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Nigeria Parliament: Plenary proceedings, House of Reps Wed, Nov 8th, 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, November 7th, 2023.


ANNOUNCEMENT:

  1. There will be a sectoral debate on the floor of the House on Thursday, November 9th, 2023 by 10:00 AM. During this debate the House will engage the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigerian.

PETITION:

  1. Hon. Terseer Ugbor laid a petition on behalf of a complainant as her response against an earlier petition laid on the floor of the House alleging that she was illegally elevated in her place of work.

The petition was referred to the House Committee on Public Petitions.


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Unyime Idem moved a motion calling on the Inspector General of Police to take over the investigation into the kidnapping of Miss Emmabong Samuel who is a National Youth Service Corps member alongside 11 other Corps members serving in Kogi State and it was seconded by Hon. Yusuf Baraje. Hon. Idem in leading the debate stated that the victims were kidnapped when the vehicle they were traveling in was hijacked by gun men. He expressed worry in the increasing number of Corps members kidnapped recently which has dampened the zeal of the Corp members to serve their fatherland. Hon. Idem called for an urgent plan to be enacted in order to stop the kidnapping trend and restore faith in the security apparatus. He called on all relevant security agencies to ensure the evil trend of kidnapping is halted and that the House Committee on National Security should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on National Security.
  2. Hon. Kalejaye Adeboye moved a motion on the need to address the tragic incidence that occurred at Ladipo plank market in Lagos State and it was seconded by Hon. Adebayo Adepoju. Hon. Adeboye in leading the debate stated that the fire incident which consumed the shops in the plank market also affected other artisans and traders, and has left them devastated as the means of their livelihood have been totally destroyed.

He called on the Ministry of Humanitarian Services as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide relief and succour to the victims and that the relevant Committees of the House should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.


PRESENTATION OF REPORT:

Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate the Compliance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and Corporate Bodies:

Emmanuel Ukpong – Udo:

“That the House do receive the Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate the Compliance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and Corporate Bodies with the Industrial Training Funds Act and Other Reasons Affecting the Scheme from 2010 – 2022” (Referred:6/7/2023).

The report was laid following a motion moved by Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong and seconded by Hon. Adeniyi Ojuawo.


ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Regulate Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 242) (Hon. Olumide Osoba) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Olumide Osoba moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Patrick Umoh. Hon. Osoba in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to regulate corporate social responsibility and ensure it is done in a sane business environment and not a skewed marketing scheme. He stressed the social challenges on local businesses by the high influx of expatriate workers, especially of non-essential or professional staff. He stated that the bill seeks to ensure full monitoring and transparency of the practice for the protection of Nigerian workers and host communities. Hon. Osoba stated that the intended corporate social responsibility commission will first be domiciled in the relevant ministry of finance, budget and economic planning before it is later made independent.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha in contributing to the debate commended the spirit of the bill as it seeks to cure glaring manipulative problems and ensure funds are well channelled through the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning. He called for proper scrutiny in the application of corporate social responsibility to provide for the critical needs of host communities and not just channel funds to a few individuals.

Hon. Famous Osawaru also reiterated the importance of the judicious implementation of the intent of the bill to regulate corporate social responsibility in line with the renewed hope agenda of the federal government. This he stressed will go a long way in aiding the partnership between government and companies to develop society. He argued that corporate social responsibility should be incorporated into the Nigerian tax structure. He also stressed the need for the corporate social responsibility to be channeled to the critical needs of host communities to stop unrest and agitation by these frustrated host communities. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Corporate Social Responsibility.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend Nursing and Midwifery (Registration etc.) Act, Cap N143 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Review the Composition of the Council, Qualification and Tenure of Office of the Members of the Council, Review Penalty Provision and the Composition of the Tribunal, including Bachelor of Nursing Science, Community Nursing and Community Midwives in the Registrable Qualifications of the Council, give the Council timeline within which to complete indexing of Students, Register Prospective Members and issue License and Communicate the decision of the Council to Institutions that apply for Approval and for Related Matters (HB.605) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Balarabe. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Healthcare Services.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Polytechnics Act, Cap F17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Establish Federal College of Science and Health Technology, Mbu Isiuzo, Enugu State to provide Qualitative Education in Sciences, Health Arts and Other Technical Knowledge and for Related Matters (HB. 589) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Paul Nnamchi moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Sada Soli. Hon. Nnamchi in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks the establishment of the Institution for the provision of studies in science and health technology for Nigerians living in the region. This he stated is one of their most pressing needs. He stressed that the institution will help to bridge the gap for specialized educational in the region. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Polytechnics and Higher Education.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 to Provide for the Regulation of Artisanal Mining and Refining, Smelting Refining and Refining and the Provision of Stiffer Penalties for Offences under the Bill, to increase the effectiveness and for Related Matters (HB. 751) (Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi and Hon. Benjamin Okeize and Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Jonathan Gbwefi moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Dominic Okafor. Hon. Gbwefi in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to amend some sections of the Principal Act to protect the solid minerals sector for the diversification of the Nigerian economy and to prescribe adequate compensation for host communities. He stated that it seeks to clear the ambiguity in the roles of States and the Federal government in the supervision of mining activities.

Hon. Gbwefi also stated that the bill seeks to ensure proper accountability of miners in terms of their financial gains and the environmental impact assessment of their activities to government. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Solid Minerals Development.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide a framework for the Appointment of Staff of the Office of the National Security Adviser to enhance Institutional Memory and effective performance of the Responsibilities of the National Security Adviser and for Related Matters (HB.805) (Hon Ahmed Satomi and Hon. Stanley Olajide) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Stanley Olajide moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Martins Etim. Hon. Olajide in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to ensure the strengthening of the structure in the Office of the National Security Adviser. It further seeks to ensure the retention of skilled manpower for the office for the effective discharge of its crucial security responsibilities to Nigeria.

The bill he stated also seeks to provide a proper career structure for the benefits of staff in the office of the National Security Adviser and ensure they are well empowered to discharge their various security details. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence.


MOTIONS:

  1. Rescission of the Resolution on the Sitting of the House (New Order Five, Rule3) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives:

Hon. Francis E. Waive:

The House:

Notes that on Tuesday, 7 November 2023 it considered New Order Five, Rule3 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives on the Emergency sitting of the House was negative;

Aware of the importance of Order Five, Rule3 which allows Hon. Members to participate in Proceedings by electronic means;

Cognizant of the need to rescind the decision on Order Five Rules 3;

Resolves to:

rescind the decision of the House which negative New Order Five, Rules 3 of the Standing Order of the House of Representatives and commit it to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration.

Debate:

Hon. Francis Waive moved the motion on the recession of the resolution on the sitting of the House (New Order Five, Rule.3) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives and it was seconded by Hon. Sadiq Abdullahi. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Committee of the Whole.

  1. Need to Investigate Illegal Mining in Solid Mineral Sector:

Hon. Ibrahim Abdullahi Halims:

​The House:

Notes the significant economic potential of Nigeria’s Solid Mineral Sector in contributing to the country’s development and expansion of its revenue base;

Also notes the vast mineral resources in Nigeria that are largely untapped and underutilized, which can play a critical role in diversifying the economy, creating jobs, and boosting revenue generation;

Aware of the urgent need for focused intervention and radical measures to address the issues affecting the solid minerals sector and its underperformance, as indicated in the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2022 report, which states mineral sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, at 0.63 per cent, or N1.10 trillion, and contribution to government revenue, at 2.62 per cent of the government’s N6.63 trillion total revenue;

Concerned about the current challenges bedevilling the solid mineral sector because of illegal mining activities and acknowledging its detrimental impact on the environment, national security, and economic growth;

Worried about the loss of revenue from unregulated and illicit mining operations, costing the government $9 billion annually with only 3 per cent royalties paid by a few licensed miners, hindering the country’s mineral resource utilization;

Disturbed about the negative impacts of illegal mining, which have led to insecurity and conflicts over control of mining sites and their resources and escalated into violence, thus exacerbating existing political and social tensions in the affected communities;

Cognizant that due to the increased prevalence of illegal mining and other criminal activities affecting host communities, the governors of Taraba, Benue, and Nasarawa States have signed Executive Orders banning illegal mining to protect host communities and regulate mining activities in their states;

Recognizes the urgency of the Federal Government to swiftly and decisively address the revitalisation and development of this critical sector for the benefit of the Nigerian economy and its citizens;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the Mining Sector concerning illegal mining;

(ii) also urge the Federal Government to make a special intervention in the 2024 budget estimates to provide for the establishment of Mineral Monitoring and Inspection Offices equipped with qualified manpower and equipment/infrastructure in the 109 senatorial districts of the country;

(iii) further urge the Federal Government to constitute a special security task for two years life span comprising the military, Department of State Security Services (DSS), Immigration, Civil Defence, and the Nigeria Police Force to embark on a sweeping exercise to flush out all illegal miners; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved the motion on the need to investigate illegal mining in the solid mineral sector and it was seconded by Hon. Abonike Pascal.

Hon. Jonathan Gbwefi proposed an amendment to prayer 4 to incorporate the House Committee on Solid Minerals, National Security, Interior, Army, as well as that on Police Affairs to the prayer of the motion.

Hon. Ali Isa proposed an amendment to call for a proper investigation without urging the government to take action as that would be preemptive to the investigation. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Solid Minerals, National Security, Interior, Army as well as that on Police Affairs.

  1. Road development and Erosion Control of the Underpass at Wawa and Kara Sections along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway:

Hon. Ibrahim Ayokunle Isiaka:

The House:

Notes that the Lagos-Ibadan expressway is the oldest and most active intercity dual carriageway connecting Lagos to other parts of the country and facilitating international trade, with an estimated 250,000 daily passenger car units (PCU);

Observe that the two critical underpasses at the Wawa and Kara sections of the expressway were not factored into the scope of work (SOP), which can serve as traffic engineering to optimally utilize the road network when completed to reduce congestion during peak logging;

Aware of the wrap-up phase of the project at the Lagos end, which still requires additional scope at two sections of the Wawa and Kara underpasses;

Worried about the frequent loss of lives due to the lack of Pedestrian Crossover in the entire stretch of both the short and long bridges between the Wawa and Kara sections of the road;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to include the development of underpasses at the Wawa and Kara sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway before the demobilization of the contractor;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works to construct roads to and from Wawa and Kara Markets as recovery zones for vehicles straying from the expressway;

(iii) mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriations to ensure that budgetary provisions are made for the additional scope of work; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka moved the motion on the road development and erosion control of the underpass at Wawa and Kara sections along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and it was seconded by Hon. Clement Jimbo. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Appraise the Condition of Nigeria Federal Roads:

Hon. Akingbaso Festus O:

The House:

Notes that Nigeria has an estimated 193,200km of tarred roads, out of which 34,000 km are designated as Federal Roads linking the Federal Capital Territory, over 80% of the Federal Roads are in poor condition, thus causing national shame and embarrassment to the country and increasing the rate of insecurity, disincentivized trade and commerce, and poses a significant risk to life due to accidents;

Also notes that the roads are classified as Trunk “A” under Federal, Trunk “B” under State and Trunk “C” under Local Government Area, are all in a deplorable state, these roads pose a threat to national security, facilitating kidnapping, armed robbery, accidents, and loss of life;

Observes that the worst Trunk A Roads include the Okene–Auchi Benin Road, Akure–Owena–Ondo–Ore Road, Shagamu–Ore-Benin Road, Onitsha–Enugu–Port Harcourt Road, Kabba–Omuo–Ikole Road, Ikorodu–Shagamu Road, Okene–Lokoja–Abuja Road, Kabba–Isanlu–Egbe–Omu Aran-Ilorin Highway, Rijau Kontagora Road in Niger State and Kaduna–Birinin Gwari–Mokwa Road;

Aware that the Federal Government Roads have been awarded billions of Naira for construction, rehabilitation, or re-design, with funding from the National Budget, SUKUK Bonds, and International Developmental Agencies, unfortunately, most of these roads are in poor condition due to piecemeal funding, prolonging construction and rehabilitation works. For example, the Lokoja-Abuja Federal Highway, awarded in 2003, has been uncompleted for over 20 years, causing damage to rehabilitated portions;

Cognizant that in the past, the National Assembly has attempted to increase road projects’ budgets, enact the National Road Fund, and encourage Public-Private Partnerships, but the current financing model remains unsustainable;

Disturbed that despite the huge financing challenges, Nigeria has not done enough to access finance from International Financial Partners like the African Development Bank and World Bank Group on critical road projects due to its failure to meet funding requirements by Developmental Agencies;

Also cognizant of the exigency to review and re-appraise funding strategies and categorize roads are crucial for the present generation of Nigerians to enjoy good roads;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committee on Works to conduct an investigative hearing to ascertain the state of all Federal Trunk A Roads, particularly those under construction and rehabilitation to ascertain progress made and provide alternative funding arrangements for the construction and rehabilitation of federal roads.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Call on the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to Eradicate Drug Bunks in the Country:

Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo:

The House:

Notes that the functions of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, among others, are “strengthening cooperation with the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Police Force, Customs, Immigration, Welfare Officials, Health Officials, and Other Law Enforcement Agencies in the eradication of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances,” as mandated by Section 3(r) of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap.N30, Laws of the Federation, 2004;

Also notes the provisions of Section 3(f) of the Act, which state that “adoption of measures which shall include coordinated preventive and repressive action, introduction and maintenance of investigative and control techniques”

Disturbed that recent statistics from the Agency showed 40% of Nigerian youth aged 18–35 involved in drug abuse, and according to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), over 14.3 million aged 15–64 engaged in the same;

Alarmed that drug bunks are being opened in strategic locations in various cities across the country and fast becoming hostels where young Nigerians are found spending their entire day. These bunks are well-known to security agencies and citizens;

Worried that drug abuse in Nigeria is a growing concern, affecting personal growth, societal values, and health and security risks, with hotels and transport companies allegedly aiding illegal activities;

Also concerned that the future of Nigerian Youths is destroyed as they invest all their finances from legitimate or illegal means in enriching Drug Barons, affecting the country’s development and progress, a situation which jeopardizes the future of youths and undermines the development and progress of the country;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to come up with a mechanism aimed at targeting the eradication of drug bunks in all the states of the federation; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Drugs and Narcotics to ensure compliance.

Debate:
Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo moved the motion on the need to call on the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to eradicate drug bunks in the country and it was seconded by Hon. Zannah Usman. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Narcotics and Drugs.

  1. Need to Rehabilitate and Upgrade Wuro–Kesum Dam Gassol, Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State:

Hon. Jaafaru Yakubu:

The House:

Notes that Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State, with a population of about 385,500 persons and a land mass of about 5.298 km2 Area, lies on a flood plain where River Taraba converges with River Benue in the region of Upper Benue River Basin trough;

Also notes that because of its strategic location between two major rivers, the major economic activities in the constituency include fishing and farming;

Aware that the Wuro–Kesum Dam provides irrigation for agricultural purposes to the downstream farming communities of Wuro–Keso, Sandirde, Gassol, Mutual Biyu and Tella with over 1,500 hectares of land;

Concerned that the Wuro–Kesum Dam is dilapidated and in dire need of rehabilitation to revitalise economic activities in Gassol Local Government Area and its environs;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to provide funds for the rehabilitation and upgrading of Wuro–Kesum Dam, Gassol Local Government Area in the 2024 Budget estimates; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Water Resources to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Ja’afaru Yakubu moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate and upgrade Wuro–Kesum dam Gassol, Gassol local government area of Taraba state and it was seconded by Hon. Abdulrahman Ajiya.

An amendment was proposed to prayer 2 to incorporate the House Committee on Appropriations to the prayer of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Water Resources as well as that on Appropriations.

  1. Need to Reconstruct the Abandoned Portions of the Oju–Otukpo Oweto/Oju–Adum Okuku and Oju–Adumn–Okuku and Oju –Uwoku – Abakaliki Roads:

Hon. David Agada Ogewu:

The House:

Notes that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that the security, safety and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government. Furthermore, the National Assembly is responsible for creating laws for peace, order, and good governance in the Federation or its parts (including Oju/Obi Federal Constituency) as outlined in Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended);

Aware that the infrastructural and economic development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its parts is part of the core objectives of the Federal Government as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended);

Also aware that the Oju–Otukpo–Oweto, Oju–Adum–Okuku–lyahe–Abakaliki, and Oju Uwoku–Abakatiki roads are federal roads in Benue State serving as links between the North and South, with the Iyahe-AbakaIiki section of Oju–Adum–Okuku–lyahe–Abakaliki completed, however, Oju–Adum–Okuku, Oju–Otukpo–Oweto and Oju–Uwoku–Abakafiki Roads were deserted and abandoned;

Disturbed that the deplorable condition of the roads hinders farmers from distributing their produce to other parts of the country for economic exchange, affecting the shortest route connecting Benue State to The North-East, South-East and South-South Regions of the country;

Recognizes that the construction of Oju–Adum–Okuku, Oju–Otukpo–Oweto, and Oju–Uwoku–Abakatiki roads will link Enugu State and other parts of the south-east, alleviate hardship for Igede people, open arable lands for commercial agriculture, and alleviate poverty in Benue, Cross River, and Ebonyi States within a year of their construction;

Acknowledges that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Executive Governor of Benue State, Distinguished Senator Abba Moro of Benue South Senatorial District, and the current Hon. Minister of Works have collectively listened to the plight of the constituents and contributed to the inclusion of roads in the 2023 Supplementary Budget. However, no progress has been made on the construction/rehabilitation of the roads;

Cognizant that the 10th House of Representatives, a People’s Parliament, is committed to delivering democracy to Nigeria through people-oriented resolutions and that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is committed to driving progress and development,

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Ecological Fund Office to make adequate appropriations in the 2023 supplementary budget as well as the 2024 Appropriation Budget Estimates;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to embark on the construction of the Oju–Otukpo–Oweto, Oju–Adum–Okuku and Oju–Uwoku/Ebonyi Federal Roads in Oju/Obi Federal Constituency, Benue State; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Works, Appropriations, and Ecological Fund to ensure compliance

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.


Adjournment:

The House at 13:04 PM adjourned plenary to Thursday, November 9th, 2023 by 10:00A.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

Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, November 8th, 2023.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen presiding.

After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Tuesday, November 7th, 2023.


ANNOUNCEMENT:

  1. There will be a sectoral debate on the floor of the House on Thursday, November 9th, 2023 by 10:00 AM. During this debate the House will engage the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigerian.

PETITION:

  1. Hon. Terseer Ugbor laid a petition on behalf of a complainant as her response against an earlier petition laid on the floor of the House alleging that she was illegally elevated in her place of work.

The petition was referred to the House Committee on Public Petitions.


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Unyime Idem moved a motion calling on the Inspector General of Police to take over the investigation into the kidnapping of Miss Emmabong Samuel who is a National Youth Service Corps member alongside 11 other Corps members serving in Kogi State and it was seconded by Hon. Yusuf Baraje. Hon. Idem in leading the debate stated that the victims were kidnapped when the vehicle they were traveling in was hijacked by gun men. He expressed worry in the increasing number of Corps members kidnapped recently which has dampened the zeal of the Corp members to serve their fatherland. Hon. Idem called for an urgent plan to be enacted in order to stop the kidnapping trend and restore faith in the security apparatus. He called on all relevant security agencies to ensure the evil trend of kidnapping is halted and that the House Committee on National Security should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on National Security.
  2. Hon. Kalejaye Adeboye moved a motion on the need to address the tragic incidence that occurred at Ladipo plank market in Lagos State and it was seconded by Hon. Adebayo Adepoju. Hon. Adeboye in leading the debate stated that the fire incident which consumed the shops in the plank market also affected other artisans and traders, and has left them devastated as the means of their livelihood have been totally destroyed.

He called on the Ministry of Humanitarian Services as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide relief and succour to the victims and that the relevant Committees of the House should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.


PRESENTATION OF REPORT:

Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate the Compliance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and Corporate Bodies:

Emmanuel Ukpong – Udo:

“That the House do receive the Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate the Compliance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and Corporate Bodies with the Industrial Training Funds Act and Other Reasons Affecting the Scheme from 2010 – 2022” (Referred:6/7/2023).

The report was laid following a motion moved by Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong and seconded by Hon. Adeniyi Ojuawo.


ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Regulate Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 242) (Hon. Olumide Osoba) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Olumide Osoba moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Patrick Umoh. Hon. Osoba in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to regulate corporate social responsibility and ensure it is done in a sane business environment and not a skewed marketing scheme. He stressed the social challenges on local businesses by the high influx of expatriate workers, especially of non-essential or professional staff. He stated that the bill seeks to ensure full monitoring and transparency of the practice for the protection of Nigerian workers and host communities. Hon. Osoba stated that the intended corporate social responsibility commission will first be domiciled in the relevant ministry of finance, budget and economic planning before it is later made independent.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha in contributing to the debate commended the spirit of the bill as it seeks to cure glaring manipulative problems and ensure funds are well channelled through the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning. He called for proper scrutiny in the application of corporate social responsibility to provide for the critical needs of host communities and not just channel funds to a few individuals.

Hon. Famous Osawaru also reiterated the importance of the judicious implementation of the intent of the bill to regulate corporate social responsibility in line with the renewed hope agenda of the federal government. This he stressed will go a long way in aiding the partnership between government and companies to develop society. He argued that corporate social responsibility should be incorporated into the Nigerian tax structure. He also stressed the need for the corporate social responsibility to be channeled to the critical needs of host communities to stop unrest and agitation by these frustrated host communities. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Corporate Social Responsibility.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend Nursing and Midwifery (Registration etc.) Act, Cap N143 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Review the Composition of the Council, Qualification and Tenure of Office of the Members of the Council, Review Penalty Provision and the Composition of the Tribunal, including Bachelor of Nursing Science, Community Nursing and Community Midwives in the Registrable Qualifications of the Council, give the Council timeline within which to complete indexing of Students, Register Prospective Members and issue License and Communicate the decision of the Council to Institutions that apply for Approval and for Related Matters (HB.605) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Balarabe. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Healthcare Services.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Polytechnics Act, Cap F17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Establish Federal College of Science and Health Technology, Mbu Isiuzo, Enugu State to provide Qualitative Education in Sciences, Health Arts and Other Technical Knowledge and for Related Matters (HB. 589) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Paul Nnamchi moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Sada Soli. Hon. Nnamchi in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks the establishment of the Institution for the provision of studies in science and health technology for Nigerians living in the region. This he stated is one of their most pressing needs. He stressed that the institution will help to bridge the gap for specialized educational in the region. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Polytechnics and Higher Education.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 to Provide for the Regulation of Artisanal Mining and Refining, Smelting Refining and Refining and the Provision of Stiffer Penalties for Offences under the Bill, to increase the effectiveness and for Related Matters (HB. 751) (Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi and Hon. Benjamin Okeize and Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Jonathan Gbwefi moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Dominic Okafor. Hon. Gbwefi in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to amend some sections of the Principal Act to protect the solid minerals sector for the diversification of the Nigerian economy and to prescribe adequate compensation for host communities. He stated that it seeks to clear the ambiguity in the roles of States and the Federal government in the supervision of mining activities.

Hon. Gbwefi also stated that the bill seeks to ensure proper accountability of miners in terms of their financial gains and the environmental impact assessment of their activities to government. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Solid Minerals Development.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide a framework for the Appointment of Staff of the Office of the National Security Adviser to enhance Institutional Memory and effective performance of the Responsibilities of the National Security Adviser and for Related Matters (HB.805) (Hon Ahmed Satomi and Hon. Stanley Olajide) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Stanley Olajide moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Martins Etim. Hon. Olajide in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to ensure the strengthening of the structure in the Office of the National Security Adviser. It further seeks to ensure the retention of skilled manpower for the office for the effective discharge of its crucial security responsibilities to Nigeria.

The bill he stated also seeks to provide a proper career structure for the benefits of staff in the office of the National Security Adviser and ensure they are well empowered to discharge their various security details. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence.


MOTIONS:

  1. Rescission of the Resolution on the Sitting of the House (New Order Five, Rule3) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives:

Hon. Francis E. Waive:

The House:

Notes that on Tuesday, 7 November 2023 it considered New Order Five, Rule3 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives on the Emergency sitting of the House was negative;

Aware of the importance of Order Five, Rule3 which allows Hon. Members to participate in Proceedings by electronic means;

Cognizant of the need to rescind the decision on Order Five Rules 3;

Resolves to:

rescind the decision of the House which negative New Order Five, Rules 3 of the Standing Order of the House of Representatives and commit it to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration.

Debate:

Hon. Francis Waive moved the motion on the recession of the resolution on the sitting of the House (New Order Five, Rule.3) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives and it was seconded by Hon. Sadiq Abdullahi. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Committee of the Whole.

  1. Need to Investigate Illegal Mining in Solid Mineral Sector:

Hon. Ibrahim Abdullahi Halims:

​The House:

Notes the significant economic potential of Nigeria’s Solid Mineral Sector in contributing to the country’s development and expansion of its revenue base;

Also notes the vast mineral resources in Nigeria that are largely untapped and underutilized, which can play a critical role in diversifying the economy, creating jobs, and boosting revenue generation;

Aware of the urgent need for focused intervention and radical measures to address the issues affecting the solid minerals sector and its underperformance, as indicated in the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2022 report, which states mineral sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, at 0.63 per cent, or N1.10 trillion, and contribution to government revenue, at 2.62 per cent of the government’s N6.63 trillion total revenue;

Concerned about the current challenges bedevilling the solid mineral sector because of illegal mining activities and acknowledging its detrimental impact on the environment, national security, and economic growth;

Worried about the loss of revenue from unregulated and illicit mining operations, costing the government $9 billion annually with only 3 per cent royalties paid by a few licensed miners, hindering the country’s mineral resource utilization;

Disturbed about the negative impacts of illegal mining, which have led to insecurity and conflicts over control of mining sites and their resources and escalated into violence, thus exacerbating existing political and social tensions in the affected communities;

Cognizant that due to the increased prevalence of illegal mining and other criminal activities affecting host communities, the governors of Taraba, Benue, and Nasarawa States have signed Executive Orders banning illegal mining to protect host communities and regulate mining activities in their states;

Recognizes the urgency of the Federal Government to swiftly and decisively address the revitalisation and development of this critical sector for the benefit of the Nigerian economy and its citizens;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the Mining Sector concerning illegal mining;

(ii) also urge the Federal Government to make a special intervention in the 2024 budget estimates to provide for the establishment of Mineral Monitoring and Inspection Offices equipped with qualified manpower and equipment/infrastructure in the 109 senatorial districts of the country;

(iii) further urge the Federal Government to constitute a special security task for two years life span comprising the military, Department of State Security Services (DSS), Immigration, Civil Defence, and the Nigeria Police Force to embark on a sweeping exercise to flush out all illegal miners; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved the motion on the need to investigate illegal mining in the solid mineral sector and it was seconded by Hon. Abonike Pascal.

Hon. Jonathan Gbwefi proposed an amendment to prayer 4 to incorporate the House Committee on Solid Minerals, National Security, Interior, Army, as well as that on Police Affairs to the prayer of the motion.

Hon. Ali Isa proposed an amendment to call for a proper investigation without urging the government to take action as that would be preemptive to the investigation. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Solid Minerals, National Security, Interior, Army as well as that on Police Affairs.

  1. Road development and Erosion Control of the Underpass at Wawa and Kara Sections along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway:

Hon. Ibrahim Ayokunle Isiaka:

The House:

Notes that the Lagos-Ibadan expressway is the oldest and most active intercity dual carriageway connecting Lagos to other parts of the country and facilitating international trade, with an estimated 250,000 daily passenger car units (PCU);

Observe that the two critical underpasses at the Wawa and Kara sections of the expressway were not factored into the scope of work (SOP), which can serve as traffic engineering to optimally utilize the road network when completed to reduce congestion during peak logging;

Aware of the wrap-up phase of the project at the Lagos end, which still requires additional scope at two sections of the Wawa and Kara underpasses;

Worried about the frequent loss of lives due to the lack of Pedestrian Crossover in the entire stretch of both the short and long bridges between the Wawa and Kara sections of the road;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to include the development of underpasses at the Wawa and Kara sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway before the demobilization of the contractor;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works to construct roads to and from Wawa and Kara Markets as recovery zones for vehicles straying from the expressway;

(iii) mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriations to ensure that budgetary provisions are made for the additional scope of work; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka moved the motion on the road development and erosion control of the underpass at Wawa and Kara sections along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and it was seconded by Hon. Clement Jimbo. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Appraise the Condition of Nigeria Federal Roads:

Hon. Akingbaso Festus O:

The House:

Notes that Nigeria has an estimated 193,200km of tarred roads, out of which 34,000 km are designated as Federal Roads linking the Federal Capital Territory, over 80% of the Federal Roads are in poor condition, thus causing national shame and embarrassment to the country and increasing the rate of insecurity, disincentivized trade and commerce, and poses a significant risk to life due to accidents;

Also notes that the roads are classified as Trunk “A” under Federal, Trunk “B” under State and Trunk “C” under Local Government Area, are all in a deplorable state, these roads pose a threat to national security, facilitating kidnapping, armed robbery, accidents, and loss of life;

Observes that the worst Trunk A Roads include the Okene–Auchi Benin Road, Akure–Owena–Ondo–Ore Road, Shagamu–Ore-Benin Road, Onitsha–Enugu–Port Harcourt Road, Kabba–Omuo–Ikole Road, Ikorodu–Shagamu Road, Okene–Lokoja–Abuja Road, Kabba–Isanlu–Egbe–Omu Aran-Ilorin Highway, Rijau Kontagora Road in Niger State and Kaduna–Birinin Gwari–Mokwa Road;

Aware that the Federal Government Roads have been awarded billions of Naira for construction, rehabilitation, or re-design, with funding from the National Budget, SUKUK Bonds, and International Developmental Agencies, unfortunately, most of these roads are in poor condition due to piecemeal funding, prolonging construction and rehabilitation works. For example, the Lokoja-Abuja Federal Highway, awarded in 2003, has been uncompleted for over 20 years, causing damage to rehabilitated portions;

Cognizant that in the past, the National Assembly has attempted to increase road projects’ budgets, enact the National Road Fund, and encourage Public-Private Partnerships, but the current financing model remains unsustainable;

Disturbed that despite the huge financing challenges, Nigeria has not done enough to access finance from International Financial Partners like the African Development Bank and World Bank Group on critical road projects due to its failure to meet funding requirements by Developmental Agencies;

Also cognizant of the exigency to review and re-appraise funding strategies and categorize roads are crucial for the present generation of Nigerians to enjoy good roads;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committee on Works to conduct an investigative hearing to ascertain the state of all Federal Trunk A Roads, particularly those under construction and rehabilitation to ascertain progress made and provide alternative funding arrangements for the construction and rehabilitation of federal roads.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Call on the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to Eradicate Drug Bunks in the Country:

Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo:

The House:

Notes that the functions of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, among others, are “strengthening cooperation with the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Police Force, Customs, Immigration, Welfare Officials, Health Officials, and Other Law Enforcement Agencies in the eradication of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances,” as mandated by Section 3(r) of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap.N30, Laws of the Federation, 2004;

Also notes the provisions of Section 3(f) of the Act, which state that “adoption of measures which shall include coordinated preventive and repressive action, introduction and maintenance of investigative and control techniques”

Disturbed that recent statistics from the Agency showed 40% of Nigerian youth aged 18–35 involved in drug abuse, and according to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), over 14.3 million aged 15–64 engaged in the same;

Alarmed that drug bunks are being opened in strategic locations in various cities across the country and fast becoming hostels where young Nigerians are found spending their entire day. These bunks are well-known to security agencies and citizens;

Worried that drug abuse in Nigeria is a growing concern, affecting personal growth, societal values, and health and security risks, with hotels and transport companies allegedly aiding illegal activities;

Also concerned that the future of Nigerian Youths is destroyed as they invest all their finances from legitimate or illegal means in enriching Drug Barons, affecting the country’s development and progress, a situation which jeopardizes the future of youths and undermines the development and progress of the country;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to come up with a mechanism aimed at targeting the eradication of drug bunks in all the states of the federation; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Drugs and Narcotics to ensure compliance.

Debate:
Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo moved the motion on the need to call on the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to eradicate drug bunks in the country and it was seconded by Hon. Zannah Usman. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Narcotics and Drugs.

  1. Need to Rehabilitate and Upgrade Wuro–Kesum Dam Gassol, Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State:

Hon. Jaafaru Yakubu:

The House:

Notes that Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State, with a population of about 385,500 persons and a land mass of about 5.298 km2 Area, lies on a flood plain where River Taraba converges with River Benue in the region of Upper Benue River Basin trough;

Also notes that because of its strategic location between two major rivers, the major economic activities in the constituency include fishing and farming;

Aware that the Wuro–Kesum Dam provides irrigation for agricultural purposes to the downstream farming communities of Wuro–Keso, Sandirde, Gassol, Mutual Biyu and Tella with over 1,500 hectares of land;

Concerned that the Wuro–Kesum Dam is dilapidated and in dire need of rehabilitation to revitalise economic activities in Gassol Local Government Area and its environs;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to provide funds for the rehabilitation and upgrading of Wuro–Kesum Dam, Gassol Local Government Area in the 2024 Budget estimates; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Water Resources to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Ja’afaru Yakubu moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate and upgrade Wuro–Kesum dam Gassol, Gassol local government area of Taraba state and it was seconded by Hon. Abdulrahman Ajiya.

An amendment was proposed to prayer 2 to incorporate the House Committee on Appropriations to the prayer of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Water Resources as well as that on Appropriations.

  1. Need to Reconstruct the Abandoned Portions of the Oju–Otukpo Oweto/Oju–Adum Okuku and Oju–Adumn–Okuku and Oju –Uwoku – Abakaliki Roads:

Hon. David Agada Ogewu:

The House:

Notes that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that the security, safety and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government. Furthermore, the National Assembly is responsible for creating laws for peace, order, and good governance in the Federation or its parts (including Oju/Obi Federal Constituency) as outlined in Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended);

Aware that the infrastructural and economic development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its parts is part of the core objectives of the Federal Government as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended);

Also aware that the Oju–Otukpo–Oweto, Oju–Adum–Okuku–lyahe–Abakaliki, and Oju Uwoku–Abakatiki roads are federal roads in Benue State serving as links between the North and South, with the Iyahe-AbakaIiki section of Oju–Adum–Okuku–lyahe–Abakaliki completed, however, Oju–Adum–Okuku, Oju–Otukpo–Oweto and Oju–Uwoku–Abakafiki Roads were deserted and abandoned;

Disturbed that the deplorable condition of the roads hinders farmers from distributing their produce to other parts of the country for economic exchange, affecting the shortest route connecting Benue State to The North-East, South-East and South-South Regions of the country;

Recognizes that the construction of Oju–Adum–Okuku, Oju–Otukpo–Oweto, and Oju–Uwoku–Abakatiki roads will link Enugu State and other parts of the south-east, alleviate hardship for Igede people, open arable lands for commercial agriculture, and alleviate poverty in Benue, Cross River, and Ebonyi States within a year of their construction;

Acknowledges that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Executive Governor of Benue State, Distinguished Senator Abba Moro of Benue South Senatorial District, and the current Hon. Minister of Works have collectively listened to the plight of the constituents and contributed to the inclusion of roads in the 2023 Supplementary Budget. However, no progress has been made on the construction/rehabilitation of the roads;

Cognizant that the 10th House of Representatives, a People’s Parliament, is committed to delivering democracy to Nigeria through people-oriented resolutions and that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is committed to driving progress and development,

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Ecological Fund Office to make adequate appropriations in the 2023 supplementary budget as well as the 2024 Appropriation Budget Estimates;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to embark on the construction of the Oju–Otukpo–Oweto, Oju–Adum–Okuku and Oju–Uwoku/Ebonyi Federal Roads in Oju/Obi Federal Constituency, Benue State; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Works, Appropriations, and Ecological Fund to ensure compliance

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.


Adjournment:

The House at 13:04 PM adjourned plenary to Thursday, November 9th, 2023 by 10:00A.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:
Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives.

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

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