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Nigeria National Assembly Plenary proceedings, House of Reps, Thur, Nov 9th, 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 Wednesday, November 8th, 2023.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. From the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters: The need to strengthen relationship between the Legislative and Executive arms of government with the aim of achieving the goal of the current administration. He expressed his willingness and readiness to iron out any issues that may cause hiccups between the Executive and Honourable Members as well as Committees of the House.
  2. The House Committee on Finance announced for the appearance of the leadership of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government listed in its media publication to appear for an interactive session with the House Committee on Finance, Debt Management as well as that on National Planning. This will soon commence to discuss the Mid Term Expenditure Framework which is prelude to the laying of the 2024 Appropriation proposal by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, before Parliament. It is mandatory for the leadership of the MDAs to attend.
  3. The House has rescheduled the sectoral debate to next week with the Security Sector billed to appear before it.

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

  1. Hon. Sani Aliyu Danlami (Katsina Central APC).

PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Sadiq Abdullahi laid a petition on behalf of a community in Kaduna State against the Nigerian Army over the alleged dispute of a farmland of over 50 hectares since 1972.
  2. Hon. Ayodeji Akala laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against officers of the Nigeria Police Force who allegedly brutalized him resulting to the loss of his sight on one eye. He complained that the police has not complied with a court order for his due compensation. He called on the House to aid in his getting Justice.
  3. Hon. Adesola Adedayo laid a petition on behalf of a community factory against the alleged non-existent power station resulting in loss of production and the threat of the closure of the factory.
  4. Hon. Saidu Abdullahi laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Federal Capital Territory Administration on alleged unlawful termination of his employment.
  5. Hon. Ishaya David laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Forestry Mechanization Agency on its alleged failure to comply with regulations of the Minister of Environment.
  6. Hon. Kolawole Davidson laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Federal Ministry of Education on alleged misuse of funds in connivance with the Principal of the Federal School of Science in Osun State.

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


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Famous Osawaru moved a motion on the urgent need to conduct a baseline survey on fake malaria medication in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Pascal Abodike. Hon. Osawaru in leading the debate stated that the conduct of the survey is truly critical due to the number of Nigerians that die daily to malaria. He stated that there is intelligence that a whole lot of counterfeit drugs had been smuggled into Nigeria from India. Hon. Osawaru expressed worry that these drugs are responsible for increasing the rate and likelihood of death due to malaria.

He commended NAFDAC for its efforts so far at battling this menace, but urged that more needs to be done in this regard. He stressed that the survey will provide data to be used to fight the scourge of fake drugs within Nigeria. He called on the House Committee on HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malarial Control to ensure compliance to the prayer of the motion.

Hon. Dickson Tarkighir proposed an amendment to mandate the House C toommittee on NAFDAC to take the lead in handling the issue. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on HIV AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malarial Control as well as that on NAFDAC.

  1. Hon. Uduak Odudoh moved a motion on the need to stop the continuous killing of fishermen by pirates terrorizing the waterways of Akwa Ibom State and it was seconded by Hon. Chris Nkwonta. Hon. Odudoh in leading the debate bemoaned the continuous activities of pirates on Nigerian waterways who continue to deprive the region of Akwa Ibom of valuable human and economical resources as the fishermen are afraid to explore the waterways as the pirates seize all their cash, boats and goods.

He called on the relevant national security agencies to ensure safety on Nigerian waterways for Maritime economic development and that the House Committee on Navy should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Maritime Safety Administration and Education as well as that on Legislative Compliance.


​​​​​​​​​​​​ PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.861) (Hon. Henry Odianosen Okojie) – First Reading.
  2. National Entrepreneurship and Artisan Training Institute, Ibefun–Ilado, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.862) (Hon. Olufemi Adeleke Ogunbanwo) – First Reading.
  3. National Institute for Creative and Performing Arts, Ososa–Ijebu, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.863)(Hon. Olufemi Adeleke Ogunbanwo) – First Reading.
  4. Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.864) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – First Reading.
  5. Health Equipment Credit Guarantee Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.865) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – First Reading.
  6. Federal College of Aviation Technology, Ogume, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.866) (Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi) – First Reading.
  7. Federal University of Medical and Health Sciences, Kwale, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.867) (Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi) – First Reading.
    438​​​​​​Thursday, 9th November 2023​​​​ No. 53
  8. National Institute for Cardiovascular Disease Research and Treatment, Kano State, (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.868) (Hon. Hassan Shehu Hussain) – First Reading.
  9. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.869) (Hon. Peter Akpatason) – First Reading.
  10. Medical and Dental Practitioners Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.870) (Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong –Udo) – First Reading.
  11. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.871) (Hon. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai) – First Reading.
  12. Police Service Commission Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.872) (Hon. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai) – First Reading.
  13. Fiscal Responsibility Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.873) (Hon. Marcus Onobun) – First Reading.
  14. Finance Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.874) (Hon. Marcus Onobun) – First Reading.
  15. Federal College of Agricultural Technology, Otun- Ekiti, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.875) (Hon. Francis Waive) – First Reading.
  16. National Steel Council Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.876) (Hon. Henry Odianosen Okojie) – First Reading.
  17. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.877) (Hon. Awaji Inombek Abiante) – First Reading.
  18. National Apprenticeship Training Institute (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.878) (Hon. Abiola Peter Makinde) – First Reading.
  19. National Teachers’ Institute Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.879) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – First Reading.
  20. Federal University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bida, Niger State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.880) (Hon. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  21. National Research and Innovation Council (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.881) (Hon. Victor Obuzor) – First Reading.
  22. Federal University, Gusau, Sokoto State (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.882) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – First Reading.

ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal University of Agriculture, Ute Ukpu to make Comprehensive Provisions for its Due Management and Administration and for Related Matters (HB.105) (Hon. Philip Agbese) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Philip Agbese moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Shettima Ali. Hon. Agbese in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks the establishment of the proposed agricultural university to provide world class learning in agricultural practice. This he stated is in the spirit of providing a quality alternative to oil in the bid for economic diversification in Nigeria.

Hon. Agbese stated that the establishment of the proposed university will give close proximity to interested students within the region to gain the much needed education in agricultural procedure and practice. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, Cap. C4, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and for Related Matters (HB.16) (Hon. Francis Ejiroghene Waive) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Francis Waive moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Shehu. Hon. Waive in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to ensure the Legislature amend the CBN Act to help CBN in ensuring the Chairmanship of the board is separated from the office of the Governor to check the abuse of office.

The bill further seeks to ensure the Governor or the most senior Deputy take charge of the day-to-day running of the CBN as against the Governor appointing just anyone amongst the Deputy Governors.

Another amendment aimed at strengthening the fiscal accountability is for the Salary and Wages Commission to fix and adjust salaries of the staff of the CBN subject to approval by the President of the country, and not that CBN should have the powers to determine the adjustment of these wages at will. He also proposed an amendment that currency change/swap must be done in clarity and with due public notice. A further amendment is to ensure the CBN budget is scrutinized months before the commencement of the financial year in order to ensure accountability.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha in contributing to the debate praised the body and spirit of the bill as it seeks to eradicate impunity and abuse of office in the CBN. He stated that Nigerians have long clamored for this amendment due to the lording of the leadership of the CBN over the leadership of other financial institutions.

Hon. Kingsley Chinda in his contribution praised the spirit of the bill as it seeks to cure gross abuse of office, abuse of financial laws, social responsibility laws etc. He stated that the Legislature is right to use Legislative tools to right these perceived wrongs and that the bill is timely.

Hon. Isa Mohammed in speaking against the bill expressed concern that if the provision for appointing the Governor and Chairman is applied as stipulated in the bill; chances are that it will abuse the spirit of Federal character. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Banking Regulations.


MOTIONS:

  1. Reconsideration of Outstanding Bills from Preceding Assembly:

Hon. Francis E. Waive:

(i) Chartered Institute of Mentoring and Life Coaching of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.753);
(ii) Institute of Chartered Trustees of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.714);
(iii) Federal College of Education, Ugboha, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.522);
(iv) National Institute of Agricultural Research Oria, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.523);
(v) National Road Fund Bill, 2023 (HB.305);
(vi) Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill, 2023 (HB.611);
(vii) National Food Safety Council and National Food Safety Management Committee (Est) Bill, 2023 (HB.613);
(viii) Nigerian Weights and Measures Regulatory Agency Bill, 2023 (HB.614);
(ix) Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.615);
(x) Federal Produce Inspection Service (Enforcement of Exports Standards)(Etc.) Bill, 2023 (HB.616);
(xi) National Research and Innovation Council (Est) Bill, 2023 (HB.697); and
(xii) Office of Budget Management of the Federation (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.698).

The House:

Notes that pursuant to Order Twelve, Rule 16 of the Standing Orders of the House, Bills passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence for which no concurrence was made or negatived or passed by the Senate and forwarded to the House for which no concurrence was made or negatived or which were passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the Assembly, the House may resolve that such Bill, upon being re-gazetted or clean copies circulated, be re-considered in the Committee of the Whole without being commenced de-novo;

Also notes that the aforementioned Bills were passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the last Assembly;

Aware that the Bills were read for the first time as 753, 714, 522. 523,305, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616,697 and 698 respectively;

Resolves to:

Re-commit the Bills to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration.

Debate:

Hon. Francis Waive moved the motion on reconsideration of outstanding bills from preceding Assembly and it was seconded by Hon. Chinedu Ogah. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Committee of the Whole.

  1. Rescission on the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HBs 309 and 482).

Hon. Francis E. Waive:

The House:

Notes that the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2023 was read the Third time and passed on Thursday 12 October, 2023;

Also notes that after the passage of the Bill new facts emerged that will strengthen the function and the operational structure of the corps;

Appreciate the need to rescind its decision on the Bill and recommit it to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration.

Resolves to:

Recommend the Bill to the Committee of the Whole.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Illegal Incarceration of Okumah Chika and Discriminatory Arrests of Nigerians in the Republic of Benin:

Hon. O. K Chinda​​ Hon. Fred Agbedi​​​ Hon. Bitrus Laon Hon. Abdulsalam Dasuki i​​Hon. Felix Nwaeke​​​ Hon. Kelechi Nwogu
Hon. Ginger Onwusibe​ Hon. Mark Esset​​​Hon. Rodney A.
Hon. Nkewonta​​Hon. Patrick Umoh:

The House:

Notes that Okumah Chika, a Nigerian who legitimately and legally resides and works in the Republic of Benin is alleged to have been arrested by the country’s Police Service – the Republican Police (DGPR) on April 18, 2023;

Concerned that Okumah Chika, who after his undergraduate academic programme in the Republic of Benin, worked as an Administrative Staff at ESFAM University in Port Novo, has been incarcerated at the Akpro-Missérété Prison since April 26, 2023, over allegations of internet fraud;

Also concerned that after a series of investigations which confirmed that Okumah Chika is legally employed by ESFAM University and that his job schedule includes processing admissions, facilitating transcripts, academic guidance and similar duties, he is still being held in detention by the Republican Police authorities;

Worried that many Nigerians in the Republic of Benin who are legal residents, engaging in lawful enterprises are victims of unlawful and discriminatory arrests and detention by the Republican Police;

Also worried that the unlawful and illegal detention of Okumah Chika and other patriotic Nigerians are mostly orchestrated and influenced by their Beninese colleagues, work-mates and acquaintances who are envious of the hardworking, resilient and enterprising spirit of Nigerians;

Disturbed that the incessant arrests and hounding of Nigerians living and working in the Republic of Benin has made their life hellish as they are perpetually living in fear, worry and confusion, if urgent and immediate steps are not taken to address this issue, it may affect the age-long diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin;

Cognizant that, considering the economic benefits which the Republic gains from Nigeria, the mistreatment of Nigerians living over there is not a reflection of appreciation for Nigeria’s benevolence;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights and Diaspora to investigate the incessant mistreatment of Nigerians living in the Republic of Benin and report within two (2) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe moved the motion on illegal incarceration of Okumah Chika and indiscriminatory arrests of Nigerians in the Republic of Benin and it was seconded by Hon. Eze Nwachukwu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights as well as that on Diaspora.

  1. Flood Disaster and Erosion in White Sand Areas of Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State:

Hon. Ganiyu Adele Ayuba:

The House:

Notes that heavy rainfall and floods have caused significant damage in communities like White Sand, Fagbile, in Isheri-Oshun of Alimosho Federal Constituency, linking 6th Avenue, FESTAC Town in Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency of Lagos State, destroying goods and properties worth millions of naira and leaving thousands homeless;

Also notes that the floods in Alimosho Federal Constituency affected infrastructures on FESTAC-Isheri-Oshun roads and SAMADI-Vulcanizer roads connecting Israel-Afolabi-FESTAC and Festivals of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) Town roads in Lagos State;

Concerned that this natural disaster caused by environmental degradation due to human activities can lead to epidemics, hunger, and despair among communities if not addressed by the Federal Government;

Aware that Section 20 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) mandates the government to ensure the environmental sustainability and safety of citizens’ lives and properties, and Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals advocates the same;

Recognizes that Federal Government intervention in the communities can significantly prevent and mitigate the devastating effects of perennial flood disasters;

Cognizant that the personal losses suffered by the residents in the affected areas can be alleviated by providing relief materials pending the provision of a permanent solution to the problem;

Resolves to:

(i) commiserate with the people of Alimosho Federal Constituency and urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send relief materials to the victims of the flood disaster;

(ii) urge the Ecological Fund Office (EFO) to redeem the ecological problems in Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State;

(iii) mandate the Committees on Environment, Ecological Fund, and Works to undertake a tour assessment of the affected areas, ascertain the level of damages to the communities and liaise with relevant agencies to recommend measures to tackle the menace; and

(iv) mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriations to make provision in the 2024 Budget estimates to rehabilitate damaged roads in Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State.

Debate:

Hon. Ganiyu Ayuba moved the motion on flood disaster and erosion in White Sand Areas of Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Muazu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works, Appropriations, Environment as well as that on Ecological Fund.

  1. Reconnection of Electricity Supply to Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Consistency of Zamfara State by
    Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company:

Hon. Bello Hassan Shinkafi:

The House:

Notes that the provision of roads, water, electricity and other socio-economic facilities, including education and security, are fundamental responsibilities of the Government;

Also notes that Electricity Transmission and Distribution Companies are mandated to provide electricity and connect all parts of Nigeria including Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency to the National Grid through functional sub-stations, transformers and other electricity supply apparatus;

Concerned that in the last seven years, the people of Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency have been cut off from the National Electricity Grid and have not had any electricity supply, which has hampered economic activities and, by extension, the development of the area;

Worried that due to the high level of insecurity in Zamfara State and Shinkafi Zurmi Constituency specifically, the absence and lack of electricity supply through the National Grid has left the people feeling alienated, neglected and marginalised by the Federal Government, which could lead to disillusionment and restiveness among the people;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Power to direct the Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company responsible for Zamfara State to restore electricity in Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Power to investigate the persistent electricity anomaly and ensure that the Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency is connected to the National Grid.

Further observed that the economic activities of the people and by extension, livelihood and prosperity have been continuously hampered in the last seven years whose eventual impact is progressively pushing them down the poverty ladder;

Worried that because of the high level of insecurity in Zamfara State and Shinkafi Zurmi Constituency specifically, the absence and lack of electricity supply through the National Grid to the good people of Shinkafi/Zurmi will continue to impact negatively on the social and economic lives of the people;

Concerned that no provision of electricity supply network facilities and integration of the Constituency alienated them which made the people perceive that they have been neglected and marginalised by the Federal Government, thereby creating disillusion and restiveness among the people. This negates the Principles of Governance as enshrined in Article II of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Ministry of Power to direct the Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company
Responsible for Zamfara State to restore electricity in the Constituency; and

(ii)​mandate the Committee on Power to investigate the persistent anomaly and liaise with the appropriate Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and the Regulatory Commission to facilitate economic activities and improve the quality of livelihood of the people of the area.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Investigate the Privatisation and Subsequent Abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills:
    Hon. Adewale Morufu Adebayo ​​​Hon.

Akanni Clement Ademola:

The House:

Notes that Osogbo Steel Rolling Company was one of the three Inland Rolling Mills in Nigeria established by an Act of the Federal Government of 1976 and officially commissioned in 1983 to produce a maximum of 210,000 metric tons of Iron Rods annually;

Also notes that Nigeria Machine Tools (NMT) was founded in 1980 to manufacture and distribute high-integrity machine tools and other engineering products and spares designed to serve the projects, operation and maintenance needs of a range of industries;

Further notes that the two entities were critical components of the Nigerian industrial sector as the Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills produced part of the steel used in the construction of Africa’s largest Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos;

Aware that the Privatization and Commercialization Act provides for the privatization and commercialization of Federal Government-owned enterprises, as well as those in which the Federal Government has an equity stake;

Also aware that both companies and other National Assets were sold to private investors by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to bring in core investors either foreign or domestic to turn around the company and contribute to the growth of the economy;

Further aware that Osogbo Steel Rolling Company was designed to be completed in three phases, the first phase was to produce 210,000 tons annually with 1,000 workers, the second phase was to increase the annual capacity to 420,000tons of steel annually with a staff strength of 2,000 while the third phase was to increase capacity to 630,000 tons annually with 3,000 staff strength;

Recalls that in line with the Privatization Act, the Federal Government sought and got a Federal high court order to liquidate Osogbo Steel Rolling Company and other Steel Rolling Mills in 2005;

Also recalls that the stakeholders in Osun State, including lawmakers, are protesting the abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills and Nigeria Machine Tools, calling for a review of privatization.

Worried that after the privatization of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills, the company has suffered a lack of maintenance and investment leading to a state of disrepair and operational inefficiency, thus undermining the potential of the steel industry to create employment opportunities and economic growth in the region;

Also worried that after the privatization of Nigeria Machine Tools, the company has experienced a decline in production capacity and overall performance which is a significant setback for the manufacturing sector;

Further worried that the abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills and Nigeria Machine Tools by investors and the failure of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to oversee and enforce the provisions of the asset sales and purchase agreement has led to the proliferation of substandard steel product littering the Nigeria market;

Observes that the abandoned properties are used by Criminals, Gunmen, Kidnappers, and Marijuana dealers, among several societal ill actors;

Resolves to:
(i) urge the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to embark on regular inspections and monitoring of government-owned enterprises acquired by investors;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Privatization and Commercialization, Industry, and Steel to investigate the abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Company and Nigeria Machine Tools (NMT) and report within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Adewale Adebayo moved the motion on the need to investigate the privatization and subsequent abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills and it was seconded by Hon. Awaji Dagomie Abiante.

Hon. Dominic Okafor proposed an amendment to the heading to add the conditions of other rolling mills to also be investigated in tandem with prayer 2 of the motion.

Hon. Saidu Abdullahi proposed an amendment to prayer 1 of the motion calling on the BPE to conduct the inspections on all such privatized public entities and that the House Committee on Privatization should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Privatization and Commercialization as well as that on Industry.

  1. Need to Replace Damaged Concrete Poles and Connect to the National Grid Communities in Shira/Gaide Federal Constituency of Bauchi State:

Hon. Sani Ibrahim Tanko:

The House:

Notes that the Rural Electrification Agency was established in 2006, and was mandated by its enabling Act to Promote Rural Electrification in the Country, Co-ordinate Rural Electrification Programs and administer the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) to promote, support and provide rural electrification through Public and Private Sector Participation; and reliable electricity is what makes the difference between sustainable development and retrogression, as energy poverty affects the standard of other social systems, including healthcare, education and living conditions;

Also note that the core mandate of the Agency is to provide access to reliable electric power for rural dwellers irrespective of where they live and what they do, in a way that would allow a reasonable return on investment and appropriate tariff that is economically responsive and supportive of the average rural customers;

Concerned that the following communities namely: Zubo, Beli, Gagidiba, Dango, Bukul, Kilbori, Bangire and Zigau Communities in Shira Local Government Area of Bauchi State were electrified and connected to the national grid;

Worried that the Zirami, Uzum, Sabon Sara, Zankan, Tagwaye, Jawo, and Faguji communities in Giade Local Government Area of Bauchi State were equally connected to the national grid after the completion of the projects;

Aware that after a heavy downpour, the infrastructure in the above-mentioned communities was damaged as a result of a rain storm occasioned by strong winds in September 2019; and

Also worried that the concrete poles and aluminum conductors were destroyed and the accessories washed away by flood;

Resolves to:

(i) mandate the Committee on Rural Electrification Agency to interface the Agency to ensure the replacement of damaged poles and connection to the national grid of the following Communities: Zubo, Beli, Gagidiba, Dango, Bukul, Kilbori, Bangire, Zigau and Zirami, Uzum, Sabon Sara, Zankan, Tagwaye, Jawo, and Faguji respectively to the national grid in Shira/Giade Federal Constituency, Bauchi State;

(ii) also mandate the Committee on Appropriation to include the electrification of the above-mentioned communities in Shira/Giade Federal Constituency in the 2024 Appropriation Act;

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

Debate:

Hon. Sani Tanko moved the motion on the need to replace the damaged concrete poles and connect to the national grid communities in Shira/Gaide Federal Constituency of Bauchi State and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Abdulmumin. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Appropriation as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Revitalize the Sabke Dam in Daura Local Government Area of Katsina State:

Hon. Aminu Jamo Daura:

The House:

Notes the challenges faced by residents of Daura Local Government Area and its surrounding areas due to insufficient access to water resources which is crucial for agricultural sustainability;

Also notes the Sabke Damn project was initiated in 1998 by the Federal Government with the aims to enhance agricultural production and provide potable water to the people of Daura Local Government Area;

Further notes the abandonment of the Sabke Dam project has inflicted severe socio-economic hardships on the residents of Daura Local Government Area;

Aware of the imperative of conducting a comprehensive 7km upstream and 3km downstream desilting and river training operation to optimize reservoir inflow by mitigating sedimentation and vegetation, thereby enhancing agricultural output;

Disturbed by the adverse impact of the vandalized power line from Shargalle village to the Sabke Dam project, the lack of agricultural machinery hindering agricultural production, and the dire state of complementary resources such as deteriorating staff quarters and the absence of operational vehicles, which collectively pose significant barriers to agricultural productivity, socioeconomic progress, and other vital aspects;

Cognizant that revitalizing the Sabke Dam project holds immense potential to yield substantial benefits to Daura Local Government Area, its environs and the entire nation, particularly in elevating agriculture and expanding access to potable water, ultimately enhancing livelihoods for its residents;

Also cognizant of the need to address issues of public concern and advocate for the well-being and development of the constituencies to the benefit of all.

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture, and Rural Development and Power to expedite action on the revitalization of the Sabke Dam project and reconnect to the national grid via the power line from Shargalle village;

(ii) also urge relevant authorities to prioritize the well-being and livelihoods of the citizens and restore access to potable water and irrigation facilities through the prompt revitalization of the Sabke Dam project;

(iii) mandate the Committees of Water Resources to engage with the Federal Ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture, and Rural Development and Power and provide a comprehensive update on the status of the Sabke Dam project; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Aminu Daura moved the motion on the need to relativize the Sabke Dam in Daura local government area of Katsina State and it was seconded by Hon. Midala Balami.

Hon. Salisu Majigiri proposed an amendment to prayer 2 of the motion to incorporate communities in his Constituency in Katsina State into 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 Legislative Compliance.

  1. Call to Activate the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) in Omuihuechi Aluu, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State:

Hon. Boniface Sunday Emerengwa:

The House:

Notes that on 29 May 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared an emergency in the Agricultural Sector and food sufficiency in Nigeria;

Also notes that the President renamed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, demonstrating the administration’s commitment to ensuring Nigeria’s food security;

Aware that the African Regional Aquaculture Centre is a department of the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), established in 1980 with FAO/UNDP assistance, the centre trains senior and vocational aquaculture professionals to increase fish production through brackish water fish farming, focusing on training and research in aquaculture;

Further notes the centre also provides training for a one-year postgraduate diploma in aquaculture and a one-year Master of Science (MSc) degree in aquaculture;

Worried that the centre’s significant mandate has been neglected due to a lack of funds and previous administration abandonment, causing a shortage of trained personnel for the country’s fish sufficiency;

Concerned that the last postgraduate programmes were discontinued in 2000 due to a lack of funds. Reactivation of the postgraduate programmes and new courses are needed to meet current realities. Over 8,000 fish farmers and extension advisers have been trained, but tens of thousands may be denied access;

Disturbed that the majority of the people in Rivers State and the South-South are predominately farmers and fishermen, eager to support the current Nigerian administration in ensuring food sufficiency if the Centre has full operational capacity;

Recognizes the urgent need to investigate the immediate and remote cause(s) of the abysmal performance of the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) to save it from its moribund state

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to interface with the establishment to unravel the remote and immediate cause of the present decadency of the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC); and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions to ensure that the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) enjoys reasonable funding in the 2024 Budget Estimates.

Debate:

Hon. Boniface Emerengwa moved the motion on a call to activate the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) in Omuihuechi Aluu, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State and it was seconded by Hon. Ja’far Mohammed. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.


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

  1. 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).

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the report seeks to continue improving on the Legislative Agenda of the House in order to provide a guideline for the House to properly function to take care of evolving issues as they may arise. It also seeks to ensure excellent relations between Honourable Members in engaging with their constituents and make their work much smoother to carry out.

Summary of voting:

Recommendations voted on and adopted: 2-5, 7 & 8

Recommendations amended and adopted: 1, 6.


HOUSE IN PLENARY:

The House reverted to plenary and adopted the report of the Committee of the Whole following a motion by Hon. Usman Kumo and seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda.


Adjournment:

The House at 13:38 PM adjourned plenary to Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 by 10:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Usman Kumo and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Thursday, November 9th, 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 Wednesday, November 8th, 2023.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. From the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters: The need to strengthen relationship between the Legislative and Executive arms of government with the aim of achieving the goal of the current administration. He expressed his willingness and readiness to iron out any issues that may cause hiccups between the Executive and Honourable Members as well as Committees of the House.
  2. The House Committee on Finance announced for the appearance of the leadership of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government listed in its media publication to appear for an interactive session with the House Committee on Finance, Debt Management as well as that on National Planning. This will soon commence to discuss the Mid Term Expenditure Framework which is prelude to the laying of the 2024 Appropriation proposal by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, before Parliament. It is mandatory for the leadership of the MDAs to attend.
  3. The House has rescheduled the sectoral debate to next week with the Security Sector billed to appear before it.

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

  1. Hon. Sani Aliyu Danlami (Katsina Central APC).

PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Sadiq Abdullahi laid a petition on behalf of a community in Kaduna State against the Nigerian Army over the alleged dispute of a farmland of over 50 hectares since 1972.
  2. Hon. Ayodeji Akala laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against officers of the Nigeria Police Force who allegedly brutalized him resulting to the loss of his sight on one eye. He complained that the police has not complied with a court order for his due compensation. He called on the House to aid in his getting Justice.
  3. Hon. Adesola Adedayo laid a petition on behalf of a community factory against the alleged non-existent power station resulting in loss of production and the threat of the closure of the factory.
  4. Hon. Saidu Abdullahi laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Federal Capital Territory Administration on alleged unlawful termination of his employment.
  5. Hon. Ishaya David laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Forestry Mechanization Agency on its alleged failure to comply with regulations of the Minister of Environment.
  6. Hon. Kolawole Davidson laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Federal Ministry of Education on alleged misuse of funds in connivance with the Principal of the Federal School of Science in Osun State.

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


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Famous Osawaru moved a motion on the urgent need to conduct a baseline survey on fake malaria medication in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Pascal Abodike. Hon. Osawaru in leading the debate stated that the conduct of the survey is truly critical due to the number of Nigerians that die daily to malaria. He stated that there is intelligence that a whole lot of counterfeit drugs had been smuggled into Nigeria from India. Hon. Osawaru expressed worry that these drugs are responsible for increasing the rate and likelihood of death due to malaria.

He commended NAFDAC for its efforts so far at battling this menace, but urged that more needs to be done in this regard. He stressed that the survey will provide data to be used to fight the scourge of fake drugs within Nigeria. He called on the House Committee on HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malarial Control to ensure compliance to the prayer of the motion.

Hon. Dickson Tarkighir proposed an amendment to mandate the House C toommittee on NAFDAC to take the lead in handling the issue. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on HIV AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malarial Control as well as that on NAFDAC.

  1. Hon. Uduak Odudoh moved a motion on the need to stop the continuous killing of fishermen by pirates terrorizing the waterways of Akwa Ibom State and it was seconded by Hon. Chris Nkwonta. Hon. Odudoh in leading the debate bemoaned the continuous activities of pirates on Nigerian waterways who continue to deprive the region of Akwa Ibom of valuable human and economical resources as the fishermen are afraid to explore the waterways as the pirates seize all their cash, boats and goods.

He called on the relevant national security agencies to ensure safety on Nigerian waterways for Maritime economic development and that the House Committee on Navy should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Maritime Safety Administration and Education as well as that on Legislative Compliance.


​​​​​​​​​​​​ PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.861) (Hon. Henry Odianosen Okojie) – First Reading.
  2. National Entrepreneurship and Artisan Training Institute, Ibefun–Ilado, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.862) (Hon. Olufemi Adeleke Ogunbanwo) – First Reading.
  3. National Institute for Creative and Performing Arts, Ososa–Ijebu, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.863)(Hon. Olufemi Adeleke Ogunbanwo) – First Reading.
  4. Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.864) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – First Reading.
  5. Health Equipment Credit Guarantee Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.865) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – First Reading.
  6. Federal College of Aviation Technology, Ogume, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.866) (Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi) – First Reading.
  7. Federal University of Medical and Health Sciences, Kwale, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.867) (Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi) – First Reading.
    438​​​​​​Thursday, 9th November 2023​​​​ No. 53
  8. National Institute for Cardiovascular Disease Research and Treatment, Kano State, (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.868) (Hon. Hassan Shehu Hussain) – First Reading.
  9. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.869) (Hon. Peter Akpatason) – First Reading.
  10. Medical and Dental Practitioners Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.870) (Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong –Udo) – First Reading.
  11. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.871) (Hon. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai) – First Reading.
  12. Police Service Commission Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.872) (Hon. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai) – First Reading.
  13. Fiscal Responsibility Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.873) (Hon. Marcus Onobun) – First Reading.
  14. Finance Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.874) (Hon. Marcus Onobun) – First Reading.
  15. Federal College of Agricultural Technology, Otun- Ekiti, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.875) (Hon. Francis Waive) – First Reading.
  16. National Steel Council Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.876) (Hon. Henry Odianosen Okojie) – First Reading.
  17. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.877) (Hon. Awaji Inombek Abiante) – First Reading.
  18. National Apprenticeship Training Institute (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.878) (Hon. Abiola Peter Makinde) – First Reading.
  19. National Teachers’ Institute Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.879) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – First Reading.
  20. Federal University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bida, Niger State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.880) (Hon. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  21. National Research and Innovation Council (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.881) (Hon. Victor Obuzor) – First Reading.
  22. Federal University, Gusau, Sokoto State (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.882) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – First Reading.

ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal University of Agriculture, Ute Ukpu to make Comprehensive Provisions for its Due Management and Administration and for Related Matters (HB.105) (Hon. Philip Agbese) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Philip Agbese moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Shettima Ali. Hon. Agbese in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks the establishment of the proposed agricultural university to provide world class learning in agricultural practice. This he stated is in the spirit of providing a quality alternative to oil in the bid for economic diversification in Nigeria.

Hon. Agbese stated that the establishment of the proposed university will give close proximity to interested students within the region to gain the much needed education in agricultural procedure and practice. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, Cap. C4, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and for Related Matters (HB.16) (Hon. Francis Ejiroghene Waive) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Francis Waive moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Shehu. Hon. Waive in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to ensure the Legislature amend the CBN Act to help CBN in ensuring the Chairmanship of the board is separated from the office of the Governor to check the abuse of office.

The bill further seeks to ensure the Governor or the most senior Deputy take charge of the day-to-day running of the CBN as against the Governor appointing just anyone amongst the Deputy Governors.

Another amendment aimed at strengthening the fiscal accountability is for the Salary and Wages Commission to fix and adjust salaries of the staff of the CBN subject to approval by the President of the country, and not that CBN should have the powers to determine the adjustment of these wages at will. He also proposed an amendment that currency change/swap must be done in clarity and with due public notice. A further amendment is to ensure the CBN budget is scrutinized months before the commencement of the financial year in order to ensure accountability.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha in contributing to the debate praised the body and spirit of the bill as it seeks to eradicate impunity and abuse of office in the CBN. He stated that Nigerians have long clamored for this amendment due to the lording of the leadership of the CBN over the leadership of other financial institutions.

Hon. Kingsley Chinda in his contribution praised the spirit of the bill as it seeks to cure gross abuse of office, abuse of financial laws, social responsibility laws etc. He stated that the Legislature is right to use Legislative tools to right these perceived wrongs and that the bill is timely.

Hon. Isa Mohammed in speaking against the bill expressed concern that if the provision for appointing the Governor and Chairman is applied as stipulated in the bill; chances are that it will abuse the spirit of Federal character. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Banking Regulations.


MOTIONS:

  1. Reconsideration of Outstanding Bills from Preceding Assembly:

Hon. Francis E. Waive:

(i) Chartered Institute of Mentoring and Life Coaching of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.753);
(ii) Institute of Chartered Trustees of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.714);
(iii) Federal College of Education, Ugboha, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.522);
(iv) National Institute of Agricultural Research Oria, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.523);
(v) National Road Fund Bill, 2023 (HB.305);
(vi) Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill, 2023 (HB.611);
(vii) National Food Safety Council and National Food Safety Management Committee (Est) Bill, 2023 (HB.613);
(viii) Nigerian Weights and Measures Regulatory Agency Bill, 2023 (HB.614);
(ix) Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.615);
(x) Federal Produce Inspection Service (Enforcement of Exports Standards)(Etc.) Bill, 2023 (HB.616);
(xi) National Research and Innovation Council (Est) Bill, 2023 (HB.697); and
(xii) Office of Budget Management of the Federation (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.698).

The House:

Notes that pursuant to Order Twelve, Rule 16 of the Standing Orders of the House, Bills passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence for which no concurrence was made or negatived or passed by the Senate and forwarded to the House for which no concurrence was made or negatived or which were passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the Assembly, the House may resolve that such Bill, upon being re-gazetted or clean copies circulated, be re-considered in the Committee of the Whole without being commenced de-novo;

Also notes that the aforementioned Bills were passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the last Assembly;

Aware that the Bills were read for the first time as 753, 714, 522. 523,305, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616,697 and 698 respectively;

Resolves to:

Re-commit the Bills to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration.

Debate:

Hon. Francis Waive moved the motion on reconsideration of outstanding bills from preceding Assembly and it was seconded by Hon. Chinedu Ogah. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Committee of the Whole.

  1. Rescission on the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HBs 309 and 482).

Hon. Francis E. Waive:

The House:

Notes that the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2023 was read the Third time and passed on Thursday 12 October, 2023;

Also notes that after the passage of the Bill new facts emerged that will strengthen the function and the operational structure of the corps;

Appreciate the need to rescind its decision on the Bill and recommit it to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration.

Resolves to:

Recommend the Bill to the Committee of the Whole.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Illegal Incarceration of Okumah Chika and Discriminatory Arrests of Nigerians in the Republic of Benin:

Hon. O. K Chinda​​ Hon. Fred Agbedi​​​ Hon. Bitrus Laon Hon. Abdulsalam Dasuki i​​Hon. Felix Nwaeke​​​ Hon. Kelechi Nwogu
Hon. Ginger Onwusibe​ Hon. Mark Esset​​​Hon. Rodney A.
Hon. Nkewonta​​Hon. Patrick Umoh:

The House:

Notes that Okumah Chika, a Nigerian who legitimately and legally resides and works in the Republic of Benin is alleged to have been arrested by the country’s Police Service – the Republican Police (DGPR) on April 18, 2023;

Concerned that Okumah Chika, who after his undergraduate academic programme in the Republic of Benin, worked as an Administrative Staff at ESFAM University in Port Novo, has been incarcerated at the Akpro-Missérété Prison since April 26, 2023, over allegations of internet fraud;

Also concerned that after a series of investigations which confirmed that Okumah Chika is legally employed by ESFAM University and that his job schedule includes processing admissions, facilitating transcripts, academic guidance and similar duties, he is still being held in detention by the Republican Police authorities;

Worried that many Nigerians in the Republic of Benin who are legal residents, engaging in lawful enterprises are victims of unlawful and discriminatory arrests and detention by the Republican Police;

Also worried that the unlawful and illegal detention of Okumah Chika and other patriotic Nigerians are mostly orchestrated and influenced by their Beninese colleagues, work-mates and acquaintances who are envious of the hardworking, resilient and enterprising spirit of Nigerians;

Disturbed that the incessant arrests and hounding of Nigerians living and working in the Republic of Benin has made their life hellish as they are perpetually living in fear, worry and confusion, if urgent and immediate steps are not taken to address this issue, it may affect the age-long diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin;

Cognizant that, considering the economic benefits which the Republic gains from Nigeria, the mistreatment of Nigerians living over there is not a reflection of appreciation for Nigeria’s benevolence;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights and Diaspora to investigate the incessant mistreatment of Nigerians living in the Republic of Benin and report within two (2) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe moved the motion on illegal incarceration of Okumah Chika and indiscriminatory arrests of Nigerians in the Republic of Benin and it was seconded by Hon. Eze Nwachukwu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights as well as that on Diaspora.

  1. Flood Disaster and Erosion in White Sand Areas of Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State:

Hon. Ganiyu Adele Ayuba:

The House:

Notes that heavy rainfall and floods have caused significant damage in communities like White Sand, Fagbile, in Isheri-Oshun of Alimosho Federal Constituency, linking 6th Avenue, FESTAC Town in Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency of Lagos State, destroying goods and properties worth millions of naira and leaving thousands homeless;

Also notes that the floods in Alimosho Federal Constituency affected infrastructures on FESTAC-Isheri-Oshun roads and SAMADI-Vulcanizer roads connecting Israel-Afolabi-FESTAC and Festivals of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) Town roads in Lagos State;

Concerned that this natural disaster caused by environmental degradation due to human activities can lead to epidemics, hunger, and despair among communities if not addressed by the Federal Government;

Aware that Section 20 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) mandates the government to ensure the environmental sustainability and safety of citizens’ lives and properties, and Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals advocates the same;

Recognizes that Federal Government intervention in the communities can significantly prevent and mitigate the devastating effects of perennial flood disasters;

Cognizant that the personal losses suffered by the residents in the affected areas can be alleviated by providing relief materials pending the provision of a permanent solution to the problem;

Resolves to:

(i) commiserate with the people of Alimosho Federal Constituency and urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send relief materials to the victims of the flood disaster;

(ii) urge the Ecological Fund Office (EFO) to redeem the ecological problems in Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State;

(iii) mandate the Committees on Environment, Ecological Fund, and Works to undertake a tour assessment of the affected areas, ascertain the level of damages to the communities and liaise with relevant agencies to recommend measures to tackle the menace; and

(iv) mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriations to make provision in the 2024 Budget estimates to rehabilitate damaged roads in Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State.

Debate:

Hon. Ganiyu Ayuba moved the motion on flood disaster and erosion in White Sand Areas of Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Muazu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works, Appropriations, Environment as well as that on Ecological Fund.

  1. Reconnection of Electricity Supply to Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Consistency of Zamfara State by
    Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company:

Hon. Bello Hassan Shinkafi:

The House:

Notes that the provision of roads, water, electricity and other socio-economic facilities, including education and security, are fundamental responsibilities of the Government;

Also notes that Electricity Transmission and Distribution Companies are mandated to provide electricity and connect all parts of Nigeria including Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency to the National Grid through functional sub-stations, transformers and other electricity supply apparatus;

Concerned that in the last seven years, the people of Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency have been cut off from the National Electricity Grid and have not had any electricity supply, which has hampered economic activities and, by extension, the development of the area;

Worried that due to the high level of insecurity in Zamfara State and Shinkafi Zurmi Constituency specifically, the absence and lack of electricity supply through the National Grid has left the people feeling alienated, neglected and marginalised by the Federal Government, which could lead to disillusionment and restiveness among the people;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Power to direct the Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company responsible for Zamfara State to restore electricity in Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Power to investigate the persistent electricity anomaly and ensure that the Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency is connected to the National Grid.

Further observed that the economic activities of the people and by extension, livelihood and prosperity have been continuously hampered in the last seven years whose eventual impact is progressively pushing them down the poverty ladder;

Worried that because of the high level of insecurity in Zamfara State and Shinkafi Zurmi Constituency specifically, the absence and lack of electricity supply through the National Grid to the good people of Shinkafi/Zurmi will continue to impact negatively on the social and economic lives of the people;

Concerned that no provision of electricity supply network facilities and integration of the Constituency alienated them which made the people perceive that they have been neglected and marginalised by the Federal Government, thereby creating disillusion and restiveness among the people. This negates the Principles of Governance as enshrined in Article II of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Ministry of Power to direct the Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company
Responsible for Zamfara State to restore electricity in the Constituency; and

(ii)​mandate the Committee on Power to investigate the persistent anomaly and liaise with the appropriate Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and the Regulatory Commission to facilitate economic activities and improve the quality of livelihood of the people of the area.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Investigate the Privatisation and Subsequent Abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills:
    Hon. Adewale Morufu Adebayo ​​​Hon.

Akanni Clement Ademola:

The House:

Notes that Osogbo Steel Rolling Company was one of the three Inland Rolling Mills in Nigeria established by an Act of the Federal Government of 1976 and officially commissioned in 1983 to produce a maximum of 210,000 metric tons of Iron Rods annually;

Also notes that Nigeria Machine Tools (NMT) was founded in 1980 to manufacture and distribute high-integrity machine tools and other engineering products and spares designed to serve the projects, operation and maintenance needs of a range of industries;

Further notes that the two entities were critical components of the Nigerian industrial sector as the Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills produced part of the steel used in the construction of Africa’s largest Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos;

Aware that the Privatization and Commercialization Act provides for the privatization and commercialization of Federal Government-owned enterprises, as well as those in which the Federal Government has an equity stake;

Also aware that both companies and other National Assets were sold to private investors by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to bring in core investors either foreign or domestic to turn around the company and contribute to the growth of the economy;

Further aware that Osogbo Steel Rolling Company was designed to be completed in three phases, the first phase was to produce 210,000 tons annually with 1,000 workers, the second phase was to increase the annual capacity to 420,000tons of steel annually with a staff strength of 2,000 while the third phase was to increase capacity to 630,000 tons annually with 3,000 staff strength;

Recalls that in line with the Privatization Act, the Federal Government sought and got a Federal high court order to liquidate Osogbo Steel Rolling Company and other Steel Rolling Mills in 2005;

Also recalls that the stakeholders in Osun State, including lawmakers, are protesting the abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills and Nigeria Machine Tools, calling for a review of privatization.

Worried that after the privatization of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills, the company has suffered a lack of maintenance and investment leading to a state of disrepair and operational inefficiency, thus undermining the potential of the steel industry to create employment opportunities and economic growth in the region;

Also worried that after the privatization of Nigeria Machine Tools, the company has experienced a decline in production capacity and overall performance which is a significant setback for the manufacturing sector;

Further worried that the abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills and Nigeria Machine Tools by investors and the failure of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to oversee and enforce the provisions of the asset sales and purchase agreement has led to the proliferation of substandard steel product littering the Nigeria market;

Observes that the abandoned properties are used by Criminals, Gunmen, Kidnappers, and Marijuana dealers, among several societal ill actors;

Resolves to:
(i) urge the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to embark on regular inspections and monitoring of government-owned enterprises acquired by investors;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Privatization and Commercialization, Industry, and Steel to investigate the abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Company and Nigeria Machine Tools (NMT) and report within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Adewale Adebayo moved the motion on the need to investigate the privatization and subsequent abandonment of Osogbo Steel Rolling Mills and it was seconded by Hon. Awaji Dagomie Abiante.

Hon. Dominic Okafor proposed an amendment to the heading to add the conditions of other rolling mills to also be investigated in tandem with prayer 2 of the motion.

Hon. Saidu Abdullahi proposed an amendment to prayer 1 of the motion calling on the BPE to conduct the inspections on all such privatized public entities and that the House Committee on Privatization should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Privatization and Commercialization as well as that on Industry.

  1. Need to Replace Damaged Concrete Poles and Connect to the National Grid Communities in Shira/Gaide Federal Constituency of Bauchi State:

Hon. Sani Ibrahim Tanko:

The House:

Notes that the Rural Electrification Agency was established in 2006, and was mandated by its enabling Act to Promote Rural Electrification in the Country, Co-ordinate Rural Electrification Programs and administer the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) to promote, support and provide rural electrification through Public and Private Sector Participation; and reliable electricity is what makes the difference between sustainable development and retrogression, as energy poverty affects the standard of other social systems, including healthcare, education and living conditions;

Also note that the core mandate of the Agency is to provide access to reliable electric power for rural dwellers irrespective of where they live and what they do, in a way that would allow a reasonable return on investment and appropriate tariff that is economically responsive and supportive of the average rural customers;

Concerned that the following communities namely: Zubo, Beli, Gagidiba, Dango, Bukul, Kilbori, Bangire and Zigau Communities in Shira Local Government Area of Bauchi State were electrified and connected to the national grid;

Worried that the Zirami, Uzum, Sabon Sara, Zankan, Tagwaye, Jawo, and Faguji communities in Giade Local Government Area of Bauchi State were equally connected to the national grid after the completion of the projects;

Aware that after a heavy downpour, the infrastructure in the above-mentioned communities was damaged as a result of a rain storm occasioned by strong winds in September 2019; and

Also worried that the concrete poles and aluminum conductors were destroyed and the accessories washed away by flood;

Resolves to:

(i) mandate the Committee on Rural Electrification Agency to interface the Agency to ensure the replacement of damaged poles and connection to the national grid of the following Communities: Zubo, Beli, Gagidiba, Dango, Bukul, Kilbori, Bangire, Zigau and Zirami, Uzum, Sabon Sara, Zankan, Tagwaye, Jawo, and Faguji respectively to the national grid in Shira/Giade Federal Constituency, Bauchi State;

(ii) also mandate the Committee on Appropriation to include the electrification of the above-mentioned communities in Shira/Giade Federal Constituency in the 2024 Appropriation Act;

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

Debate:

Hon. Sani Tanko moved the motion on the need to replace the damaged concrete poles and connect to the national grid communities in Shira/Gaide Federal Constituency of Bauchi State and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Abdulmumin. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Appropriation as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Revitalize the Sabke Dam in Daura Local Government Area of Katsina State:

Hon. Aminu Jamo Daura:

The House:

Notes the challenges faced by residents of Daura Local Government Area and its surrounding areas due to insufficient access to water resources which is crucial for agricultural sustainability;

Also notes the Sabke Damn project was initiated in 1998 by the Federal Government with the aims to enhance agricultural production and provide potable water to the people of Daura Local Government Area;

Further notes the abandonment of the Sabke Dam project has inflicted severe socio-economic hardships on the residents of Daura Local Government Area;

Aware of the imperative of conducting a comprehensive 7km upstream and 3km downstream desilting and river training operation to optimize reservoir inflow by mitigating sedimentation and vegetation, thereby enhancing agricultural output;

Disturbed by the adverse impact of the vandalized power line from Shargalle village to the Sabke Dam project, the lack of agricultural machinery hindering agricultural production, and the dire state of complementary resources such as deteriorating staff quarters and the absence of operational vehicles, which collectively pose significant barriers to agricultural productivity, socioeconomic progress, and other vital aspects;

Cognizant that revitalizing the Sabke Dam project holds immense potential to yield substantial benefits to Daura Local Government Area, its environs and the entire nation, particularly in elevating agriculture and expanding access to potable water, ultimately enhancing livelihoods for its residents;

Also cognizant of the need to address issues of public concern and advocate for the well-being and development of the constituencies to the benefit of all.

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture, and Rural Development and Power to expedite action on the revitalization of the Sabke Dam project and reconnect to the national grid via the power line from Shargalle village;

(ii) also urge relevant authorities to prioritize the well-being and livelihoods of the citizens and restore access to potable water and irrigation facilities through the prompt revitalization of the Sabke Dam project;

(iii) mandate the Committees of Water Resources to engage with the Federal Ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture, and Rural Development and Power and provide a comprehensive update on the status of the Sabke Dam project; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Aminu Daura moved the motion on the need to relativize the Sabke Dam in Daura local government area of Katsina State and it was seconded by Hon. Midala Balami.

Hon. Salisu Majigiri proposed an amendment to prayer 2 of the motion to incorporate communities in his Constituency in Katsina State into 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 Legislative Compliance.

  1. Call to Activate the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) in Omuihuechi Aluu, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State:

Hon. Boniface Sunday Emerengwa:

The House:

Notes that on 29 May 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared an emergency in the Agricultural Sector and food sufficiency in Nigeria;

Also notes that the President renamed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, demonstrating the administration’s commitment to ensuring Nigeria’s food security;

Aware that the African Regional Aquaculture Centre is a department of the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), established in 1980 with FAO/UNDP assistance, the centre trains senior and vocational aquaculture professionals to increase fish production through brackish water fish farming, focusing on training and research in aquaculture;

Further notes the centre also provides training for a one-year postgraduate diploma in aquaculture and a one-year Master of Science (MSc) degree in aquaculture;

Worried that the centre’s significant mandate has been neglected due to a lack of funds and previous administration abandonment, causing a shortage of trained personnel for the country’s fish sufficiency;

Concerned that the last postgraduate programmes were discontinued in 2000 due to a lack of funds. Reactivation of the postgraduate programmes and new courses are needed to meet current realities. Over 8,000 fish farmers and extension advisers have been trained, but tens of thousands may be denied access;

Disturbed that the majority of the people in Rivers State and the South-South are predominately farmers and fishermen, eager to support the current Nigerian administration in ensuring food sufficiency if the Centre has full operational capacity;

Recognizes the urgent need to investigate the immediate and remote cause(s) of the abysmal performance of the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) to save it from its moribund state

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to interface with the establishment to unravel the remote and immediate cause of the present decadency of the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC); and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions to ensure that the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) enjoys reasonable funding in the 2024 Budget Estimates.

Debate:

Hon. Boniface Emerengwa moved the motion on a call to activate the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) in Omuihuechi Aluu, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State and it was seconded by Hon. Ja’far Mohammed. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.


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

  1. 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).

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the report seeks to continue improving on the Legislative Agenda of the House in order to provide a guideline for the House to properly function to take care of evolving issues as they may arise. It also seeks to ensure excellent relations between Honourable Members in engaging with their constituents and make their work much smoother to carry out.

Summary of voting:

Recommendations voted on and adopted: 2-5, 7 & 8

Recommendations amended and adopted: 1, 6.


HOUSE IN PLENARY:

The House reverted to plenary and adopted the report of the Committee of the Whole following a motion by Hon. Usman Kumo and seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda.


Adjournment:

The House at 13:38 PM adjourned plenary to Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 by 10:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Usman Kumo and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

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

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

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