After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Tuesday, October 31st, 2023.
- Communication from Mr. President:
I. The request for the Federal government 2020-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and due approval by the National Assembly. The amount is for over $7 Billion and about 100 Million Euros. In view of the current economic realities and needs to meet development in critical sectors of the country, it has become expedient to approach the National Assembly with this request. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu expressed belief in the National Assembly to expeditiously consider and approve the document. The communication was referred to the House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management.
- On the earlier resolution of the House to refer the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper to the House Committee on Finance, the House Committee on National/ Economic Planning, as well as that on Aids, Loans and Debt Management are now incorporated to join the House Committee on Finance to deliberate on the matter.
- The Chairman of the House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters announced that there will be an inaugural meeting on Thursday, November 2nd, 2023 at Room 440 by 3:00 PM.
- A petition was laid on behalf of a complainant from Kwande local government of Benue State against her former employers in Kaduna State that have allegedly refused to pay her retirement entitlements.
- Hon. Martins Etim laid 2 petitions on behalf of 2 complainants: The first is pertaining to the alleged diversion of transformers by the Niger Delta Development Commission, while the second is on the alleged non-compliance to the resolution of the House of Representatives by the Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission.
- Hon. Joseph Bassey laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Nigeria Police asking for his reinstatement and payment of entitlements.
All petitions were referred to the House committee on Public Petitions.
MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:
- Hon. David Agada moved a motion on the need to end persistent kidnapping and killing in communities of Benue State, and it was seconded by Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi. Hon. Agada in leading the debate stated that the communities which are border communities suffer more frequent attacks.
He stated that the frequent attacks are capable of disrupting the socioeconomic stability of the communities and this can lead to residents resorting to self help. Hon. Agada acknowledged the fact that the House had already passed a resolution to increase security presence in the region, but while this is still being done, there is the need to have a patrol team by security agencies to protect life and property in the region.
He called on the Nigerian Army and Police to immediately provide the patrol team and that the relevant Committees on Army, as well as that on Police Affairs should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Army, National Security, as well as that on Police Affairs.
- Hon. Awaji Inombek Dagomie Abiante moved a motion on the need to curb the dangerous trend in the killing of young girls for ritual purposes, and it was seconded by Hon. Francis Waive. Hon. Abiante in leading the debate expressed worries over the increasing wave of ritual killings of young girls in Nigeria. He highlighted some recent victims as one too many and the House cannot keep silent anymore.
Hon. Abiante urged the House to call on the Inspector General of Police to set up a crack team to tackle the menace and that the House Committee on Legislative Compliance should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Police Affairs, as well as that on Legislative Compliance.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS:
- Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.796) (Hon. Isa Dogonyaro) – First Reading.
- National Agricultural Raw Materials Processing Centre, Garki Jigawa State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.797) (Hon. Isa Dogonyaro) – First Reading.
- Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.798) (Hon. Isa Dogonyaro) – First Reading.
- Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.799) (Hon. Anthony Adebayo Adepoju) – First Reading.
- Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.800) (Hon. Aliyu Bappa Misau) – First Reading.
- Federal University of Health Science Teaching Hospital, Azare (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.801) (Hon. Aliyu Bappa Misau) – First Reading.
- National Health Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.802) (Hon. Adedayo Samuel Adesola) – First Reading.
- National Health Insurance Authority Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 803) (Hon. Adedayo Samuel Adesola) – First Reading.
- National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.804) (Hon. Adedayo Samuel Adesola) – First Reading.
- National Security Adviser (Appointment of Staff, etc.) Bill, 2023 (HB. 805) (Hon. Satomi Alhaji Ahmed) – First Reading.
- National Primary Health Care Development Agency Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 806) (Hon. Wale Hammed) – First Reading.
- Mining Intelligence and Security Enhancement Bill, 2023 (HB. 807) (Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo) – First Reading.
- Nigerian Mining Development Bank (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.808) (Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo) – First Reading.
- Nigeria Police Training College Umuoji, Anambra State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.809) (Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo) – First Reading.
- Sustainable Mining Infrastructure Development Bill, 2023 (HB.810) (Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo) – First Reading.
- Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.811) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – First Reading.
- National Football Academy, Enugu (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.812) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – First Reading.
- Minerals and Mining Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.813) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – First Reading.
- National Ear Care Centre, Ago-Iwoye (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.814) (Hon. Joseph Folorunsho Adegbesan) – First Reading.
- Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.815) (Hon. Irom Michael Etaba) – First Reading.
PRESENTATION OF REPORT:
Report of the Ad–hoc Committee to Investigate the Abuse of Tax Incentives, tax Breaks and Tax Waivers:
Hon. Makki Abubakar Yalleman:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee to Investigate the Abuse of Tax Incentives, tax Breaks and Tax Waivers by Public Institutions and Companies benefitting from Tax Incentives” (Referred: 13/7/2023).
The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Abubakar Yalleman and seconded by Hon. Maranga Bauchi.
ORDERS OF THE DAY:
- A Bill for an Act to Amend the Interpretation Act, Cap. 123, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to provide Conditions for Appointment and Assumption of Office in Acting capacity, to provide the meaning of the certain words and for Related Matters (HB. 27) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu and six Others) – Second Reading.
Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Hassan Nalaraba. Hon. Ikenga in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to amend the Interpretation Act to clarify some vague areas in the powers to appoint individuals in different capacities. Such areas are the powers to appoint, to reappoint a previously suspended individual, the power to appoint people in acting capacities and the duration for holding such offices in acting capacities.
The bill seeks to ensure time limits for duration and qualification for people to be appointed in acting capacity and ensure that such a person; after 6 months must be forwarded to the National Assembly for confirmation or be discharged. Hon. Ikenga called on Honourable Members to support the bill. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Justice.
- A Bill for an Act to Enact the Nigerian Content (Non–Oil and Gas Sector) Development to Establish the Nigerian Content (Non–Oil and Gas Sector) Development Council and to provide for Programme and structure for the use of Nigerian Expertise made in Nigeria goods and services, Economic Diversification and for Related Matters (HB. 59) (Hon. Ogundu Kingsley Chinda and Eight Others) – Second Reading. Second reading of the Bill was stepped down by leave of the House.
- A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Universities of Agriculture Act, Cap. F22, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Establish Federal University of Agriculture, Ako–Nike, Enugu State and for Related Matters (HB.530) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – Second Reading.
Hon. Paul Nnamchi moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Nnolim Nnaji. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.
- Need to Proffer a Lasting Solution to the Devastating Gully Erosion/Total Road Collapse in Isiekenesi, Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator, Arondizuogu, Akokwa, Villages and Communities in Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State:
Hon. Ikeagwuonu Onyinye Ugochinyere:
Notes that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that the security, safety, and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government;
Also notes that the National Assembly is saddled with the task of making laws for the Peace, Order, and good governance of the Federation or any part thereof as enshrined in Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended);
Observes that the erosion and road collapse in Communities in Imo State, particularly in Dimagu, Okohia, Umuaghobe, Isiekenesi, Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator, Arondizuogu, and Akokwa, have impacted on socio-economic lives and left residents internally displaced;
Also observes that the Dimagu erosion after St. Barnabas Church and Umuojisi is a death trap for motorists, while the erosion sites in Okohia (Umufeke) and Umuaghobe (Uhuala) are encroaching into residential houses within the area, such as Isiekenesi, Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator, Arondizuogu, and Akokwa;
Worried that the collapse of the alternative road bypass for motorists and pedestrians increases the force of the erosion directly towards the popular Umuchima markets of Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator, Arondizuogu, and Akokwa leading to uncontrollable flooding of the market;
Also worried that Ideato has become an erosion disaster zone, which has claimed about eight lives and destroyed over eight homes, the disaster has eaten deep into Akokwa, Arondizuogu Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator and destroyed the bridge through which farmers access their farmlands;
Cognizant that the erosion of roads in Ideato, particularly Ntueke Umueshi and Arondizuogu, is causing severe economic threats to the agricultural sector of the area and the entire country, hence the need for urgent government intervention.
(i) urge the Federal Government to consider the Ideato North/South Federal Constituency as an erosion disaster-threatened area, and to assist in reconstructing infrastructure and involving it in rural road development projects;
(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Federal Ministry of Environment, and Ecological Fund Office to intervene and ensure the repair and reconstruction of damaged infrastructures in Ideato North/South Federal Constituency;
(iii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, the National Emergency Management Agency, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and IDPs, and the Ecological Fund Office to resettle those displaced from their houses, offices, and business premises; and
(iv) mandate the Committees on Works, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Environment and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) further legislative action.
Hon. Ikeagwuonu Ugochinyere moved the motion on the need to proffer a lasting solution to the devastating gully erosion/total road collapse in Isiekenesi, Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator, Arondizuogu, Akokwa villages and communities in Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State, and it was seconded by Hon. Patrick Umoh.
The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works, Niger Delta Development Commission, Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Internally Displaced Persons as well as that on Legislative Compliance.
- Need to Investigate the Expenditure on the Postponed 2023 Population and Housing Census by the National Population Commission and Conduct of the National Population/Housing Census:
Hon. Dominic Okafor Hon. Patrick Umoh:
Notes that the Census provides accurate population data crucial for development planning, policy formulation, resource allocation, and government program implementation, especially at a time when the Federal Government in conjunction with State Governments are working on giving palliatives to vulnerable citizens and also planning other social services;
Also notes that the National Population Commission in Nigeria conducts periodic censuses, surveys, and other methods to enumerate the country’s population, providing data for national planning and economic development;
Further notes that the national census was last conducted in Nigeria in 2006 and the 2023 census, which was scheduled for May 2023, was postponed by the National Population Commission;
Worried that the data collected in the 2006 Population Census is far from reality in 2023 and cannot validly form a solid base for the formation of national economic policies that will aid the federal government in administering viable national planning;
Aware that the National Population Commission has admitted to having spent Two Hundred Billion Naira (N200, 000, 000, 000) as part of the Eight Hundred Billion Naira (N800, 000, 000, 000) budgeted for the planning mid-execution of the 2023 population and housing census, which was postponed;
Also aware that the financial investment in 2023 population census planning would have improved economic planning and distribution of palliatives in the country;
Also worried about the National Population Commission remarks, that if the population and housing census fails to take place within 12 months, the information gathered across the country would become stale, a waste of resources and the country would have to increase costs of gathering fresh information;
Aware that the National Population Commission, led by the Chairman, Alhaji Nasir lsa Kwarra, expressed readiness to conduct a population and housing census during a visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on July 6, 2023.;
(i) urge the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to declare a date for the Population and Housing Census exercise and conduct the 2023 population and housing census to facilitate accurate economic planning;
(ii) also urge the Federal Government to upon fixing a date for the census, constitute Census Tribunals in designated centres in accordance with Section 28 of the National Population Commission, Act, 2004;
(iii) further urge the National Population Commission not to relent in its preparation for the 2023 Population and Housing Census; and
(iv) mandate the Committee to Population to investigate the money expended on the postponed 2023 population and housing census by the National Population Commission and liaise with the National Population Commission to ensure a successful population and housing census when proclaimed.
Hon. Dominic Okafor moved the motion on the need to investigate the expenditure on the postponed 2023 Population and Housing Census by the National Population Commission and conduct of the National Population/Housing Census, and it was seconded by Hon. Chris Nkwonta.
Hon. Ahmed Jaha in contributing to the debate complimented the spirit and content of the motion but stressed the lack of free movement in various parts of the country due to insecurity and hence expressed worry about the safety of the sensors officials bearing in mind the dire need for heightened security in all parts of the country.
Hon. Ademorin Kuye supported the prayers of the motion as census is critical for proper planning by government. He stated that the census was already fixed and funds appropriated for despite the said levels of insecurity and the motion is asking for accountability, and that the postponement was due to the preparation for elections. He called on Honourable Members to support the motion.
Hon. Inuwa Garba concurred with Hon. Ahmed Jaha as he stated that the safety of the proposed census conductors should be paramount as it cannot be ascertained that their safety is guaranteed in volatile areas, and any partial/incomplete census is no census at all. He argued that the country should be focused on providing national security.
Hon. Kama Nkemkanma in contributing to the debate stated that for a holistic census to be done, there is the need to tackle insecurity.
Hon. Ahmed Wase in contributing to the debate agreed that census is necessary for national planning and development. He agreed with the intent to investigate funds spent so far, but the current insecurity situation in the country does not accommodate deploying human and capital resources to volatile places. He reminded Honourable Members that the money earmarked for procurement of ammunition for security agencies in the supplementary budget underscores the need for getting security right before anything like census should take place.
Hon. Gaza Gbwefi proposed an amendment to delete prayers 1-3 and retain only prayer 4 in order not to throw the baby away with the bath water. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Population.
- Introduction of Policies and Programmes to stem the tide of Unsustainable Brain Drain from Nigeria:
Hon. Ojuawo Rufus Adeniyi:
Notes the current spate of Nigerian professionals and graduates emigrating from Nigeria in droves in search of greener pastures;
Also notes the inalienable right of every Nigerian citizen to choose where to live and work or earn a living as guaranteed by Section 34, sub-section (1)(c) Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended);
Cognizant of the importance of retaining the best brains of highly trained personnel as an indispensable substratum for the growth and development of the Nigerian economy;
Also cognizant of the direct relationship between human resource deficit and infrastructural cum developmental deficit and the need to expand, rather than decrease, the human resource availability ratio;
Concerned that health, academic and tech sectors are most affected and the continued emigration from Nigeria of her well-trained, experienced and resourceful manpower will negatively impact the nation’s drive towards self-sustainability and emancipation from the clutches of poverty, disease and endemic crime;
Concerned that a survey conducted by the Medical Organization revealed that about 75% of Nigerian doctors are considering work opportunities outside the country and according to data from the General Medical Council United Kingdom, between December 2021 and May 2022, a total of 727 Nigerian-trained medical doctors relocated to the United Kingdom, also a 2017 report by Quartz Africa indicated that the United States had more than 1,000 Nigerian professional academics working in its universities, which equals the number of doctorate holders employed in Nigerian universities;
Disturbed at the quantum of resources expended in the education, training and development of these professionals and graduates, who after the acquisition of the relevant training and cognate experience emigrate without commensurate contribution to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.
Worried that if the current tide of emigration were to remain unchecked, the requisite trained and developed manpower resources would not be available for the growth and development of Nigeria, thereby compromising the future development of the country;
Aware that the country’s human resources, with emigration, are grossly inadequate to cater for the needs of the private and public sector and, as such rather than deplete this resource it is, as a matter of urgency, imperative that the availability or deficit gap is reduced to its barest minimum;
Also aware that the introduction of sustainable policies and programmes that will motivate Nigerian Professionals to remain in, and/or return to, Nigeria has become an urgent necessity and the surest path out of this vicious circle of train, developing and loose.
(i) urge the Federal Government to engage relevant stakeholders to formulate appropriate policies and programmes to motivate Nigerian graduates to remain and work in Nigeria after acquiring training and development, and encourage those in the diaspora to return home;
(ii) also urge the Federal Government to formulate necessary policies and programmes that will demotivate Nigerian professionals and graduates from emigrating; and
(iii) mandate the Committee on National and Planning Economic Development to ensure compliance.
Hon. Ojuawo Adeniyi moved the motion on the introduction of policies and programmes to stem the tide of unsustainable brain drain from Nigeria, and it was seconded by Hon. Ayodeji Alaoakala. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on National Planning as well as that on Economic Development.
- Need to Mitigate the Impact of Continuous Flooding and Erosion in Kaduna South Federal Constituency:
Hon. Abdulkarim Hussani Ahmed:
Notes that Nigeria experiences heavy rains annually, causing overflow of rivers and dams, leading to flooding, erosion, ecological disasters, destruction of properties, human and livestock loss, and socioeconomic setbacks
Informed that the Kaduna South Federal Constituency experiences six months of annual rainfall, leading to River Kaduna overflow, flooding, and erosion, with the worst floods occurring in 2012, 2021, and 2022;
Concerned that the Flooding and erosion in Kaduna South Local Government Area have caused huge socioeconomic damage, destroying properties worth billions of Naira including roads, buildings, schools, mosques and churches;
Also concerned that erosion and floods have destroyed most areas in Kaduna South Local Government Area, especially in Kinkinau by the riverside, Barnawa Tudunnufawa, Down Quarters, Tudun-Wada, Bashama Road up to River Kaduna including the Burial Ground, e.t.c;
Worried that the poor drainage networks, inadequate waterways and the Kaduna River cannot accommodate the huge volumes of water discharged into it, thereby leading to flooding, erosion, and displacement, destroying industrial and economic progress, damaging the environment and reducing food production;
(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Ecological Fund Office to assess and address the severe ecological issues in Kaduna South Federal Constituency.;
(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works to include the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected roads in the 2024 budget estimates;
(iii) further urge the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to provide relief materials to victims of the ecological problems in the affected areas; and
(iv) mandate the Committees on Environment and, Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to ensure compliance.
Hon. Abdulkarim Ahmed moved the motion on the need to mitigate the impact of continuous flooding and erosion in Kaduna South Federal Constituency, and it was seconded by Hon. Blessing Amadi. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Environment, as well as that on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.
- Need to Investigate the Activities of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Staff Welfare, Management, Contract awards, Status of Properties and Quality of Train Plying Abuja – Kaduna and Other Parts of the Country From 2012 to 2023:
Hon. Umar Shehu Ajilo Hon. Sa’a Wada Taura, Hon. Sadiq Ango Abdullahi, Hon. Jesse Okey-Joe Onuakalusi,
Hon. Adepoju Anthony Adeanjo, Hon. Kabiru Amodu Mai Palace and
Hon. Zakaria Dauda Nyampa:
Notes that the Nigerian Railway Corporation is grappling with staff welfare deficit challenges;
Also notes the infraction of awarding railway contracts without due process since 2013 and the undue favour granted to foreign companies at the expense of local contractors;
Aware that the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s staff welfare is being improved through government plans and the implementation of presidential approval for an upward review of special allowances for Nigerian Railway Corporation Staff;
Also aware that the Kaduna–Abuja and other routes are facing issues with inadequate equipment, resulting in poor maintenance of trains and rolling stocks;
Worried that the railway staff welfare deficit is causing untold hardship and loss of job interest, thus, leading to dissatisfaction with service and disaffection towards passengers;
Also worried that the Nigerian Railway has neglected the long-term efforts of the Federal Government to ease the transportation of goods and services like cement from the south to the north by railway;
Cognizant of the need to investigate the staff welfare, contract infractions, railway quality, and property status to address acute challenges in the railway sector and prevent unscrupulous individuals from draining the railway sector;
(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Transport to ascertain the status of properties and the quality of Nigerian trains plying through the Kaduna–Abuja route and other parts of the country to meet international best standard practices; and
(ii) mandate the Committee on Land Transport to investigate the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to address the staff welfare deficit and ascertain if the Nigerian Railway Corporation complies with Section 173(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999(as amended) on Pensions Rights of the retired Staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
Motion stepped down by leave of the House.
- Revitalization of Oji–River Federal Pilot Tannery:
Hon. Chijoke Stanislaus Okereke:
Notes that the Federal Pilot Tannery at Oji-River in Enugu State, which was established in 1967 under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) for processing of hides and skin for leather products, has been abandoned for over a decade with a backlog of unpaid gratuities;
Also notes that recent reports have shown that the leather value chain is extensive, and leather products marketing is currently employing over 750,000 people, with about 500,000 workers in the finished leather goods sector, which has a potential to generate over USD 1 Billion by 2025;
Convinced that the revitalization of the Oji-River Federal Pilot Tannery holds great promise for job creation, economic diversification, reduction of high unemployment rate among Nigerian youth, skills development, sustainable livelihoods and reduction of social vices;
(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to conduct a comprehensive assessment and thorough evaluation of the abandoned Federal Pilot Tannery at Oji-River in Enugu State, and make funding provisions for its revitalization and upgrade to international standards in the 2024 budget estimates;
(ii) mandate the Committee on Science and Technology to liaise with relevant stakeholders to ensure the revitalization of the Oji-River Federal Pilot Tannery and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.
Hon. Chijoke Okereke moved the motion on revitalization of Oji-River Federal Pilot Tannery and it was seconded by Hon. Sa’ad Taura. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Science and Technology.
- Need to Investigate the non-implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Notes (ICTN) by the Nigeria Shippers Council:
Hon. Ahmad Sani Muhammad:
Notes that the Nigerian ports handle nearly 60% of Gulf of Guinea cargo, making them the primary destination in West and Central Africa;
Also notes that the cases of undocumented cargo in seaports pose security and efficiency challenges, perpetuating fraud and insecurity arising from the concealment of cargo manifests, leading to a lack of reliable data that leads to revenue loss for the nation;
Aware that the Union of African Shippers Councils (UASC) introduced the International Cargo Tracking Notes (ICTN) in 1998 as a measure to enhance the safety and security of supply chain facilities, track the origin and destination of cargo, and provide reliable data on imports and exports;
Also aware that the International Cargo Tracking Notes (ICTN) technology centralizes tamper-proof information, improves monitoring, and prevents illegal activities like smuggling and counterfeiting, aligning with World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Customs Organization (WCO) recommendations on trade facilitation and security;
Concerned that the measure has not been fully implemented in Nigeria due to alleged irregularities despite the presence of the Nigeria Shippers Council as the implementing authority, aiming for transparency and efficiency;
Worried that non-implementation has led to increased cargo-related security challenges, such as smuggling and illicit trade, resulting in significant financial losses costing the country billions of Naira due to the lack of accurate data and revenue leakage;
mandate the Committee on Shipping Services and Related Matters to investigate the circumstances surrounding the non-implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Notes (ICTN), identify any obstacles or challenges faced by the Nigeria Shippers Council in carrying out its role effectively, and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.
Hon. Ahmad Muhammad moved the motion on the need to investigate the non-implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Notes (ICTN) by the Nigeria Shippers Council, and it was seconded by Hon. Famous Osawaru.
Hon. Chris Nkwonta proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Customs, as well as that on Ports and Harbors to the prayer of the motion.
Hon. Bayo Adepoju proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Maritime Safety into the prayer of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Shipping Services, as well as that on Ports and Harbors.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THR WHOLE) Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu Chairing.
- Ad -hoc Committee on Legislative Agenda:
Hon. Julius Ihonvbere:
“That the House do consider the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Legislative Agenda of the House of Representatives and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 24/10/2023).
The leader of the House, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere asked for the leave of the House for the consideration of the report to be deferred to a later date due to the unavailability of sufficient copies of the report to go round Honourable Members for them to have informed and robust contributions.
- Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of Standing Orders of the House of Representatives:
Hon. Igariwey Enawo:
“That the House do consider the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of Standing Orders of the House Representatives and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 24/10/2023).
It was noted that not enough time had been given to Honourable Members to go through the report. Since the report is on the Standing Orders of the House which will guide the House for the next 4 years, there is the need for ample time to allow Honourable Members study the important document. This view was shared by Hon. Mark Esset, Hon. Ahmed Wase, Hon. Ahmed Jaha, Hon. Olumide Osoba, Hon. Sada Soli among others.
The Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu in chair, agreed with this view as the 2 reports are very vital ones, and therefore put the question for postponement to a vote. Consideration of both reports was then shifted till Thursday, November 9th 2023 by leave of the House.
HOUSE IN PLENARY:
The House reverted to plenary and adopted the report of the Committee of the Whole following a motion by Rep. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by Hon. Ali Isa.
The House at 13:41 PM adjourned plenary to Thursday, November 2nd 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 Whip Hon. Ali Isa.