmadu moved a motion on the need to call on security operatives to immediately secure the release of the remaining 30 female students of the Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State who are still in the hands of their captors, and it was seconded by Hon. Chris Nkwonta.

Hon. Ahmadu in leading the debate expressed worry over the fate of the remaining girls in the hands of these bandits. He also bemoaned the gruesome manner in which these bandits continue to terrorize citizens in the Northwest region. He called on the Chief of Defense Staff and the Inspector General of Police to immediately ensure the release of the girls from the bandits and that the relevant Committees of the House should ensure compliance.

Hon. Inuwa Garba in his contribution stated that the situation is disturbing as academic institutions seem unsafe as is the intention of the bandits, especially in the Northern region of Nigeria. He appealed to the Northern Governors to call a high stake meeting to ensure this menace is nipped for the good of girl child education as they seem to be the primary targets of these bandits.

Hon. Bappa Misau bemoaned the wide spread of these types of abductions in different parts of Northern Nigeria. He called on the House to compel the security agencies to be more proactive in carrying out their duties of ensuring safety of Nigerians. He frowned at all incidences of treating these bandits with kid gloves.

Hon. Etabnabene Ben called for the establishment of State/community policing to fish out local bandits. He also advocated for local government autonomy where the Chairmen and Councillors can stand as the chief security officers of the locality and coordinate security at the grassroots. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Legislative Compliance, Defense, Army, Airforce as well as that on Police.


MATTER OF PERSONAL EXPLANATION:

Hon. Sada Soli reiterated the need for Honourable members to get due notice and details of Bills so that members can make informed contribution during debate. The Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen appreciated the concern of Hon. Soli but stated that the volume of Bills as the House is new is a bit much. He however assured that as time goes on, it will all be sorted out and that any Bill for second reading that does not allow for due notice and details will not be allowed for debate.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act, (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.627) (Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and Hon. Enitan Badru) – First Reading.
  2. Federal University of Agriculture and Entrepreneurship, Saki, Oyo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.628) (Hon. Francis Ejiroghene Waive) – First Reading.
  3. Chartered Institute of Loan and Risk Management of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.629) (Hon. Ugbonna Ozurigbo) – First Reading.
  4. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.630) (Hon. Ugbonna Ozurigbo) – First Reading.
  5. Federal University of Agriculture, Lavun, Niger State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.631) (Hon. Joshua Audu Gana) – First Reading.
  6. Nigerian National Volunteer Service (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.632) (Hon. Joshua Audu Gana) – First Reading.
  7. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.633) (Hon. Anamero Dekeri) – First Reading.
  8. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.634) (Hon. Anamero Dekeri) – First Reading.
  9. Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.635) (Hon. Akintunde Rotimi) – First Reading.
  10. Federal Institute of Technology, Ikpoba-Okha, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.636) (Hon. Murphy Osaro Omoruyi) – First Reading.
  11. Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.637) (Hon. Mark Useni) – First Reading.
  12. Federal University Teaching Hospital, Wukari (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.638) (Hon. Mark Useni) – First Reading.
  13. Ibile Entrepreneur University (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.639) (Hon. Babajimi Benson & Hon. Kalejaiye Adeboye) – First Reading.
  14. Federal University of Oil and Gas Technology, Ubeta, Rivers State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.640) (Hon. Victor Obuzor) – First Reading
  15. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.641) (Hon. Victor Obuzor) – First Reading.
  16. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.642) (Hon. Alex Egbona) – First Reading.
  17. National Land Transport Regulatory Authority (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.643) (Hon. Alex Egbona) – First Reading.
  18. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.644) (Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa) – First Reading.
  19. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.645) (Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa) – First Reading.
  20. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB.646) (Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo) – First Reading.
  21. Federal Polytechnics Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 647) (Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo) – First Reading.
  22. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 648) (Hon. Muktar Shagaya) – First Reading.
  23. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.649) (Hon. Ukodhiko Ajirioghene Jonathan) – First Reading.
  24. Federal University of Agriculture, Erawha- Owhe, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.650) (Hon. Ukodhiko Ajirioghene Jonathan) – First Reading.
  25. Federal College of Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition, Kano State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.651) (Hon. Sagir Ibrahim Soki) – First Reading.
  26. Nigerian Almajiri Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.652) (Hon. Sagir Ibrahim Soki) – First Reading.
  27. Nigerian Institute of Agriculturists (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.653) (Hon. Alli Adeyemi Taofeek) – First Reading.
  28. National Institute of Construction Technology and Management, Itele, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.654) (Hon. Joseph Folorunsho Adegbesan) – First Reading.
  29. National Institute for Oil Palm Research, Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.655) (Hon. Joseph Folorunsho Adegbesan) – First Reading
  30. Federal Universities of Agriculture Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.656) (Hon. Kelechi Nwogu) – First Reading.
  31. Federal Universities of Technology Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.657) (Hon. Kelechi Nwogu) –First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT:

Ad–hoc Committee on the Screening and Confirmation of Nominees for Appointments as Chairman and Members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board:

Hon. Erhiatake Ibori Suenu:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee on the Screening and Confirmation of Nominees for Appointments as Chairman and Members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board” (Referred: 10/10/2023).

The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Ibori Suenu and seconded by Hon. Ayodeji Alaoakala.


ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  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) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved for the third reading of the Bill, and it was seconded by Hon. Benjamin Kalu. The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading and passed.

  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) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Benjamin Kalu. The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal Capital Territory Education Resources Centre charged with the Responsibility to among other things, Plan and Implement Curriculum measures and Evaluate Students and other applicants for placement into Schools under the Administration of the Federal Capital Territory and for Related Matters (HB. 10) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu and six others) – Second Reading.

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

  1. A Bill for an Act to provide for Establishment of the Nigerian Authors Trust Fund to provide Financial Aid to Authors and Aspiring Authors in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 14) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – Second Reading.

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


MOTIONS:

  1. Construction of Water Treatment Plant in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State:

Hon. Halims Abdullahi Ibrahim:

The House:

Notes that ANKPA Local Government Area out of 23 Local Government Areas in Kogi State, is the second most populated with a projected population of around 359,300 people;

Also notes that Ankpa and its communities are in urgent need of basic amenities and infrastructure to meet the needs of their population;

Aware that the Mabolo River is the sole source of water for Ankpa Township and its surrounding areas, with a 70s military-constructed treatment plant that has been destroyed;

Concerned that the collapse of Ankpa water supply led to residents constructing boreholes as an alternative, but was unsuccessful due to the area’s geological conditions, thus leaving residents to use the polluted Mabolo River in Ogaji for self-sufficiency, despite the high risk of water-borne diseases;

Disturbed that the high demand for water in the area has led to the proliferation of boreholes which dry up after a year;

Cognizant of the need for the construction of a water treatment plant from the Mabolo River to address the perennial water scarcity in Ankpa and eradicate waterborne diseases;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to ensure adequate funding for the construction of a comprehensive water treatment plant and reticulation of the water from the water treatment plant to Ankpa and its surrounding communities; and

(ii) mandate the Committees on Water Resources and Appropriations to include the Construction of a Water Treatment Plant in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State in the 2024 budget estimates.

Debate:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved the motion to construct a water treatment plant in Ankpa local government area of Kogi State, and it was seconded by Hon. Ogbara Kafilat. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Water Resources, as well as that on Appropriations.

  1. Reopening of Maigatari, Kongwalam and Illela Borders:

Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki:

The House:

Notes that the border towns of Maigatari in Jigawa State, Kongwalam in Katsina State and Illela in Sokoto State, as well as Kano State, are known for their large markets where large-scale international trades take place between Nigerians and people from Niger, Mali, Chad, Cameroon and other neighbouring countries;

Aware that as part of the sanctions on the Niger military junta by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Nigerian Government closed all its land borders with the Republic of Niger;

Concerned that as a result of the border closure, movements across the borders and within the communities as well as socio-economic activities and Cross-border trades, especially Kano which is the centre of commerce in the North have been grounded to a halt, causing indescribable hardships to the people, causing hatred between them and the neighbouring Nigerien citizens;

Also concerned that the resultant hardships from the border closure have given rise to smuggling activities, with an increasing number of the youth in the affected communities getting involved, with some lured into terrorism and criminal activities, which could potentially worsen insecurity in Nigeria;

Cognizant that if the borders are reopened and the cross-border markets well regulated, it would promote peaceful and cordial relations between Nigeria and her immediate neighbours and thus stem the scourge of smuggling and other trans-border crimes which have negatively affected the nation’s economy and image;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to reopen the Maigatari, Mai’Aduwa, Kongwalam and Illela Borders, respectively;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Customs and Excise to ensure implementation.

Debate:

Hon. Aliyu Madaki moved a motion on reopening of Maigatari, Kongwalam and Illela borders and it was seconded by Hon. Abubakar Yalleman. An amendment was proposed to prayer 1 to include Kamba in Kebbi State to the prayer.

Hon. Jamo Aminu proposed an amendment to add that the Customs officers should stop harassing innocent business people at the borders. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Customs and Excise.

  1. Investigation of Alleged Mismanagement of COVID-19 Intervention Funds from 2020 to 2022:

Hon. Nyampa Dauda Zakari:

The House:

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 that the Federal Government of Nigeria initiated several measures 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 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 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government from 2020 to 2022 and report back within 4 weeks for further legislative action

Debate:

Hon. Nyampa Zakari moved the motion on the investigation of alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds from 2020 to 2022, and it was seconded by Hon. Dachung Bagos. Hon. Ahmed Jaha commended the spirit of the motion as the amount expended in combatting Covid-19 in Nigeria was humongous and could have easily done much more for each local government in Nigeria.

He queried the mismanagement and diversion of funds meant to battle the pandemic for other issues. Hon. Jaha called on the House to investigate the issue thoroughly. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Public Accounts.

  1. Abandonment of the Kaduna Eastern Bypass Project:

Hon. Hussaini Mohammed Jallo:

The House:

Notes that the proposed Kaduna Eastern Bypass Project is expected to be a massive 48 kilometres stretch of road that connects the Kaduna Metropolis with the Federal Capital Territory and about 11 other States in the country;

Also notes that the contract for the construction of the road was initially awarded in 2002 to an indigenous firm at the cost of 16 Billion Naira, but was later abandoned until 2017 when the Federal Government upscale the cost to N38.19 Billion and set the deadline for completion at 2021;

Aware that in 2019, the Federal Executive Council considered and approved an augmentation to increase the contract with the sum of N36.459 billion, thus bringing the total cost of the project to N74.649 billion;

Also aware that after the train attack of March 2022, the contractor suspended work on the first section of the road citing security threats;

Concerned that despite the huge funds dedicated to the construction of the road and obvious improvement of the security in the area the project remains abandoned to date;

Cognizant that road infrastructure is critical to the development and prosperity of the people and the country as a whole;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure completion of the Kaduna Eastern Bypass Project;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Works to investigate the release and utilisation of the funds approved for construction of the Kaduna Eastern Bypass from 2017 to date to ensure that all factors frustrating the completion of the project are resolved and the project is completed within the shortest time, and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Hussaini Jallo moved the motion on the abandonment of the Kaduna Eastern bypass project and it was seconded by Hon. Olumide Osoba. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works.

  1. Call on the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to Cover Vulnerable Nigerians:

Hon. Bashiru Ayinla Dawodu:

The House:

Notes that social economic development is not achievable without access to quality and affordable healthcare;

Also notes that the World Health Assembly in 2005 adopted Universal Health coverage as part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) Agenda 2030;

Aware that after 23 years, only 5 Million Nigerians have enrolled in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) while over 70% per cent pay out of pocket for health care;

Worried that over 83 Million vulnerable populations comprising pregnant women, children under five years, persons with special needs, and the elderly are most affected, thus Nigeria is unable to meet the targets of universal coverage, thus increasing the rate of out-of-pocket health expenditure;

Cognizant that the health care crisis cannot be resolved without Universal Health care coverage which cannot be achieved without meeting the target of the National Health Insurance;

Regrets that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act of 2022 mandates Health Insurance for all citizens and legal residents which has failed;

Concerned that in 2022 NNPC spent N.4 Trillion ($9.7B) on fuel subsidy and N3.6 Trillion in 6 months of 2023;

Also concerned that it costs about 5 Billion to cover 5 Million persons annually at the rate of NI 5,000 per person;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to allocate part of the Fuel subsidy removal savings to the vulnerable Health fund;

(ii) also urge the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to ensure implementation and monitoring; and

(iii) also mandate the Committees on Health Institutions and Finance to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Bashiru Dawodu moved the motion on the call on the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to cover vulnerable Nigerians, and it was seconded by Hon. Kelechi Nwogu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Healthcare Services, as well as that on Finance.

  1. Alleged Intimidation, Assault and Trespass by the Nigerian Army, Epe Barracks Regarding Land Tussle with Iraye-Oke Community in Epe Federal Constituency of Lagos State:

Hon.Tasir Olawale Raji:

The House:

Notes that a petition against the Nigerian Army, Epe Barracks by the Iraye-Oke community over acts of intimidation, assault and trespass of 329.588 hectares of land was presented before the House on October 4, 2023, for investigation and resolution;

Concerned that since the petition, soldiers from Epe barracks have embarked on forceful acquisition of the people’s houses, lands and fishing ponds by extending the fence of the Army barracks to cover these properties, and stationing armed soldiers at the perimeters, thus denying the owners access of their properties;

Also concerned that the people now live in constant fear of attack from the Nigerian Army as many of them have fled their homes and farmlands which is their major source of livelihood;

Worried that if the Nigerian Army is not prevented from carrying out further acts of intimidation, harassment and acquisition of Iraye-Oke communal land pending the resolution of the petition before the House, the people may suffer irreparable damages;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Chief of Army Staff to order the men of the Nigerian Army, especially those at Epe Barracks to refrain from further acts of harassment, intimidation and acquisition of Iraye-Oke communal land pending the resolution of the land dispute by the House of Representatives;

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

Debate:

Hon. Wale Raji moved the motion on the alleged intimidation, assault and trespass by the Nigerian Army, Epe barracks regarding land tussle with Iraye-Oke community in Epe Federal Constituency of Lagos State, and it was seconded by Hon. Ambarura.

Hon. Dominic Okafor proposed an amendment to prayer 2 to incorporate the House Committee on Public Petitions to the prayer of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Army.

  1. Implementation of Integrated and Sustainable Urban Development and Physical Planning Across the States of the Federation:

Hon. Philip Agbese:​

The House:

Notes that Urban Development and Physical Planning are modern strategies aimed at creating sustainable, resilient settlements that correspond with the local situation;

Also notes that half of Nigeria’s population lives in overpopulated urban centres due to heavy rural-urban migration, leading to slums that don’t meet modern urban settlement standards;

Further notes that most Nigerian cities lack standard master plans for development, and when they do, they are done in isolation without considering their effects on the neighbouring states;

Observes that the planned cities have deviated from the original master plans where residential areas are being converted to industrial and commercial areas without proper environmental impact assessment to ascertain the hazards and ways to mitigate them;

Worried that most Nigerian cities have transformed into slums, thus serving as breeding grounds and safe havens for criminals;

Cognizant that climate change, particularly global warming and its attendant effects, has devastated states across the nation and will be more severe if an integrated approach to urban and physical planning is not implemented;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to collaborate with states’ Urban Development Departments to develop a comprehensive integrated urban development plan; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Urban Development and Physical Planning to ensure Compliance and report back within four (4) weeks.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Growing Insecurity in Aleiro, Gwandu and Jega Federal Constituency of Kebbi State:

Hon Mansur Musa:

The House:

Notes that the security of lives and properties is the primary responsibility of the Government;

Concerned about the growing insecurity in Aleiro, Gwandu and Jega Federal Constituency of Kebbi State, which includes kidnapping, cattle rustling and organized crime, among others;

Also concerned that the situation has created tension, fear and prejudice in the minds of the people as an uncountable number of them have fled their homes for fear of being attacked, leaving their means of livelihood;

Worried that the incessant attacks on the people, especially on the roads, have adversely affected socio-economic activities in the area making the movement of goods and services to the market difficult;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force to collaborate with other security agencies to fight crime and provide adequate security in Aleiro, Gwandu and Jega Federal Constituency of Kebbi State;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Army, Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Mansur Musa moved the motion on the growing insecurity in Aleiro, Gwandu and Jega Federal Constituency of Kebbi State, and it was seconded by Hon. Ajilo Umar. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Army, Police Affairs, as well as that on National Security.

  1. Non–Remittance of Three Per cent (3%) Annual Operational Expenditure (OPEX) to Oil and Gas Producing Host Communities (IOCs):

Hon. Victor Obuzor:

The House:

Notes that Section 240 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) stipulates that Oil and Gas Companies should remit 3% of their annual operational expenditure to Oil and Gas producing host Communities via the Host Community Development Trust Fund;

Also notes that the main objective is to foster sustainable prosperity within Host Communities, provide direct social and economic benefits and enhance harmonious co-existence;

Concerned that two years after the coming into effect of the Petroleum Industry Act, Oil Producing Companies have deliberately refused to make the necessary remittance as mandated by the PIA, thus sparking agitation within the Host Communities as they are feeling shortchanged;

Aware that the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), which is mandated to facilitate speedy implementation of the 3% OPEX has awarded a penalty of $1,825 Million to the defaulting oil companies, which is to be paid at the rate of N52,500 per day as stipulated by the Petroleum Industry Act;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to revoke the licenses of defaulting IOCs for violation of extant Laws and protocols of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Green House Gas (GHG);

(ii) mandate the Committees on Host Communities Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Petroleum Resources (Midstream) to investigate the non-remittance of 3% of their annual operational expenditure to the Host Community Development Trust Fund by International Oil Companies (IOCs) and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Victor Obuzor moved the motion on non-remittance of three percent (3%) Annual Operational Expenditure (OPEX) to oil and gas producing host communities by some (IOCs), and it was seconded by Hon. Bamidele Salam. Hon. Wale Raji proposed an amendment to delete prayer 1 as it contradicts prayer 2 and seems preemptive of the investigation.

Hon. Sada Soli in contributing to the debate wondered why after the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), IOCs still seek to flaunt the provision of the PIA. He called on the National Assembly to ensure the relevant agency that should enforce this provision does its job. The Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, urged relevant Committees of the House to ensure they sanction erring agencies and use the stick instead of the carrot at times.

Hon. George Ozodinobi proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Gas Resources into the prayer of the motion

Hon. Ibrahim Aliyu proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) into the prayer of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committees on Host Communities, Petroleum Resources (Upstream/Downstream), as well as that on Gas.

  1. Controlling the Flood Ravaging Ado–Odo/Ota Federal Constituency of Ogun State:

Hon. Akinosi Olatunji:

The House:

Notes that devastating floods in Ado-Odo/Ota Federal Constituency, Ogun State, have submerged homes and displaced families, particularly along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway;
Also notes that the Lagos-Abeokuta Federal Highway serves as a vital link for business activities connecting Ogun State to Western states.

Further notes that the flood, which displaced inhabitants and disrupted business activities along the highway, is beyond the State government’s control and requires urgent Federal intervention.

Worried that critical infrastructure such as roads and electricity, schools, and hospitals will be destroyed and residents may lose their homes and other sources of livelihood if the flood is not contained;

Also worried that if the flood menace is not urgently controlled, sections of the road will be destroyed, thus, leading to total cut-off of vehicular movement in neighboring South-West States;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Environment, Ecological Fund Office and the Federal Ministry of Works to tackle the menace of flooding and erosion in Ado-Odo/Ota Federal Constituency of Ogun State;

(ii) also urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to affected victims;

(iii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Works to commence repairs and re-construction of affected roads;

(iv) Set up a National Emergency Management Agency Station in Ado-Odo/Ota Federal Constituency of Ogun State to assist residents in the event of an emergency that could lead to loss of lives and properties; and

(v) mandate the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Akinosi Olatunji moved the motion on controlling the flood ravaging Ado–Odo/Ota Federal Constituency of Ogun State, and it was seconded by Hon. Suleiman Abubakar, who also proposed an amendment to prayer 5 to incorporate the House Committee on Works to the prayer of the motion.

Hon. Ogbara Kafilat further proposed an amendment to prayer 4 to “mandate” NEMA, not “set up” NEMA as it already has offices in all these affected local government areas.

Hon. Babajimi Benson further proposed an amendment to prayer 5 to call on the House Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

The motion was voted on adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on National Emergency Management Agency, Works, Disaster Preparedness as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Re-activate Sapele, Warri, Koko and Burutua Sea Port in Delta State:

Hon. Etanbene Benedict:

The House:

Notes that the maritime industry contributes significant revenue to Nigeria’s economy and supports both local and international trade, which is crucial for global economic stability;

Also notes the Lagos seaports’ overdependence has caused hardship for shippers, importers, and maritime businesses. Cargo clearance, which takes 21 days to 3 months at both Apapa and Tin Can seaports, has resulted in a significant revenue loss annually, thus Reviving Sapele, Warri, Koko, and Burutu seaports is urgently needed;

Aware that enhancing Nigeria’s economy and diversification, reviving the Sapele, Warri, Koko, and Burutu seaports in Delta State is crucial to eliminating logistics issues and inconveniences faced by Lagos seaports;

Also aware that the re-activation of the Sapele, Warri, Koko, and Burutu seaports will create employment for our teeming unemployed youth in Nigeria, increase the revenue generation drive of the country and improve the social and economic well-being of the communities within the seaports;

Cognizant that the revival of Sapele, Warri, Koko, and Burutu seaports will significantly boost Nigeria’s economy, facilitating product exports, attracting foreign direct investments, and integrating into global value chains;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Nigeria Ports Authority to commence its activities in the above-mentioned Ports; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Ports and Harbour to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Etabnabene Benedict moved the motion on the need to re-activate
Sapele, Warri, Koko and Burutua sea port in Delta State, and it was seconded by Hon. Nicholas Mutu. Hon. Benedict also proposed an amendment to incorporate “commercial activities” into prayer 1 of the motion and that any importer should be free to use any functioning seaport in Nigeria for business activities.

Hon. Paul Haruna proposed an amendment calling for the activation of Lokoja and Ida ports in Kogi State, as well as the dredging of the River Niger to boost the economy of the region.

Hon. Chris. Nkwonta proposed an amendment to incorporate Calabar and Port Harcourt seaports into the prayer of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Ports and Harbor, as well as that on Works.

  1. Declaration of State of Emergency on East-West Road and Return the Road Construction to the Ministry Of Niger Delta Development:

Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo:

The House:

Notes that the 338km East-West road Dualization project linking Warri to Oron through Kaiama, Ahoada, Port Harcourt, Ogoni and Eket was awarded in 2006 by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo for the development and opening up of the entire Niger Delta region to the industrial South West region;

Also notes that from 2006 to 2009 the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing achieved only 8% work on Road before former President Umaru Musa Yaradua transferred it to the Ministry of Niger Delta as a flagship project;

Further notes that from 2009 to 2021, the Ministry of Niger Delta Development was able to drive the project to 80% completion, sourcing additional funding from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) and a loan from the African Development Bank (AFDB) which resulted in the completion of:

(a) Section I (Warri – Kaiama) – 87km
(b) Section I-II (Port Harcourt – Ahoada) 47km
(c) Section III (Onne Junction – Eket) 84km.

Aware that the Ministry of Niger Delta Development obtained approvals for the redesign and award of contract for the 15km Eleme Junction to Onne Junction and the 9.75km Eket Bypass respectively;

Also aware that the Reconstruction/Upgrading of the 15km between Eleme Junction-Onne Port Junction was redesigned in 2014 from 4-lane to 6-lane dual carriageway with flyovers at Onne Port, Refinery and Elelenwon junctions and the construction of dual carriageway 9.75km Eket Bypass were all conceived by the Ministry of Niger Delta Development to decongest the Eket urban area in 2019;

Further aware that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari did not place priority on the East-West road project, as allocation by the Budget Office of the federation was barely enough to cover the salaries and overhead expenditure of the Ministry; and as a result of poor releases between 2015 and 2021, completion was further delayed and resulted in the contracts unit rates becoming obsolete due to inflation;

Again aware that the envelop budgeting system currently being practiced, from which salaries and overhead expenditures of the MDAs are executed cannot deliver the East-West road to completion, particularly because the Ministry of Niger Delta Development had to source extra-budgetary interventions from SURE-P and African Development Bank between 2012 and 2015 to enable it complete Sections I and III of the road;

Convinced that the non-completion of the East-West Road is not linked to issues of technicality or lack of competence, but funding; and as such, for the Road to be completed there is a need for a Presidential declaration of state of emergency on it, as demonstrated in the construction of 2nd Niger Bridge and other laudable projects, whereby the President has to secure special funding for the road project;

Cognizant that the transfer of the East-West road project from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to the Ministry of Niger Delta Development in 2009 had the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval and Federal Ministry of Justice input; whereas the handover from the Ministry of Niger Delta Development to Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in 2022 has no FEC approval;

Also convinced that the Ministry of Works which is grappling with over 4000 kilometres of road construction nationwide would be hard-pressed with funding for the numerous projects under its purview and as such, may not be able to meet the funding demand of the East-West Road project.

Informed that on the request of the Ministry of Niger Delta Development, the Federal Ministry of Finance through the Debt Management Office (DMO) made provision for the sum of N10.4 billion under the 2021 SUKUK Bond issuance and that the N10.4 billion was accessed by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, yet no work has been done on the project to date, apparently because of lack of commitment as against the total commitment from the Ministry of Niger Delta Development.

Concerned that the Federal Government was ill-informed to conceive taking away the East-West road project from the Ministry of Niger Delta Development which was not only able to achieve 80% completion with limited funding but also had the technical expertise and competence as well as the blueprint of the East-West Road.

Also informed that the Ministry of Niger Delta Development before the handover to the Federal Ministry of Works in 2022 had planned to intensify the search for funding sources to complete the remaining sections II –II (Ahoada to Kaiama), IIIA (Eleme Junction to Onne Port Junction), IV (Eket to Oron) and Eket Bypass, by the first quarter of 2023.
Worried that if the construction of the East–West road for the people of the Niger Delta region is not completed, the socio-economic benefits for the people of the Niger Delta will be continually eroded.

Resolves to:

(i) urge the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to:
(a) declare a state of emergency on the East-West Road;

(b) convene a National Stakeholders Summit involving all the Governors of the Niger Delta Region, the NNPCL and all International Oil Companies, etc. to among other things, commit to creating a regional endowment fund for the speedy completion of the East-West Road and avoid unending variations; and

(ii)​ mandate the Committee on Niger Delta Ministry to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo moved the motion on the need for the declaration of a state of emergency on East-West road and return the road construction to the Ministry Of Niger Delta Development, and it was seconded by Hon. Famous Osawaru. Hon. Martins Esin proposed an amendment to prayer 2 to mandate the House Committee on NDDC to ensure compliance.

Hon. Olumide Osoba proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance with the prayers of the motion.

Hon. Abubakar Fulata proposed an amendment to prayer 2 and call on the Ministry of Works to handle it and not the Niger Delta Ministry. The Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen reminded him that the motion is advisory and knows that the Executive will do the needful when and where necessary. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Niger Delta Ministry, Niger Delta Development Commission as well as that on Works.


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

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Chartered Institute of Agribusiness Management of Nigeria to promote the practice and professionalism of Agribusiness in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB.138) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 27/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims stated that the Bill seeks to establish the above mentioned Institute to ensure professionalism in agribusiness management to ensure profitability in the agricultural sector and break the over dependence on oil.

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 1-20

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Chartered Institute of Digital Forensics of Nigeria to Regulate the Practice, including Qualification, Training, and Skill-Set of Digital Forensics among its Members, and to Determine the Standards of Knowledge and Skills to be Attained by Persons Seeking to become Registered Members of the Profession and for Related Matters (HB.140) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 27/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims stated that the Bill seeks to establish the chartered institute in digital forensics to ensure standard delivery in the highly technical and sensitive practice of digital forensic investigation.

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 1-24

  1. Ad–hoc Committee on the Screening and Confirmation of Nominees Appointments as Chairman and Members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board:

Hon. Erhiatake Ibori Suenu:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee on the Screening and Confirmation of Nominees Appointments as Chairman and Members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board and approve the recommendation therein” (Laid: 17/10/2023).

Confirm the appointment of the nominees as Chairman and Members of the Niger Delta Development Commission Board.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Ibori Suenu stated that the report was as a result of the communication from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the House to, in conjunction with the Senate sit to confirm the appointment of the Chairman and Members of the Niger Delta Development Commission Board. She stated that joint Ad-Hoc Committee sat and deliberated extensively. Hon. Suenu assured the Committee of the Whole of extensive work done and urged it to adopt the recommendation.

Summary of voting:
Recommendation voted on and approved: 1


HOUSE IN PLENARY:

The House reverted to plenary and adopted the report of the committee of the Whole following a motion by Rep. Abdullahi Halims and seconded by Hon. Aliyu Madaki.


Adjournment:

The House at 15:27 PM adjourned plenary to Wednesday, October 18th 2023 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Abdullahi Halims and seconded by the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Aliyu Madaki.

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

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