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Nigeria Parliamentary proceedings – House of Reps, Wed, Oct., 25th, 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 Tuesday, October 24th, 2023.


ANNOUNCEMENT:

  1. Hon. Ali Isa JC announced that all Honourable Members having issues with their Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIP) should come to Office Suite 4.15.

Administration of Oath of allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Oath of Office of a Member of the House of Representatives on 2 Members-elect:

  1. Hon. Jafar Abubakar Magaji (Adamawa State APC).
  2. Hon. Abubakar Baba Zango (Adamawa State APC).

PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Abdullahi Balarabe laid a petition on behalf of the Parent-Teachers Association of a Model School in his community over alleged unlawful disqualification of students from the benefits of the scholarship program due to them. They asked the House to intervene in granting them justice.
  2. Hon. Clement Jumbo laid a petition on behalf of National Identity Management Commission on the alleged exclusion of 2022 retirees from their rightful benefits. They demanded for their due compensation and payment of benefits.
  3. Hon. Amos Asawaru laid 4 petitions on behalf of different complainants against:
    I. The Minister of Power;
    II. Against the Inspector General of Police;
    III. The alleged exclusion of a community from the benefits of a host community in the oil producing region of the State;
    IV. The alleged infringement of contractual agreement by a company.

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


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Kama Nkemkanma moved a motion on the reversal of the 11 Billion arbitration awarded in favor of Nigeria against P&IB, and it was seconded by Hon. Umar Ajido.

Hon. Kama in leading the debate stated that the judgement made in the United Kingdom is to promote the expected project for building of gas pipeline in Calabar, Cross River State and other benefits. He stated that the entire process of the proposed contract was grossed in shoddiness and praised the British Court and Judge for seeing through it.

He congratulated all Nigerians for the victory and called on the House Committee on Justice and that on Financial Crimes to investigate the content of the deal and report back to the House. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Justice, as well as that on Financial Crimes.

  1. Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka moved a motion on the call to declare the flooding of some communities in Ogun State as a national disaster, and it was seconded by Hon. Chinedu Ogah.

Hon. Isiaka in moving the motion bemoaned the precarious situation in the area and called on the Federal government to declare the area a national disaster. He further called on the National Emergency Management Agency to provide relief to the displaced. He then called on the Ministry of Works to rehabilitate the roads in the region to mitigate the flooding effects and hinder future occurrences, and that the Ministry of Environment should ensure that necessary impact assessments is carried out with a view to fully rehabilitating the region.

Hon. Isiaka called on the House Committee on Works, as well as that on Appropriations to ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committees on Works, Appropriations, as well as that on Legislative Compliance.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. National Institute for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.740) (Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – First Reading.
  2. Anti – Dumping and Countervailing Bill, 2023 (HB.741) (Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – First Reading.
  3. Nigerian Marine Coast Guard Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.742) (Hon. Francis Waive and Hon. Aliyu Wakili Boya) – First Reading.
  4. Nigerian Civil Defence Academy (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.743) (Hon. Ahmad Sani Muhammad and Nine others) – First Reading.
  5. Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery, Oke- Igbo, Ondo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.744) (Hon. Adefiranye Ayodele Festus) – First Reading.
  6. African Avition and Aerospace University, Abuja (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.745) (Hon. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  7. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.746) (Hon. Dabo Ismaila Haruna) – First Reading.
  8. Librarians (Registration, etc.) Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.747) (Hon. Dennis Idahosa) – First Reading.
  9. National Inland Waterways Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.748) (Hon. Dennis Idahosa) – First Reading.
  10. Nigerian Airspace Management Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.749) (Hon. Dennis Idahosa) – First Reading.
  11. National Water Resources Institute Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.750) (Hon. Dennis Idahosa) – First Reading.
  12. Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.751) (Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi) – First Reading.
  13. Nigerian Solid Minerals Company (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.752) (Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi) – First Reading.
  14. Chartered Institute of Mentoring and Life Coaching of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.753) (Hon. Alex Egbona) – First Reading.
  15. Maritime Security Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.754) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  16. Immigration Service Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.755) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  17. Chartered Institute of Paramedic Studies (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.756) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  18. Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.757) (Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong –Udo) – First Reading.
  19. Labour Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.758) (Hon. Whingan Sesi Oluwaseun) – First Reading.
  20. Pension Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 759) (Hon. Whingan Sesi Oluwaseun) – First Reading.
  21. National Water Resources Institute (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.760) (Hon. Sadiq Ango Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  22. Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.761) (Hon. Mohammed Bello E-Rufai) – First Reading.
  23. Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.762) (Hon. Mohammed Bello E-Rufai) – First Reading.
  24. Centre for Rainforest Agriculture, Ugwogo-Nike, Enugu State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.763) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.
  25. National Institute for Technical and Vocational Education, Fagge, Kano State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.764) (Hon. Muhammad Bello Shehu) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT:

Ad-hoc Committee to Conduct a Comprehensive Investigation into the Consistent Failure of the Contractor to fulfil the Contract Obligations:

Hon. Kwamoti B. Laori:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee to Conduct a Comprehensive Investigation into the Consistent failure of the Contractor to fulfil the Contract Obligations Focusing on the Construction and Rehabilitation of the Olomi Olajouro Road referred to as the Ijebu–Igbo Ita, Ibadan Road” (HR. 109/07/2023) (Referred:26/7/2023).

The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Kwamoti Laori and seconded by Hon. Jafaru Magaji.


ORDERS OF THE DAY:

MOTIONS:

  1. Need to Investigate Financial Interventions in the Power Sector Amounting to Trillions of Naira:

Hon. Ademorin A. Kuye:

The House:

Notes that the Federal Government in 2013 unbundled the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, (PHCN), and sold 18 utility firms to private investors resulting in six generation companies (GenCos) and eleven distribution companies (DisCos);

Also notes that the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector was necessary due to the failure of the defunct Power Holding Company to attract investments, but the industry did not meet Nigerians expectation;

Observes that the Federal Government has spent over seven trillion Naira on direct interventions in the power sector, despite privatizing the industry since November 2013. This includes the Presidential Power Initiative, a strategic approach to address Nigeria’s unreliable and inadequate electricity supply;

Also observes that if not for the interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of over N1.3 trillion, Nigerian power would have collapsed due to liquidity, poor performance, suppressed tariffs and lack of infrastructure at the transmission and distribution ends, weak regulations and oversight;

Aware that since the privatization, the power sector has undergone various financial interventions, including those from International Donor Agencies:

(i) the World Bank which approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of the sum of $486 million aimed at upgrading the wheeling capacity of the Nigerian electricity transmission grid, including the rehabilitation and expansion of transmission substations across Nigeria;

(ii) the African Development Bank (AFDB) provide a facility of the sum of $300 million to the TCN for the purpose of expansion and rehabilitation of existing northern corridor transmission lines particularly in the north-west and north-central regions;

(iii) the French Development Agency provided facility of $170 million for Transmission infrastructure expansion around Abuja metropolis and neighbouring States;

(iv) Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided a facility of $238 million for Transmission infrastructure expansion within the southwest region of Nigeria;

(v) Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided a facility of $13 million for power improvement along Apo and Keffi in Nasarawa State, northcentral Nigeria;

(vi) Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also again provided a facility of $21 million for the Rehabilitation and upgrade of Apapa road 132KV substation and rehabilitation of Akangba 330KV substation;

(vii) European Union (EU) provided facility of €25 million for electricity transmission infrastructure along the northern corridor, particularly around the north-west and north-central regions of Nigeria etc;

Others include the German government, the UK’s Department for International Development, and Siemens Energy are among the various agencies which have provided financial support for some projects;

Concerned that revenue generation and collection have been the major challenge of the power sector in that the DisCos laments over revenue shortfalls attributed to low electricity tariff or that electricity revenue may be accruing to the wrong accounts;

Also concerned that out of the eleven DisCos in Nigeria, banks have taken over six which are AEDC, KADECO, KEDCO, BEDC, IBEDC and PHEDC due to poor financial performance and management;

Aware that the Aggregate Technical and Commercial Collection (ATC&C) loss is an actual measure of the performance of a power distribution system as it includes both technical losses and commercial losses. It shows the gap between input energy into the system and the units for which the payment is collected;

Informed that improved ATC&C loss reduction would be achieved if Discos adopted a combination of other strategies that would ensure reduction in technical and commercial losses in addition to aggressive deployment of meter assets;

Concerned that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)’s performance as an industry regulator is questioned for its ability to move the industry forward and eliminate illiquidity;

Disturbed that the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry faces threat due to the poor performance and transparency of DISCOs and the NERC’s ability to sanction erring stakeholders;

Also worried that the National Power Grid has collapsed over seven times this year, despite the huge investment in the power sector which explains the persistent electricity shortage in the country;

Believes that a reliable electricity supply will significantly enhance living standards by promoting job creation and stimulating other economic sectors like commerce and industries;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committee on Power to investigate all the financial interventions in the power sector since privatisation with a view to determine whether the funds were judiciously utilised and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Ademorin Kuye moved the motion on the need to investigate the financial interventions in the power sector amounting to trillions of Naira, and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Ambarura. Hon. Abdul proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Finance to the prayers of the motion.

Hon. Babajimi Benson also proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Privatization and Commercialization to the prayers of the motion.

Hon. Abubakar Fulata proposed an amendment calling on the House Committee on Power to further investigate the extent of the violation of the terms of the privatization of the power sector by the GENCOs and DISCOs. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the relevant Committees of the House.

  1. Need to Receive the 2021 Oil and Gas Industry Report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in line with Section 4(3) of the NEITI Act:

Hon. Ikeagwuonu Onyinye Ugochinyere​​​ Hon. Alhassan Doguwa:

The House:

Notes that Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) empowers the National Assembly to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation or any part thereof;

Also notes that Order 18 Rule 75(2) (k) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives grants jurisdiction over the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream);

Aware that Section 4 (3) of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act provides that NEITI shall cause its Report to be presented to the National Assembly for review and debate;

Also aware that the establishment of (NEITI) in 2004 is part of the government’s overall economic and institutional reforms to ensure transparency and accountability in the governance of the abundant natural resources in Nigeria, which forms the mainstay of our economy;

Informed that by the provisions of the Act, NEITI is to provide crucial facts, recommendations, findings, information and data required by the government to promote constructive engagements, public debates, discussions, dialogue, and advocacy to push for oil sector reforms;

Cognizant that the 2021 Oil and Gas Report was publicly unveiled and presented on Monday 18 September, 2023 with far-reaching findings and recommendations that are critical to the development of the oil and gas sector;

Also cognizant of the fact that since the enactment of the NEITI Act in 2004, no session of the House of Representatives has ever received and debated the Report of NEITI, as required by section 4(3) of the NEITI Act;

Acknowledges that this year’s NEITI Oil and Gas Report presentation is coming at a time when the government needs to block all revenue leakages, grow its income generation opportunities and retrieve all debts owed to it by oil companies within the sector;

Displeased that the 2021 Oil and Gas Report disclosed a rise in the number of unremitted revenues to the Federation to the tune of $9.85 billion and a total crude oil and gas revenue of $23.046 billion, signalling a 13 per cent increase from the total of $20.430 billion realized in 2020;

Alarmed that according to the NEITI Report, the unremitted revenues consist of $278.813million earned by the Federation from trial marketing under the First Exploration and Production JV, $7.61million from OML 116 operated by Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and $5.85 billion proceeds from the sales of domestic crude oil, including about $871.15million unremitted crude oil sales;

Saddened that according to the NEITI Report, 54 companies accounted for a total metered crude oil production of 634.60 million barrels. Out of this, 68.47 million barrels were lost to production adjustments, measurement error and theft/sabotage, leaving a balance of 566.13 million barrels;

Worried that according to the NEITI Report, the total outstanding taxes payable to FIRS as of 31st of July 2023, was US$ 13.591million while the total amount of outstanding Federation revenue payable to NUPRC as of 31st of December 2022 stood at US$8.251 billion;

Bothered that for Downstream operations, NEITI reported that the volume of PMS imported in 2021 under the Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement based on NNPCL’s records was significantly different from the volume of PMS imported into as per NMDPRA records which indicates that there is no independent third-party confirmation of product importation volume and subsidy value;

Cognizant of the need to receive the 2021 Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Report;

Resolves to:

(i) Receive the Report of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2021 Oil and Gas Report;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream) to exhaustively study, analysis, review, recommend legislative measures on NEITI and report back within eight week for further legislative actions.

Debate:

Hon. Ikeagwuonu Ugochinyere moved the motion on the need to receive the 2021 Oil and Gas Industry report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in line with Section 4(3) of the NEITI Act.

Hon. Kabiru Maipalace proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Gas, as well as that on Petroleum Resources (Midstream) to the prayers of the motion and that prayer 1 should be deleted. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Gas, Petroleum Resources (Upstream, Midstream as well as Downstream).

  1. Reactivation of Nsulu Games Village for Athletes Camping and Training in Isialangwa, North, Abia State:

Hon. Ginger Obinna Onwusibe:

The House:

Notes that the Nsulu Games Village was established in 1974 for camping and training athletes for National and International Sports Competitions;

Also notes that NsuIu Games Village has a landmass of about 30.4 hectares, situated on Umuahia- Aba Road, a strategic, serene environment ideal for sports development and growth;

Aware that the Games Village offers a range of facilities including chalets, hostels, sports courts, lecture halls, and a standard football pitch with an 8-lane athletic track for comprehensive track and field events;

Cognizant that the village houses a hockey pitch, gymnasium for weightlifting, boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, cricket oval, and unfinished swimming pool, holds immense potential for nurturing athletic talent in the South East region and Nigeria;

Worried that despite the enormous resources committed by the previous state administrators to the Nsulu Games Village over the years, the village has remained undeveloped and abandoned, despite its significant contributions to sports growth and excellence;

Convinced that the restoration of the Nsulu Games Village will establish a hub for sporting excellence, benefiting athletes, coaches, and enthusiasts, while aligning with the commitment to promoting sports development and providing top-notch training and support;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Sports to collaborate with the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for the overall reactivation of the Nsulu Games Village for camping and training athletes; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Sports to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Sports Development and ensure that this is accommodated in the 2024 Budget estimates.

Debate:

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe moved the motion on reactivation of Nsulu Games Village for athletes camping and training in Isialangwa North, Abia State, and it was seconded by Hon. Rabiu Yusuf. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Sports.

  1. Need to Address the Delay, Cancellations and ill Treatment meted out to Passengers by Airlines in the Nigerian Aviation Industry:

Hon. Kelechi Nwogu:

The House:

Notes that Nigerian airports have been rated the busiest airports in West Africa;

Also notes the Federal Government’s efforts to support the operators in the aviation industry within the country;

Worried about the frequent delays, cancellations, and ill-treatment meted out to innocent passengers by the airlines at their respective airports?

Also worried that some travellers had missed their medical, business, job interviews, aptitude tests, and appointments due to the delay or cancellation of their trips.

Aware that a good number of travellers have had causes to sleep at the airport due to controllable delays or cancellations of movement by the operators;

Also aware that it takes a long time to refund tickets, to the extent that some passengers have to forfeit their money;

Further aware that travellers are legally entitled to a full refund, which includes monies paid for the ticket, taxes, baggage fees, and extra and ancillary charges earned in the course of the journey;

Cognizant that travellers rights should be protected by law, regulations, and government institutions such as the Federal Competition and Consumers Commission;

Resolves to:

(i) condemn in strong terms the flagrant delays, cancellations, and ill-treatment meted out to passengers by the airlines in the Nigerian aviation industry;

(ii) urge the Minister of Aviation and Chief Executive Officers of the Federal Airports Authority, the Federal Competition and Consumers Commission, and various heads of operators’ associations and groups in the sector to develop policies and regulations to protect and preserve the rights of travellers in Nigeria and ensure stringent implementation; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Compliance, Aviation, and Legislative Compliance to ensure.

Debate:

Hon. Kelechi Nwogu moved the motion on the need to address the delay, cancellations and ill treatment meted out by airlines in the Nigerian Aviation Industry, and it was seconded by Hon. Shettima Ali.

Hon. Sada Soli in his contribution stated that there is no need to call on the relevant authorities to propose new regulations, as these regulations are already in existence. He said the regulations just need to be enforced. He blamed corruption and unprofessionalism for the gross violation of these regulations. Hon. Soli stressed for more discipline in enforcing the existing regulations as the airports are the face of Nigeria to foreigners and visitors into the country.

Hon. Adesola Adedayo in his contribution called on citizens whose rights are violated to seek justice and redress so that erring airlines are punished which will serve as a deterrent to operators in the Aviation Sector.

Hon. Kabiru Maipalace proposed an amendment to ensure the lawful penalties in the relevant aviation policy is incorporated into the prayers of the motion.

Hon. Ibrahim Almustapha proposed an amendment to ‘mandate’ the House Committee on Aviation to investigate the issue and not to ‘urge’ the Committee as it is within its purview to do so. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Aviation, as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Non–Compliance with 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 bedevilling the country;

Concerned that the impacts created by implementation of the programmes fall short of expectation as 71 million Nigerians live 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.

Debate:

Hon. Midala Balami moved the motion on the non-compliance with extant Laws in implementing Presidential palliative and the National Social Investment Programmes, and it was seconded by Hon. Salisu Yusuf.

Hon. Midala Balami proposed an amendment to the title of the motion to make it read “The need to strengthen compliance with extant Laws in implementing Presidential palliative and the National Social Investment Programmes.”

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the change of the title of the motion would need a redrafting of the motion as the new title does not comfort with the body of the motion and no extant Laws governing social palliatives were mentioned to be contravened within the motion.

Hon. Midala Balami agreed to step down the motion for further consideration.

The motion was then stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Compel JAMB, WAEC and NECO Examination Bodies Register Students for free in the 2023-2024 Examination Exercise:

Hon. Anamero Dekeri:

The House:

Notes that the removal of fuel subsidies is negatively impacting on most Nigerians, particularly low-income earners;

Also notes that profiteers are taking undue advantage of the situation which has further exacerbated the costs of daily living for the already impoverished population;

Aware that one of the major challenges of the low-income earning parents is the education of their wards particularly in payment of examination fees;

Further notes that with the cooperation of the masses, the federal government was able to deliver Nigerians from a few individuals that took the nation’s economy hostage through fuel subsidy payment conduit pipe that has plundered this country’s economy for too long;

Again notes that as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy, the government may have saved approximately (NI7, 200,000,000.00) seventeen billion two hundred million naira only, daily from a few cartels that have been sucking the poor masses;

Recognize that the government is making plans for permanent and commensurate benefit for poor masses who have suffered the effect of fuel subsidy removal;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Ministry of Education to declare 2023 and 2024 WAEC, NECO and JAMB examinations registration free, to enable common man have a direct benefit of fuel subsidy removal palliatives; and

(ii) also urge the Minister of Finance, Budget, Economic and National Planning to come up with robust framework that will give the poor masses sense of belonging in the Nigeria; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Basic Examination Bodies to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Anamero Dekeri moved the motion on the need to compel JAMB, WAEC and NECO examination bodies to register students for free in the 2023-2024 examination exercise, and it was seconded by Hon. Abdulmumin Ari.

Hon. Olumide Osoba commended the spirit of the motion but proposed an amendment to prayer one instead to urge State governments to comply to making the registration of examinations free for 2023/2024 as some States are already doing this.

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere called on members of the National Assembly to adopt a school to aid the payment of the examination registration for students in the school. Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa stated that Honourable Members already voluntarily aid the payment of students school/examination fees in their constituencies, but putting it with the weight of a motion adopted by the House will make it look mandatory which should be at the choice of individuals.

The Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Abass Tajudeen Ph.D, clarified that the amendment is one of moral compassion and not compulsory. The amendment was voted on, but was turned down.

An amendment was proposed that prayer 2 of the motion should be deleted as it is unnecessary.

Another amendment was proposed that the Federal Government should pay for the examination fees for public schools

Hon. Awaji Inombek Abiante reminded the House that WAEC is a West African Body and not a Nigerian one so the House may not have the due jurisdiction to fully enforce the prayers of this motion. He further stated that even picking one school to pay may look discriminatory for other schools not picked.

The motion was then stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Establish a Peacekeeping Military Post Between Isu Community of Arochukwu Local Government Area, Abia State and Utuma Community in Biase Local Government Area, of Cross River State:

Hon. Ibe Okwara Osonwa ​​​​​Hon. Inyang Emil Lemke:

The House:

Notes that threats to lives and properties of Nigerian citizens pose a serious threats to the national unity and coexistence, therefore must be promptly addressed;

Also notes that the National Boundary Commission Act, 2006 grants the Commission power to address boundary and landmark issues at the State and Local Government levels, as well as within local communities;

Worried that the good people of ISU CLAN in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State and UTUMA community of Cross River State, have continued to cry-out over the boundary dispute between the two neighbouring communities and have waited too long for a permanent resolution of the said dispute, since the periodic clash started in 2014. This crisis, which led some communities such as IHEOSU and AMACHI-ISU being burnt down, has left most of the Constituents as refugees in OBIEZE, AMUKABI, UTUTU, etc. in Aro chukwu Local Government;

Worried that the ISU CLAN in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State and UTUMA community of Cross River State have been battling a boundary dispute since 2014 which led to IHEOSU and AMACHI-ISU being burnt and forced Isu Community into refugees in OBIEZE, AMUKABI, UTUTU;

Aware that the boundary crisis began in the area after the discovery of a limestone deposits in Isu and Utuma communities which led to communal clashes, despite their abundant natural resources like; good forestry, palm oil production, massive cassava growing, and aquatic life;

Concerned after due visitation and consultation between the communities, the ISU/UTUMA Beach line Boundary dispute has led to the death over 500 lives and a lack of amenities, posing a threat to the lives and properties of affected communities without immediate peacekeeping;

Cognizant of the need for the Internally Displaced Persons to return to their abandoned homes and farmlands;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send relief materials, including food, clothing and medication for the Internally Displaced Persons in the Area;

(ii) also urge the National Boundary Commission (NBC) to delineate the boundary that will bring a permanent restoration of peace and tranquility to the troubled area;

(iii) further urge the Defence to establish a Peacekeeping Post between boundary communities to restore order, normalcy, and prevent further loss of lives and property; and

(iv) mandate the Committees on Defence and Special Duties to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Inyang Lemke moved the motion on the need to establish a peace keeping military post between Isu community of Arochukwu local government area, Abia State and Utuma community in Miase local government area of Cross River State, and it was seconded by Hon. Blessing

Hon. Babajimi Benson proposed an amendment to call for just the police and civil defense to be drafted to the area and not for military intervention as it is an internal dispute. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Police as well as that on Interior.


Adjournment:

The House at 16:03 PM adjourned plenary to Thursday, October 26th 2023 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by the Minority Leader Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

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

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