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Ignite the mind.


Nigeria National Assembly Plenary proceedings, House of Reps, Tues, Nov 14th, 2023

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


After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Thursday, November 9th, 2023.


​ANNOUNCEMENT:

  1. The election and inauguration of Honourable Members of the Young Parliamentarians Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, November 15th at Meeting Room 034.

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. Abubakar Yahaya Kusada (Katsina, APC).

PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Victor Ogene laid 3 petitions on behalf of 3 complainants, first against the Nigerian Customs Service, the second is against Midwestern Oil and Gas Ltd. concerning the alleged non- compliance to the Local Content Act for land used without rent and against the Bank of Agriculture on the alleged non compliance to a court injunction.
  2. Hon. Eze Nwachukwu laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the alleged withholding of Ten Million Naira belonging to him despite a court injunction to release the funds back to him.
  3. Hon. Julius Ihonvbere laid a petition on behalf of Mr. Favor Issac against the Nigeria Immigration Service on his alleged wrongful termination. He asked for justice to get his due right.
  4. Hon. Mudashiru Lukman laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Nigeria Police on his alleged unlawful dismissal and he is asking to be reinstated.
  5. Hon. Ojuawo Adeniyi laid 2 petitions on behalf of a complainant both on the alleged fraudulent conversion of funds running to over 70 Million Naira in the court he went to for justice.
  6. Hon. Jesse Onuakalusi laid 2 petitions, first against on the alleged unlawful detention of a traffic violator by the traffic agency without charge to court and the other is on the alleged refusal to pay the complainant for work done for about 17 years.

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


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Kama Nkemkanma moved a motion on the urgent call for enquiry into the cancellation of visas for 264 Nigerian travelers who arrived in Saudi Arabia and it was seconded by Hon. Ayodeji Alao Akala. Hon. Kama in leading the debate stated that the Nigerian travelers fulfilled all requirements before departing Nigeria but were embarrassed to have their visas cancelled on arrival in Saudi Arabia. He expressed worry that this type of development would hamper relations between the 2 countries.

Hon. Kama strongly condemned the act and asked Saudi Arabia to take diplomatic steps to protect the Nigerian traveling public and save the relationship between the two countries. He further called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other related agencies to ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Diaspora, Foreign Affairs, as well as that on Pilgrims Affairs.

  1. Hon. Mudashiru Lukman moved a motion on the call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora Agency to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Chibuke Emmanuel, a Nigerian medical student in the Philippines and it was seconded by Hon. Adebayo Adepoju.

Hon. Lukman in leading the debate stated that Mr. Emmanuel; the murdered Nigerian was pursuing his masters in medicine while in the Philipines. He stated that the late Nigerian went to collect money owed him by his Chinese girlfriend and after a minor disagreement he was taken away by men in a van who looked liked the police and was later dropped off unresponsive. He called on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, as well as that on Diaspora to investigate the matter. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Foreign Affairs as well as that on Diaspora.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Industrial Training Fund Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.883) (Hon. Ime Okon) – First Reading.
  2. Companies and Allied Matters Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.884) (Hon. Ime Okon) – First Reading.
  3. Animal Diseases Control Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.885) (Hon. Mohammed Bello El-Rufai) – First Reading.
  4. National Football Academy, Sunday – Sunday Field, Abakpa Nike, Enugu State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.886) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.
  5. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.887) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.
  6. Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill, 2023 (HB.888) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading
  7. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.889) (Hon. Adamu Hashimu) – First Reading.
  8. Federal University of Agriculture, Ningi Bauchi State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.890) (Hon. Adamu Hashimu) – First Reading.
  9. Health Education Practitioners Board (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.891) (Hon. Muktar Shagaya) – First Reading.
  10. Federal Cancer Research and Treatment Centre, Calabar, Cross River State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.892) (Hon. Muktar Shagaya) – First Reading.
  11. Federal Cancer Research and Treatment Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.893) (Hon. Muktar Shagaya) – First Reading.
  12. Nigerian Para-military Academy, Akoko, Ondo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.894) (Hon. Philip Agbese) – First Reading.
  13. Nigerian Civil Defence University, Akoko, Ondo State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.895) (Hon. Philip Agbese) – First Reading.
  14. Nigerian Institute of Chartered Foresters (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.896) (Hon. Alli Adeyemi Taofeek) – First Reading.
  15. National Senior Citizens Centre Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.897) (Hon. Kafilat Ogbara) – First Reading.
  16. Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.898) (Hon. Kafilat Ogbara) – First Reading.
  17. Chartered Institute of Mortgage Bankers and Brokers of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.899) (Hon. Hassan Shehu Hussain) – First Reading.
  18. National Road Traffic Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.900) (Hon. Enitan Dolapo Badru) – First Reading.
  19. Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.901) (Hon. Enitan Dolapo Badru) – First Reading.
  20. River – Basins Development Authorities Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.902) (Hon. Eze Nwachukwu) – First Reading.
  21. Federal University of Technology, Asaba, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.903) (Hon. Ngozi Okolie) – First Reading.
  22. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.904) (Hon. Unyime Idem) – First Reading.
  23. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.905) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.
  24. Federal College of Health Sciences and Technology, Gummi, Zamfara State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.906) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.
  25. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 Act (Alteration) Bill, 2023(HB.907) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT:

Ad-hoc Committee on Failed Mass Transit Schemes:

Hon. Afam Victor Ogene:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the failures in Nigeria’s Mass Transit Schemes” (HR. 116/04/2023) (Referred: 19/7/2023).

The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Victor Ogene and seconded by Hon. Bello Ambarura.


ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Institute of Economists of Nigerian Empowered with Responsibility to Determine and Regulate the Standards of Knowledge, skills and Qualification of Persons seeking to become Professional Economists in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 224) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the third reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Usman Kumo. The bill was voted on, approved for third reading and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal University of Medical and Health Sciences, Item Bende to make Comprehensive Provisions for its Due Management and Administration and for Related Matters (HB. 25) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu and Six Others) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Oluwole Oke moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Nnolim Nnaji. Hon. Oke in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks the establishment of the proposed university of medical and health sciences for the development of knowledge in health sciences to among other things fill the gap being created due to the mass exodus of health professionals from Nigeria.

He argued that there is the urgent need for the presence of the Federal medical university to cater for the specialized educational needs of Nigerians in the region. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on University Education.

  1. A Bill For an Act to Establish Public Accounts Tribunal which shall be Responsible for the Recovery of Public Funds or Properties Found by the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly to have been Misappropriated or Due to the Government of the Federation and for Related Matters (HB. 66) (Hon. Oluwole Oke) – Second Reading.

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

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Marine Corps to Promote Maritime Security and for Related Matters (HB. 225) (Hon. Alex Egbona) – Second Reading.

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


MOTIONS:

  1. Incessant Boat Mishaps in Agwara/Borgu Federal Constituency of Niger State:

Hon. Jafaru Mohammed:

The House:

Notes that on 5 August, and 2 October 2023 respectively boat mishaps occurred in Rofia and Kasabo along the coast of River Niger in Agwara Local Government Area of Niger State resulting in the deaths of 38 people and leaving others missing;

Also notes that exactly a year after a similar tragedy in the Malale community where a commercial helmsman’s boat capsized and left many dead in the water;

Informed that most Women and children drowned while travelling on the wooden boat in River Niger, Agwara Local Government Area of Niger State, where locally made vessels are used for transport;

Also informed that most incidents are attributed to overloading amid the absence of good and accessible roads in the affected areas, condition of the vessels and poor regulation of waterways largely contribute to the gravity of the menace;

Worried that there are no provisions for emergency exits in the vessels and that the boat owners do not know the rules and regulations guiding their operations;

Cognizant that if steps are taken to proffer lasting solutions to the incessant occurrence of boat accidents on these waterways, residents in Agwara/Borgu Federal Constituency of Niger State would continue to die prematurely;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to ensure the use of safety jackets, constant checks on the condition of boats and other vessels, and the use of Marshals at the riverine areas to prevent overloading;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and the National Emergency Management Agency to assist families affected by the recent accidents; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Inland Waterways and Maritime Safety, Education and Administration to ensure compliance

Debate:

Hon. Jafaru Mohammed moved a motion on the incessant boat mishaps in Agwara/Borgu Federal Constituency of Niger State and it was seconded by Hon. Jamo Aminu. The motion was voted on and adopted.

  1. Dredging of Water Channels to Connect Magaga, Sabon Gidan Amale Water and Fada Dam in Gwarzo/Kabo Constituency of Kano State:

Hon. Abdullahi Mu’azu Gwarzo:

The House:

Notes that Magaga, Sabon Gidan Amale Water, and Fada Dam in Kabo/Gwarzo Federal Constituency, Kano State, provide water for over 7 million people, supporting their domestic needs for water supply for use, irrigation, and flood control in the areas;

Also notes that the dams are vital for supporting agricultural activities, food production, and irrigation projects, mitigating flood impacts, and promoting economic growth in the region, while also safeguarding local communities and their properties;

Concerned that failing to construct water channels connecting Magaga, Sabon Gidan Amale Water, and Fada Dams could negatively impact youth in the constituency, whose belief is that the project will create more job opportunities;

Recognizes the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to empower youth through the ongoing agricultural reforms;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Ministry of Water Resources to promptly initiate the construction and dredging of water Channels to connect Magaga, Sabon Gida Dan Amale Water, and Fada Dam of Kabo/ Gwarzo Federal Constituency of Kano State;

(ii) also urge the Ministry of Water Resources to include the construction and dredging of water channel to connect Magaga, Sabon Gidan Amale Water, and Fada Dam Federal Constituency of Kano State in the 2024 Budget estimates;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Water Resources to ensure complaints

Debate:

Hon. Abdullahi Gwarzo moved the motion on the need for the dredging of water channels to connect Magaga, Sabon Gidan Amale Water and Fada Dam in Gwarzo/Kabo Federal Constituency of Kano State and it was seconded by Hon. Salisu Yusuf. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Water Resources.

  1. Dualization of Ijebu–Ode – Ibuefun – Itokin –Agbowa – Ikorodu Federal Road:

Hon. Olufemi Adeleke Ogunbanwo:

The House:

Notes that the Ijebu-Ode-Ibefun-Itokin-Agbowa-Ikorodu Federal Road, connecting Ogun and Lagos states, serves various communities and cities namely ljede, Imota, Epe, Agbowa, Itokin, ldowa, Ibefun; and is an alternative route for commuters from South East and South-South Geo-Political Zones, connected to the Sagamu – Ore – Benin Expressway;

Also notes that major industries and tourist attractions like the Imota rice mill, Julius Berger’s burial site, and Ejinrin market are located along the road;

Observes that the strategic road offers a viable alternative to the Lekki-Eti-Osa-Epe Expressway, likely to increase vehicular movement due to industrial activities in the Lekki Free Trade Zone. Furthermore, the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge in Lagos incorporates this road as a crucial feeder road, underscoring its significant role in the region’s transportation infrastructure;

Concerned that the road built in 1975 has deteriorated due to a lack of maintenance by the Federal government, causing inconvenience and safety hazards for commuters and businesses;

Worried that the deplorable conditions of the road have caused fatalities, property waste, and millions of Naira in damages, disrupting economic and social activities;

Disturbed that Ogun and Lagos State governments have appealed to the Federal Government for road ownership, upgrading, and expansion, but after assurances by the former Minister of Works on approval of funds by the Federal Executive Council for rehabilitation in April 2021, work is yet to commence;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to rehabilitate, upgrade, and dualize the ljebu-Ode-lbefun-Itokin-Agbowa-lkorodu Federal Road and include the financial cost of the project in the 2024 budget estimates;

(ii) also urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to immediately commence the rehabilitation pending the upgrading and dualization of the road; and

(iii) mandate the Committees of Works, Appropriations and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Olufemi Ogunbanwo moved the motion on the dualization of Ijebu–Ode – Ibuefun – Itokin –Agbowa – Ikorodu federal road and it was seconded by Hon. Wale Raji. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works, Appropriation, as well as that on Federal Road Maintenance Agency.

  1. Need for the Rehabilitation and Dualisation of Magazine Junction GRA Ontisha-33-Otuocha-Omasi-Adani (Anambra State Border) – Adani (Enugu State)-Otukpa Benue State.

Hon. Emeka Idu G.O.​​Hon. Peter Aniekwe ​​Hon. Maureen Gwacham:

The House:

Notes that the Magazine Junction GRA Onitsha–33–Otuocha–Omasi–Adani (Anambra State Border)- Adani (Enugu State Border) Otukpa Benue State is about 100km and a major Federal road in Nigeria, crucial for social and economic development in Anambra State, Enugu/’Benue, and Kogi State;

Also notes that the road is segmented into two sections, the first section is dualised from GRA Onitsha to Aguleri/Otuocha Junction while the second section is a single carriageway from Otuocha/Aguleri junction to Adani, Enugu and Benue state;

Further notes the road transverses a lot of Agrarian Communities constituting the food basket of Anambra State and its neighbouring States which requires the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to develop a master plan for the Omor – Adani Staple Crop Processing Zone and access to the Anambra State Oil and Gas Zone which has abundant crude oil resources;

Aware that former President Shehu Shagari awarded and executed a road contract in the early 1980s which led to the proliferation of various housing estates and educational institutions in Onitsha, Oyi, and Anambra East;

Also aware that the road is the nearest route to the Anambra State International Airport from the Onitsha end of Anambra State and its dualization will significantly transform the ever-busy Enugu – Onitsha expressway;

Concerned that the Magazine GRA Onitsha – 33 – Otuocha – Omasi – Adani – Otukpa UR being a Federal road has been left to dilapidate for years with heavy vehicular traffic, criminal activities thus constituting death traps to Nigerians plying the road, this calls for urgent rehabilitation and dualisation;

Cognizant that the rehabilitation and dualization of the road will serve as a catalyst for economic growth, reduce negative environmental impact and improve the overall standard of living of the host states and its environment;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to provide palliative works on the dilapidated parts of the road;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Works to include the reconstruction and dualisation of the Magazine GRA Onitsha – 33 – Otuocha – Omasi – Adani _ Otukpa Road in their 2024 budget estimate; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on FERMA and Works to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Emeka Idu moved the motion on the need for rehabilitation and dualization of Magazine Junction GRA Ontisha-33-Otuocha-Omasi-Adani (Anambra state border) – Adani (Enugu state)-Otukpa Benue State and it was seconded by Hon. Regina Akume. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works as well as that on Federal Road Maintenance Agency.

  1. Need to Resume the Abandoned Danbatta Power Substation in Kano State:

Hon. Ibrahim Hamisu:

The House:

Notes that the Danbatta Power Substation was awarded in 2009 to enhance energy supply to the Danbatta industrial area and its environs and also to boost economic activities in the state.

Also notes that the substation project would address epileptic power supply and enhance distribution in the Kano metropolis;

Aware that Elektron Nigeria Limited, the contractor responsible for the project, has abandoned the work since 2015 due to a lack of federal government funding.

​Observes that the lack of funding for this project by the Transmission Company of Nigeria has been a source of concern to the community and the contractor handling the project;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Power through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), to ensure the provision of funds for the completion of Danbatta Power Substation in the 2024 budget estimates; and
(ii) mandate the Committees on Power and Appropriations to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Ibrahim Hamisu moved the motion on the need to resume the abandoned Danbatta Power Substation in Kano State and it was seconded by Hon. Bukar Talba. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Power as well as that on Appropriation.

  1. Need to Address the challenges of the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria and its Sub-Stations including the Rubber Research Institute Sub-Station, Akwete:

Hon. Chris Nkwonta:

The House:

Notes that the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria (RRIN) Substation, Akwete was established in 1960 under the control of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, following the promulgation of Decree No. 25 of 1971, it extends the Institute’s mandate to rubber farmers in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Enugu, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Rivers and Imo States respectively, the institute has significantly contributed to the development of rubber as a major cash crop and a source of foreign exchange for Nigeria;

Aware that the Rubber Research Institute is an investment with economic potential, including export production, job creation, research, high-yield rubber varieties, processing technologies, rubber-based agroforestry, capacity building, market research, and policy recommendations;

Also notes that the Rubber Research Institute and its substations have become a hub for illicit activities due to inadequate boundary protection, human resource shortages, insufficient technology, and insufficient electricity supply;

Also aware that according to the Report by the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s natural rubber production decreased from 155,000 metric tons in 2010 to 88,000 metric tons in 2020, with export value dropping from $217 million to $67 million coupled with Competition from other countries and global price fluctuations impact competitiveness in the international market;

Concerned that this situation is not only detrimental to the Rubber Research Institute but also to millions of Nigerians relying on rubber for income and employment, it undermines diversification of the economy and the attainment of food security and self-reliance;

Resolve to:

(i) urge the Federal government to formulate and implement a national policy on rubber development that will provide a conducive environment for research production processing and marketing of natural rubber in Nigeria;

(ii) also urge the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to make provision in the 2024 budget estimates to address the problems of the Rubber Research Institute, support rubber smallholder farmers with improved planting materials, inputs, credit, extension services, infrastructure and market access;

(iii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in collaboration with Customs to enforce compliance with Natural rubber quality standards before export;

(iv) again urge the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to collaborate with other natural-producing countries in Africa and Asia to promote regional cooperation and trade in natural rubber

(v) mandate the Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions to ensure compliance and report within four (4) weeks for further legislative action;

Debate:

Hon. Chris Nkwonta moved the motion on the need to address the challenges of the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria and its sub-stations including the Rubber Research Institute sub-station, Akwete and it was seconded by Hon. Maureen Chinwe. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.

  1. Need to Investigate the Career Stagnation caused by Discrimination between Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor Degree holders in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps:

Hon. Ime Bassey Okon:

The House:

Notes the persistent discrimination between Polytechnics and University certificate holders in civil service with regards to employment and promotion, with Higher National Diploma Holders (HND) limited to Salary Grade 14 and Degree Holders reaching Grade 17 before retirement from service, despite government policies to reverse the practice;

Also notes that in terms of academic discipline, the HND holders outperform B.Sc. holders in practical aspects, as 70% of learning in Polytechnics is practical, aiming to equip graduates with technical knowledge for self-reliance;

Observe that in developed nations, HND and Degree holders are employed at the same grade level, prioritizing competence, cognate experience, and graduate offerings, unlike Nigeria’s emphasis on status and paper qualifications. Furthermore, the United Kingdom Polytechnics system has transitioned into Universities or Degree-awarding institutions, but the Nigerian education system still hinders the advancement and self-reliance of polytechnic education;

Aware that the National Assembly recently passed a bill to eliminate the discrimination and disparities between the two certificates, the legislation sought to resolve the dichotomy controversy and promote Nigeria’s technological advancement by encouraging many qualified students to pursue polytechnics and technology-based studies;

Also aware that in 2006, President Obasanjo reversed a discriminatory policy limiting HND holders from rising above grade 14 in public service, directing the former Chief of Staff and Head of Service to prepare a position paper. Also under President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Federal Executive Council removed the salary ceiling for HND holders. President Muhammadu Buhari criticized the disparity, leading to a circular in 2018 stating that HND holders will enjoy salary grade level 08 in Civil Service;

Further observes that the Civil Defence Fire, Immigration and Prisons Board approved the abolition of the bachelor’s degree and HND distinction in Ministry of Interior services, with Lt .-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau directing the implementation and rank harmonization;

Concerned that despite policy directives and approvals, discrimination against HND holders persists in private and public agencies, particularly in paramilitary agencies, where the dichotomy was abolished in 2016 due to no sanctions for non-compliance;

Worried that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has experienced career stagnation among 2012 HND intakes, with B.Sc. colleagues being promoted multiple times to Superintendent of Corps, a situation that goes against Civil Service regulations and creates bad blood among the rank and file of the Corps;

Alarmed that junior officers with School Certificates in 2012 who later earned a part-time B.Sc. degree were promoted to senior ranks and Assistant Superintendent of Corps, leading to a decrease in morale and motivation among their HND counterparts. Also from 2012 to 2022, NSCDC recruits with HND failed to be promoted four times, while their B.Sc. counterparts were promoted twice. This discrimination led to HND intakes resolving not to sit for future promotions, as it has become futile;

Disturbed that the Discrimination against polytechnic graduates hinders technology-driven development, leading to poor living standards, negative balance sheets, and low per capita income;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Head of Service to comply with all existing circulars abrogating the dichotomy between HND and B.Sc. in the Civil Service;

(ii) also urge the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to promote all qualified personnel and pay the arrears of emoluments they might have lost as a result of the failure of the NSCDC to promote them as at when due; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Public Service Matters and Interior to investigate the failure to promote certain officers despite writing and passing their promotional examinations on four different occasions and invite the Commandant-General of the NSCDC to explain his failure to comply with the Board and Ministry’s approval on the abolition of the HND and B.Sc. dichotomy like its counterpart under the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Board.

Debate:

Hon. Ime Okon moved the motion on the need to investigate the career stagnation caused by discrimination between Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor Degree holders in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and it was seconded by Hon. Fatima Talba.

Hon. Paul Nnamchi in his contribution stated that he doesn’t agree with paragraph 2 of the motion that states that polytechnics have more practical experience than universities as it looks derogatory.

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the word practical means more technical and this opinion was reiterated by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Public Service Matters as well as that on Interior.

  1. Call on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to Complete Specialist Hospital, Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River:

Hon. Victor Abang:

The House:

Notes that the Federal Executive Council approved a 1.2 billion naira project for the construction of a Specialist hospital in Cross River in 2012, but nine years later, the deteriorating building remains uncommissioned;

Also notes that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2012/2013 awarded the contract for the construction of the Specialist hospital to Messers Emostrade Engineering Limited to the sum of #1, 214,847,450.28 (one billion, two hundred and fourteen million eight hundred and forty-seven thousand, four hundred and fifty naira, twenty-eight Kobo);

Aware that the hospital was designed to serve as a Specialist Hospital to cater for the health needs of the communities in Cross River State and the neighbouring States;

Also aware that a one-story building with a total floor area of 7052m2 was to be constructed and completed approximately within 26 months in 2015, and the place is now in a terrible state, denying the people essential medical services;

Concerned that the contractor’s failure to complete the project has caused hardship for members of the communities, leaving them vulnerable to private hospitals and clinic owners;

Worried that since the abandonment of work in 2015, the site has become farmland, with grass overtaking the proposed specialist hospital, thereby causing frustration among residents due to inaccessible quality healthcare services;

Also worried about the current high cost of construction materials in the market is another factor militating against the completion of the Specialist Hospital;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to carry out a holistic assessment of the project and ascertain the challenges militating against the completion of the projects;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Niger Delta Ministry and Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation.

Debate:

Hon. Victor Abang moved the motion on the call on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to complete Specialist Hospital, Ikom local government area of Cross River State and it was seconded by Hon. Erhiatake Ibori. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission, Niger Delta Ministry, as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Rehabilitation of Ilorin – offa – Osogbo – Ibadan – Abeokuta – Lagos Railway line:

Hon. Muktar Tolani Shagaya:

The House:

Notes that the Ilorin-Offa-Osogbo-Ibadan-Abeokuta-Lagos Railway Lines is one of the oldest railway lines in Nigeria, established in 1912 by the British Colonial Government;

Also notes that the railway line serves as a link to several states which include; Kwara, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos States;

Aware that Railway networks are globally recognized as safe and reliable transportation methods, facilitating the easy conveyance of goods, cargo, and raw materials;

Also aware that efficient rail transport connects remote areas with urban centres, facilitates trade, generates economic growth, and creates jobs for the population;

Concerned that despite the huge population and the economic activities in Ilorin and its environs, the Ilorin-Offa-Osogbo-Ibadan-Abeokuta-Lagos rail line is currently not functional.

Also concerned over the inadequate management and monitoring of Nigerian Railway cooperation’s railway infrastructure, as well as the high number of road accidents of about 13,656 and 6,456 fatalities in 2022, as reported by the Federal Road Safety Corps;

Believes that rail is a cheaper and safer means of transportation and rehabilitating the Ilorin-Offa-Osogbo-Ibadan-Abeokuta-Lagos rail line will not only reduce the fatality but enhance the commercial activities in the areas;

Cognizant that rehabilitating the rail lines will alleviate the exorbitant cost of transportation of commuters in various states which will invariably reduce the effects of the fuel subsidy removal on travellers, traders, farmers and artisans;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Transportation to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Finance to make adequate budgetary provisions for the rehabilitation of the Ilorin-Offa-Osogbo-Ibadan-Abeokuta-Lagos Railway lines in the 2024 budget estimates;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Land Transport to invite the Nigerian Railway Corporation Management Board to address the deplorable state of railway infrastructure and inadequate management processes; and

(iii) also mandate the Committees on Land Transport and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Muktar Shagaya moved the motion on the need for the rehabilitation of Ilorin – offa – Osogbo – Ibadan – Abeokuta – Lagos Railway line and it was seconded by Hon. Blessing Amadi. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Land Transport as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need to Create Awareness Programmes for Persons with Disability:

Hon. Bashiru Dawodu:

The House:

Notes that the World Health Organization and World Bank report that Nigeria has an estimated 30 million persons with disabilities;

Also notes that countries that promote economic, political, social, and cultural aspirations without discrimination have fully implemented disability rights, including Nigeria, as contained in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability 2007, which Nigeria was a signatory;

Aware that the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 was signed into law to ensure full participation and inclusion of people living with disabilities in all sectors of the economy;

Worried that the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, tasked with promoting and educating the public about the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities, is ineffective;

Also worried that Twenty–three States of the federation are yet to domesticate the law in their States;

Further worried that discrimination stigmatization and non-inclusion continue both in the private and public sectors;

Aware that about 15% of the country’s about 250 million population, persons living with disabilities constitute one of the marginalized groups within the Nigerian society contrary to section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended);

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation and religious organizations to sensitize the public about the discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018;

(ii) also urge States of the Federation of Nigeria to domesticate the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Law in their States; and

(iii) mandate the Committee of Disabilities to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Bashiru Dawodu moved the motion on the need to create awareness programs for persons with disability and it was seconded by Hon. Aguocha Obinna. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Disabilities.


CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE),
Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu Chairing.

  1. Ad–hoc Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management:

Hon. Julius Ihonvere:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the request for Approval of Additional Financing of the National Social Safety Net Programme (Scale- Up) by the National Assembly” (Referred: 13/7/2023).
and approve recommendations therein” (Laid: 31/10/2023)

(i) that the National Voters card be included as a part of the means of identification to enable the poor and vulnerable, as well as the senior citizens that do not have a bank account, BVN or NIN to be captured and benefit from the programme;

(ii) that the House follow up with proper monitoring of the implementation of the programme to ensure transparency; and

(iii) that the House by its resolution approve Additional Financing of the National Social Safety Net Programme (Scale Up) in the sum of USD 800, 000, 000 (eight hundred million United States dollars).

Consideration of report stepped down by leave of the House:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria Act, Cap. A26, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and for Related Matters (HB.712) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 26/10/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill seeks to provide for efficient management, training, monitoring and sanctioning of accountants in order to ensure quacks and their malpractice does not thrive in the profession and sector.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-15

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Medical Centres Act to establish Federal Medical Centre, Ovwian, Delta State and for Related Matters (HB. 222) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 26/6/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill seeks the amendment of the Act in order to accommodate the establishment of the proposed medical center.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-3

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Chartered Institute of Business Administration of Nigeria charged with the Responsibility for Advancing the Study, Training and Determining the Standards of Knowledge and Skills to be Attained by Persons Seeking to become Registered Members of the Institute and for Related Matters (HB.140) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 25/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill seeks to regulate the Institute of Business Administration to provide the required structure to deliver on its mandate and provide sanity to the services and responsibility of the sector.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-27

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Council for Psychologists charged with the responsibility of Advancing the Study, Training and Practice of Psychologist Profession and for Related Matters (HB.610) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 19/10/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill seeks to establish the council of psychologists in order to ensure the proper structure for the practice of psychology in Nigeria as well as to promote professionalism and optimum competence in the sector.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-18


HOUSE IN PLENARY:

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


Adjournment:

The House at 14:11 PM adjourned plenary to Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

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

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