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Nigeria National Assembly: Plenary proceedings, House of Reps, Thur, Nov 23rd, 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 22nd, 2023.


MOTIONS:

  1. Hon. Peter Enekwe Moved the motion on the communal crisis between 2 communities in Anambra State and it was seconded by Hon. Kalejaye Paul.

Hon. Peter in leading the debate stated that the crisis has resulted to wanton loss of lives and properties since its inception. He called for urgent steps to nip the crisis in the bud. He further called on the House Committee on Police, National Emergency Management Agency, as well as that on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to ensure maintenance of peace and for relief to be sent to the affected victims.

The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Police Affairs as well as that on the National Emergency Management Agency.

  1. Hon. Nnolim Nnaji moved a motion on the need for the Federal government to grant tax incentives to Nigerian companies to enable them invest in public schools and hospitals to promote socioeconomic development, and it was seconded by Hon. Taofeek Ajilesoro.

Hon. Nnaji in leading the debate stated that the previous administration had made available this scheme and it was geared towards ensuring critical infrastructure development such as road construction and rehabilitation. He stressed the need for the provision of these incentives for the development of critical infrastructure and for dealing with such vices as youth restiveness, drug abuse kidnapping and banditry.

Hon. Nnaji called on the Federal government to partner with these private companies to ensure they have funds to invest in the development of infrastructure in the communities where their businesses are sited as this will go a long way in giving more engagement opportunities for employment, wealth creation and participation to host communities and their residents to benefit from.

He called on the relevant agencies of government and Committees of the House in the areas of Education, Healthcare Development, Finance, Revenue Generating Agencies, as well as that on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the relevant House Committees.

  1. Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo moved a motion on the urgent need for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to quickly respond to the petroleum fire disaster incident in Imo State and it was seconded by Hon, Abdullahi Abdulmaleek.

Hon. Ozurigbo in leading his debate stated that the fire was as a result of a petroleum tanker that fell over, spilled its contents which was later ignited destroying lives and properties of residents in the region. He called on NEMA to immediately visit the site, calculate the extent of destruction and provide relief to the victims, and that the House Committee on NEMA should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. National Youth Service Corps Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.967) (Hon. Sunday Cyriacus Umeha) – First Reading.
  2. Universal Basic Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.968) (Hon. Sunday Cyriacus Umeha) – First Reading.
  3. Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.969) (Hon. Sunday Cyriacus Umeha) – First Reading.
  4. Federal Cancer Research and Treatment Centre, Bauchi, Bauchi State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.970) (Hon. Muktar Shagaya) – First Reading.
  5. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.971) (Hon. Unyime Idem) – First Reading.
  6. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.972) (Hon. Uduak Alphonsus Odudoh) – First Reading.
  7. Public Officers Protection Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.973) (Hon. Uduak Alphonsus Odudoh) – First Reading.
  8. Hire Purchase Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.974) (Hon. Uduak Alphonsus Odudoh) – First Reading.
  9. Army Colour (Prohibition of Use) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.975) (Hon. Uduak Alphonsus Odudoh) – First Reading.
  10. Elites Sheriffs Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.976) (Hon. Victor Abang) – First Reading.
  11. Compulsory Teaching of French Language in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria Bill, 2023 (HB.977) (Hon. Garba Ibrahim Muhammad) – First Reading
  12. National Flood Management (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.978) (Hon. Odianosen Henry Okojie) – First Reading.
  13. Nigeria Police Force Pensions Board (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.979) (Hon. Abubakar Makki Yallema) – First Reading.
  14. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.980) (Hon. Lalu Ishaya David) – First Reading
  15. Digital Television Services (Pay-Per-View) Subscription Bill, 2023 (HB.981) (Hon. Bukar Talba) – First Reading.
  16. Armed Forces Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.982) (Hon. Bukar Talba) – First Reading.
  17. Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.983) (Hon. Bukar Talba) – First Reading.
  18. Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.984) (Hon. Alex Egbona – First Reading.
  19. National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.985) (Hon. Ari Mohammed Abdulmumin) – First Reading.
  20. Ministry of Finance incorporated Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.986) (Hon. Ademorin Kuye) – First Reading.
  21. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.987) (Hon. Lalu Ishaya David) – First Reading.
  22. Administration of Criminal Justice Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.988) (Hon. Sada Soli) – First Reading.
  23. Examination Malpractices Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB.989) (Hon. Sada Soli) – First Reading
  24. National Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.990) (Hon. Sada Soli) – First Reading.
  25. Flag and Coats of Arms Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.991) (Hon. Sada Soli) – First Reading
  26. Regulatory Body for Organ Harvesting, Transplanting and Donation (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.992) (Hon. Sada Soli) – First Reading.
  27. Peoples Bank of Nigeria Act (Repeal) Bill, 2023 (HB.993) (Hon. Sada Soli) – First Reading
  28. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.994) (Hon. Sada Soli) – First Reading.
  29. Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.995) (Hon. Sada Soli) – First Reading
  30. Federal College of Agricultural Technology, Abak, Akwa Ibom State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.996) (Hon. Clement Jimbo) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT:

Committee on Public Service Matters:

Hon. Sani Umar Bala:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Public Service Matters on a Bill for an Act to make Provisions for the Retirement Age for Staff of National Assembly Service and for Related Matters (HB) (Referred: 24/10/2023).


ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to make Provision for Landscape Architects Registration Council of Nigeria charged with the Registration and Regulation of Landscape Architects in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 695) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu and Six Others) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Kama Nkemkanma moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Patrick Umoh. Hon. Kama in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to regulate the landscape architects sector and practice in Nigeria in order to ensure sanity in the practice of the sector. He stressed the need for ensuring this as landscape architecture is essential in planning the design and construction of structures in relation to natural assets such as boulders, hills, green areas, mountains and streams.

He stated that this will ensure such landscape will not be destroyed in contradiction to Laws on environmental protection and the promotion of scenic beauty. Hon. Kama assured that the bill, if passed into law will seek to promote the environmental integrity of landscape architects to ensure the highest standard of practice for the conservation of the Nigerian environment. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Works.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act, Cap. A 12, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to make provision for Establishment of Agricultural and Energy Technical Institute, Nasarawa Eggon, Nasarawa State (HB. 116) (Hon. Jeremiah Umaru) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Jeremiah Umaru moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Mudashiru Lukman. Hon. Umaru in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to amend the Agricultural Research Council to make provisions for more specialized technical angles in the research and knowledge impartation in agricultural practice for students of the Institute. This he stated will definitely lead to better food production, improved agricultural practice, as well as food security for people in the immediate regions and beyond. He called on the House to support its approval for second reading. 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 Federal Medical Centres Act and Establish the Federal Medical Centre, Ugwuaji Awkunanaw, Enugu State and for Related Matters (HB. 489) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Sam Atu moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Dominic Okafor. Hon. Sam in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks the amendment of the existing Act to ensure the medical center is better equipped materially and physically to carry out up-to-date training of personnel. This he stated will ensure efficient healthcare service delivery for the good of Nigerians residing in Enugu state and its environs. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Health Institutions.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act, Cap. A12, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Establish Federal College of Agriculture, Albasu, Kano State and for Related Matters (HB. 50) (Hon. Ghali Mustapha Tijjani) – Second Reading.

Second reading of the bill was stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act, Cap. A12, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to make Provision for Establishment of Federal College of Agriculture, Ise, Ekiti State and for Related Matters (HB. 52) (Hon. Ojuawo Rufus Adeniyi) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Ojuawo Adeniyi moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Ambarura. Hon. Adeniyi in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks the amendment of the Agricultural Research Council Act for the establishment of the College of Agriculture and Forestry in Ekiti State. This he stated is for the primary reason of meeting the dire need to constructively engage the youth in gainful and advanced agricultural practice and management. The bill was voted on approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.


MOTIONS:

  1. Reconsideration of Outstanding Bills from Preceding Assembly:

Hon. Francis E. Waive:

(i) Close Circuit Television (Compulsory Instalment etc.) Bill, 2023 (HB. 177);
(ii) National Institute of Brackish Water Fishers research, Ngo – Andoni (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.178);
(iii) Sea Fisheries Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 179);
(iv) River Niger Transit Act ( Repeal and Reenactment ) Bill, 2023 (HB. 180);
(v) South-South Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 181);
(vi) Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 861);
(vii) National Metallurgical Training Institute, Sagamu, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 109);
(viii) Federal University Science and Technology, Remo, Ogun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 111);
(ix) National Assembly Budget and Research Office (Establishment) Bill, (HB. 600);
(x) National Film and Video Censors Board Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 475);
(xi) Food Vendors Registration Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 326);
(xii) Pharmaceutical Technologist and Pharmaceutical Technicians Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB 345);
(xiii) Federal Medical Centres Acts (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB 957); and
(xiv) Federal University of Medicine and Health Science, Bida, Niger State (Establishment) Bill 2023 (HB. 880);

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 HBs.177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 861, 109, 111, 600, 475, 326, 345, 957 and 880 respectively;

Resolves to:

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

Debate:

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

  1. Need to Investigate the Abandoned Sagamu Independent Power Project and Restore Electricity Supply to Sagamu Communities:

Hon. Adewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga:

The House:

Notes that in 2014, Honeywell Group and the United States Trade and Development Agency collaborated on a feasibility study for the Sagamu Independent Power Plant, which would be built in two parts, and for which they had signed an agreement in 2018, with plans to commence construction in 2020;

Also notes that phase one of the project was expected to deliver 250 Megawatts of power to the grid using an open cycle gas-fired turbine, while phase two would ramp it to 400 Megawatts by retro-fitting it to a combined cycle power plant;

Further notes that the numerous industries such as Nestle, Unilever, Indorama, PZ, and Dangote Industries among others at Sagamu in Ogun State provide job opportunities, boost local economies, and enhance industrialization, thus increasing Nigeria’s GDP;

Concerned that the Sagamu Office of the Transmission Company has kept two 60mva transmitters in its custody for over twelve years, which have not been installed, thus deliberately depriving the surrounding communities who have been without electricity supply for over two years;

Informed that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) insinuated that a 132mva transmitter was currently installed in the Sagamu area, but the area is currently experiencing a prolonged blackout;

Cognizant that the Sagamu-Agbara Industrial Complexes in Ogun State contribute 10% VAT annually to the Federal Government Revenue coffers, ranking fourth after Lagos, Oyo, and Rivers States;

Worried that the Federal Government is neglecting opportunities to provide stable electricity to a vital area despite its potential to boost revenue, increase production, and reduce costs, resulting in revenue loss and potential negative impacts on the local economy

Resolves to:

(i) mandate the Committee on Power to:

(a) investigate the abandonment of the Sagamu IPP Project and withholding of two 60mva transmitters by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN);

(b) also investigate the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Ibadan Distribution Company for denying communities in Sagamu stable and constant electricity for two years and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action; and

(ii) also mandate the Committees on Power and Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation,

Debate:

Hon. Oriyomi Onanuga moved the motion on the need to investigate the abandoned Sagamu Independent Power Project and restore electricity supply to Shagamu communities and it was seconded by Hon. Eze Nwachukwu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Power.

  1. Need to Investigate the State of Refineries in Nigeria:

Hon. Matthew Nwogu:

The House:

Notes that the States-owned refineries–Warri, Kaduna, Alesa-Eleme and Port Harcourt have stopped refining fuel and by-products for local consumption for years;

Aware that successive governments, under the pretext of turn-around maintenance and rehabilitation, invested money in these refineries, and presently, none is producing fuel and other by-products sufficient for local use, resulting in billions of dollars spent on fuel exports;

Also aware that succeeding Ministers of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (NNPCL) executives have pitched several unsuccessful initiatives to revamp or rehabilitate the refineries, and despite huge funding, they remain in a state of comatose;

Concerned that between 2010 to date the government has allocated N11.35 trillion for the renovation of refineries, yet these facilities remain idle;

Worried that the maintenance of refineries may be an economic waste considering that their maintenance has minimal value to the economy, given that the country currently relies on fuel importation;

Disturbed that over the past decade, an estimated N2,266,248,434.00 has been spent on rehabilitating Kaduna Refinery and Petro-chemical Company in Nigeria, but they remain inactive and unproductive, the current situation necessitates an investigation into the contract awards for the rehabilitation of the refineries;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to conduct an investigation into the different contracts awarded between 2010 and to date on the rehabilitation of refineries in Nigeria, the reasons behind their inability to refine fuel and by-products, and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Matthew Nwogu moved the motion on the need to investigate the state of refineries in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Lillian.

Hon. Godwin Ogah proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Petroleum Midstream into the prayer of the motion.

Hon. Moshood Soro rose to state that the subject matter of the motion had been carried out by the 9th House of Representatives and a report laid so it would be out of order to continue on the subject matter.

The motion was stepped down and that House Committee on Rules and Business should look at the previous report to see how it can be revisited and incorporated.

  1. Need to Construct the Second Lane of Ngurore Bridge in Adamawa State:
    Hon. Kwamoti Bitrus Laori​​​​ Hon. Kobis Ari Thimnu:

Hon. Abubakar Baba-Zango:

The House:

Notes that the Ngurore bridge is a single-lane bridge built in the mid-1970s on the Gombe Yola Federal Highway, about 29 kilometres to Yola, the Adamawa State Capital;

Also notes that the Bridge connects Borno, Gombe, and Taraba States, serving as a vital link to the Adamawa State Capital and for commuters from various regions;

Aware that the single-lane bridge has been operational for many decades. Due to the growing human and vehicle population, heavy equipment usage, and environmental factors, the bridge is experiencing wear and tear, necessitating maintenance;

Also aware that without an alternative route for commuters, the required comprehensive maintenance of the bridge cannot be achieved without closing the bridge for weeks and months.

Concerned that the overstretched bridge may suffer further damage or collapse due to excessive utilization by vehicles, heavy-duty machines, and equipment, potentially limiting its full life span.

Observes that sometimes back, a military hardware truck accident caused a six-hour gridlock on the bridge, leaving commuters stuck and frustrated. This is one of several incidents causing significant losses to businesses and livestock dealers commuting on the bridge;

Worried that the bridge serves as the sole connection between the nine local government areas of Adamawa, connecting the Southern Senatorial District to the State Capital. Patients with critical medical conditions from the Demsa/Numan/Lamurde Federal Constituency seeking emergency medical attention in Yola often get stuck on the bridge for hours, leading to delays, complications, and a lack of access to the hospital caused by the absence of an alternative bridge lane;

Disturbed that a delay in the construction of the second lane of the Ngurore Bridge could potentially cause disaster for people in Adamawa State, Northeast Nigeria, and those relying on the bridge for medical services, agricultural transportation, and socio-economic pursuits;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to assess and include the construction of a bridge in Ngurore to serve as an alternative to the existing single-lane bridge;

(ii) also urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to regularly assess and maintain the single-lane Ngurore Bridge to ensure its safety and functionality; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Bitrus Laori moved the motion on the need to construct the second lane of Ngurore bridge in Adamawa State and it was seconded by Hon. Sani Ibrahim. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works as well as that on Federal Road Maintenance Agency.

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

Hon. Bello Hassan Shinkafi:

The House:

Notes that the provision of roads, water, electricity and other social economic activities are fundamental responsibilities of any Government be it at the Local, State or Federal Level;

Also notes that their responsibilities include education, security and all physical infrastructure and facilities that must be available to all parts of the Federation to harness economic potentials and increase the prosperity of the people and that of the Nation;

Aware that the Electricity Transmission and Distribution Companies are expected to provide infrastructural facilities as well as integrate all parts of Nigeria including Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency to the National Grid for an effective electricity supply network through functional sun-stations, transformers and other electrical appliances;

Observes that in the last seven years, the people of Shinkafi/Zurmi Federal Constituency have been off the National Electricity Grid and have not witnessed or experienced electricity supply, thereby living in perpetual darkness, discomfort and lack of means to ease economic productivity;

Also observes that the economic activities of the people and by extension their 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 due to the high rate of insecurity in Zamfara State and Shinkafi/Zurmi Constituency specifically, the absence of electricity supply from the National Grid will continue to impact negatively on the social and economic lives of the people;

Concerned that the absence of electricity supply in 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 Chapter 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 absence of Power supply and liaise with the appropriate Ministries, Departments Agencies and Regulatory Authority to facilitate economic activities and improve the quality of livelihood of the people of the area.

Debate:

Hon. Hassan Shinkafi moved the motion on the need for the reconnection of power supply to Shinkafi and Zurmi Federal Constituency of Zamfara State by the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and it was seconded by Hon. Wale Ahmed. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Power.

  1. Need to Formulate Policies that will foster Exportation and Boost Yam Production in Benue State and other parts of Nigeria:

Hon. Akume Regina​​​​Hon. Adedayo Samuel Adesola:

The House:

Notes that yam is one of the most widely consumed food crops in Nigeria and a major cash crop cultivated in Benue State and other parts of Nigeria;

Aware that the producers of yam are heavily reliant on its consumers due to the lack of a proper storage system in place that guarantees its availability and freshness over a long period;

Also aware that the exportation of yam is highly recommended to boost Nigeria’s earning capacity, its external reserves, and its value chain. Unfortunately, exportation is not a thriving business option in Nigeria due to bottlenecks created by regulatory agencies;

Worried that those engaged in the business of exportation do so outside the purview of the agencies responsible for promoting the trade by employing the services of local packaging producers or moving their operations to more business-friendly economies like Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Benin Republic.

Worried that the Nigerian farmers are the primary suppliers of raw materials for the “Fresh Yam Produce in Ghana”;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to boost yam tubers production through targeted incentives to the farmers from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Agriculture Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and Commercial Banks;

(ii) urge the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to carry out policy reviews to regulate and supervise agencies responsible for exportation in Nigeria to boost exportation; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Commerce to invite the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to give an update on promoting Nigeria’s export business.

Debate:

Hon. Regina Akume moved the motion on the need to formulate policies that will foster exportation and boost yam production in Benue State and other parts of Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Alexander Nkweche. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Commerce.

  1. Need to Strengthen the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to Enhance Speedy Response to Emergencies and Disaster Occurrences in Nigeria:

Hon. Philip Agbese:

The House:

Notes that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was established to manage disasters in Nigeria;

Also notes that the Act mandates the Agency to coordinate and facilitate the provision of resources for disaster curtailment activities in response to distress calls;

Aware that amongst other mandates, the National Emergency Management Agency is to formulate policy on activities relating to disaster management, and coordinate programmes for efficient and effective response to disasters at the national level;

Aware that besides the other sources of funds accruing to the National Emergency Management Agency, the Agency receives 20% of funds for Ecological Funds Accounts, amounting to hundreds of billions of Naira from its inception to date;

Concerned about various complaints against NEMA by victims of disasters and stakeholders for its delayed and ineffective interventions, causing concern among stakeholders and victims of disasters.

Also concerns that NEMA has consigned its function mainly to providing relief materials and does not respond promptly to distress and disaster emergencies;

Worried that if NEMA’s current conduct is left unchecked, Nigerians will lose confidence which would lead to its eventual transformation into a bureaucratic institution and a cash cow for unscrupulous individuals;

Determined to strengthen NEMA to live up to the expectations of its Establishment Act particularly in the area of prompt and proactive response to disaster emergencies and distress calls;

Resolves to:

(i) mandate the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to:

(a) review of NEMA activities to conform with its mandates from inception to date;
(b) evaluate NEMAs disaster response capabilities in terms of personnel competencies and response/management infrastructures;
(c) determine if funds disbursed to NEMA are utilized in conformity with extant financial regulations and tandem with the agency’s mandates; and
(d) proffer recommendations on how to improve the Agency’s efficiency and effectiveness and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Philip Agbese moved the motion on the need to strengthen the National Emergency Management Agency to enhance speedy response to manage emergencies and disaster occurrences in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Maureen Chinwe. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

  1. Need to Complete the Construction of the Skill Acquisition Centre at lwuoAchang lbeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State:

Hon. Okpolupm Etteh:

The House:

Notes that the contract for the construction of a Skill Acquisition Centre in lwuo–Achang lbeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was awarded on March 15th, 2010 by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to Stegis International Agency Nigeria Limited (Civil Construction Building), Enorabol Nigeria Limited (Landscaping and Perimeter Fencing) and Y.S. Associate (Electrical and Mechanical), respectively;

Concerned that the purpose for the construction of the Skill Acquisition Centre, is even more prevalent in the state today particularly to curb evil vices of idleness in our teeming youth, seeing the present economic state of the country, even though the project contract was awarded in 2010;

Also concerned that the project, which had reached about 85% completion 11 years ago, had to be abandoned due to an unexpected increase in the prices of goods, leaving the property vandalised and in deplorable condition;

Informed that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has been approached severally by both the Contractors and the indigenes of the state, to take the necessary action to ensure completion of the project, but to no avail;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to ensure completion of the project within the 2024 fiscal year; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Niger Delta Ministry to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Okpolupm Etteh moved the motion on the need to complete the skill acquisition centre at Iwuo Achang Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and it was seconded by Hon. Felix Nweke. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Niger Delta Ministry.

  1. Prevention and Management of the Devastating Effect of Flooding in Nigeria:

Hon. Sekav Dzua Iyortyom:

The House:

Notes that Flooding is a devastating natural disaster caused by heavy rainfall, river overflow, human activities like illegal structures and refuse, and periodic release of water from overfilled dams;

Also notes that in 2022, the Federal Government established a Presidential Committee to develop a comprehensive flood prevention plan, allocating 19.2 billion naira to mitigate the devastating impact of flooding on farmlands;

Aware that in the same year, the Ministry of Water Resources released the General Flood Outlook Report for the year, indicating that 223 local governments in 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory constituted the highly probable flood risk areas; 212 local government areas in 35 states of the Federation, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, were classified as the moderately probable flood risk areas; and the remainder of 329 local government areas comprised the probable flood risk areas;

Also aware that in the same year, the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) partnered to distribute relief materials to flood victims across Nigeria, allocating 1.5 billion naira for the procurement and supply of the same;

Recognises that the flooding of towns and villages across the country was attributed to heavy rain and the impact of climate change, which deserve urgent, proper planning and proactive actions to prevent damages caused by flooding;

Concerned that the prevalence of floods in Nigeria requires urgent attention as delays could result in the destruction of houses and farms, food shortages, and a humanitarian crisis;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to expedite action on the prevention of flood disasters in Nigeria; intervene to provide relief to flood victims; monitor the management and prevention of flooding, and educate Nigerians on ways to prevent flooding;

(ii) also urge the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), and other stakeholders to work in synergy on the best possible ways to alleviate flooding in Nigeria;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to investigate the distribution of food and non-food materials to affected citizens by the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR); and

(iv) also mandate the Committee on Water Resources to investigate the release of the N19.2 billion allocated for the devastating impact of flooding on farmlands across the nation.

Debate:

Hon. Sekav Iyortyom moved the motion on the prevention and management of the devastating effect of flooding in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Ayodeji Alaoakala. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness as well as that on Works.

  1. Need for Construction of Pedestrians Bridge in Kaga, Benisheikh Local Government Area of Borno State:

Hon. Usman Zannah:

The House:

Notes that Kaga Local Government Area headquarters is along the Maiduguri-Kano expressway;

Also notes that the dualization of the expressway divides Benisheikh town into two segments, making it difficult for pedestrians to cross the road safely;

Worried that the lack of pedestrian bridge infrastructure in the community poses a significant risk to residents in Kaga Benisheikh Local Government Area, particularly to school children and elderly individuals, which equally hinders social -economic activities and social interactions in the area;

Also worried at the high rates of accidents on the dualized expressway resulting in scores of deaths;

Cognizant of the need to construct a pedestrian bridge in the Kaga, Benisheikh Local government area to ease the movement of residents and facilitate the transportation of goods and services in Kaga, Benisheikh Local government area;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to prioritize the construction of pedestrian bridges on the dualised expressway in Benisheikh town, Borno State and make budgetary provisions for the project in the 2024 Budget Estimates; and

(ii) mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriations to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Usman Zanna moved the motion on the need for the construction of a pedestrian bridge in Kaga, Benisheikh local government area of Borno State and it was seconded by Hon. Kabiru Maipalace. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works, as well as that on Appropriation.

  1. Need to Curb the Excessive Behaviour of the Officers of FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Service (DRTS) on Abuja Major Highways:

Hon. Enitan Akanni Dolapo Badru:

The House:

Notes that the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), popularly known as Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) is charged with the duties of license registration, vehicle registration, and road traffic management;

Also notes that transportation is an essential part of human activity which is the basis of socio-economic interaction and no society can interact effectively without an established and visible road network;

Concerned about the unruly behaviour of Vehicle Inspection Officers on major roads in the Federal Capital Territory, who unduly arrest road users, drive against traffic lights, cause damage to cars, and generally constitute a nuisance in the city;

Worried that the wanton recklessness of the VIO has often resulted in loss of lives and properties, and impacts negatively on the quality of lives of residents and road users in the FCT;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committee on Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to investigate the alleged unscrupulous operations of officers of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services popularly known as VIO and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Call on the Central Bank of Nigeria to create Awareness on the use of the Redesigned Naira Notes and the Terminal date of the Old Naira Notes:

Hon. Abdulmaleek Abdulraheem Danga:

The House:

Notes that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes are still in use alongside the redesigned N200, N500, and N1000 notes as legal tenders in the Nigerian markets;

Aware that the old notes were replaced by the redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes launched on November 23, 2022, by former President Mohammadu Buhari;

Recalls that Nigerians suffered untold hardships that led to the death of many, the grounding of economic activities due to lack of awareness, short notice of withdrawal, and public disapproval of old currency;

Also recalls that the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled on March 3, 2023, and ordered the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow the use of the old N200, N500 and N1000 alongside the redesigned N200, N500 and NI000 to December 31, 2023;

Worried that with less than two (2) months to the deadline, the Governor of the CBN has not yet issued a policy statement to raise public awareness or issue more redesigned bank notes to Commercial Banks before the dateline;

Cognizant of the need for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to initiate an awareness campaign on the termination of old naira notes, considering the Supreme Court ruling putting the dateline at 31, December 2023;

Resolves to:

(i)​urge the Central Bank of Nigeria, Governor to:

(a) issue Policy statement of the deadline;
(b) also issue more redesigned N200, N500, and N1000 notes to the Commercial Banks to completely withdraw the old naira notes from circulation before 31 December 2023;

(ii) also urge the Director–General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) to commence intense public awareness on the deadline date for the termination of the old naira notes; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Banking Regulations and Bank and other Ancillary Institutions to ensure compliance and report back within two (2) weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House as the Central Bank is already taking action on the subject matter of the motion.

  1. Need to Declare State of Emergency on Federal Infrastructure in Bassa/Dekina Federal Constituency of Kogi State:

Hon. Haruna Paul Gown:

The House:

Notes that Dekina and Bassa Local Government Areas in Kogi State are significant economic centres with a large population and immense potential for growth in dire need of Federal Infrastructure to promote economic development and enhance the well-being of the people;

Aware that the absence of adequate infrastructure in Dekina and Bassa Local Government Area hindered the growth and progress of the communities, thus disrupting economic activities and overall standard of living in Dekina and Bassa Local Government Area;

Also aware that the deficiency in Federal Infrastructure in the Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency hinders residents’ access to basic social amenities and services, hindering their Social economy development potential;

Concerned that apart from the dilapidated federal roads passing through Dekina and Basa Local Government Areas, which serve as major transportation routes connecting other parts of the country, there is no federal road infrastructure in Dekina and Bassa Local Government Areas of Kogi State;

Informed that it is the responsibility of the legislature to address the developmental needs of constituents and foster equitable distribution of resources throughout the country;

Cognizant that the establishment of Federal Infrastructure such as roads, Tertiary Institutions, Health Care Facilities, and electricity in Dekina and Bassa Local Government Areas will create employment opportunities, improve access to quality education and health care, and enhance the overall socio-economic development of the region;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Federal Infrastructure in the Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency;

(ii) also urge the Federal Government to take immediate action in establishing the necessary infrastructure to meet the needs and aspirations of the people of the Dekina/Bassa federal constituency;

(iii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Works to make provision for the construction and maintenance of federal roads, establishment of federal tertiary institutions, healthcare facilities and electricity in the 2024 budget estimate to address the region’s existing infrastructure deficit; and

(iv) mandate the Committees on Appropriations and Works to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Haruna Gowon moved the motion on the need to declare a state of emergency on Federal infrastructure in Bassa/Dekina Federal Constituency of Kogi State and it was seconded by Hon. Ahmed Adamu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Appropriation, Works, as well as that on Health.

  1. Extension of Rail Lines to Cover the South-South, South-East, North Central and Northwest Geo-Political Zones of Nigeria:

Hon. Marcus Onobun:

The House:

Notes that rail transportation offers huge benefits to Socio-Economic growth due to its capacity to convey a large number of people and huge volumes of goods from one place to another;

Also notes that as a result of the low-risk factor of the Rail Transportation System, the immediate past administration of General Muhammadu Buhari designed a blueprint to ensure the completion of abandoned rail projects as well as commence new ones;

Aware that further to the blueprint, the 168-kilometre Abuja-Kaduna rail track was completed and put to use, and the 157-kilometre Lagos-Ibadan as well as the Warri-Ajaokuta rail of 327 kilometres were completed;

Also aware that Section (15) (1) (a) of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act mandates the Nigerian Railway Cooperation to carry out any expansions or extension thereof and any new railway and to provide all reasonable facilities for carriage by the corporation of passengers and goods;

Concerned that as a result of the lack of non-provision of rail lines linking the South-South to the South-East to the North-Central and North-West geo Political Zones, transportation of huge volumes of goods and passengers are hampered, creating avoidable and unnecessary pressure on the already failing road infrastructure, with the attendant gridlocks, and waste of human and economic resources;

Cognizant that the construction of a 269.12km Abuja-Baro-Itakpe rail, with branch lines of Jakura-Lokoja and Agbahor-Warri City will not only bring ease of movement for people and goods but will also enhance socio-economic growth of the country as a whole;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to extend the rail lines to link the South-South, the South-East, the North-Central and the North-west Geopolitical zones of Nigeria; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Land Transport to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Marcus Onobun moved the motion on the need for the extension of rail lines to cover the South-South, South-East, North Central and Northwest geo-political zones in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Miriam Onuoha.

Hon. Sada Soli proposed an amendment to incorporate the Northeast region of Nigeria into the prayers of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Land Transport.


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

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Agency for National Ethics and Values Compliance to Control Unethical Behaviour and Enforce Compliance with Principles of the National Ethics; and for Related Matters (HB.528) (Leader) – Committee of the10/10/2023

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims stated that the Bill seeks to control, regulate and ensure compliance to national ethics and values to ensure unethical behaviour is controlled within the ambit of the Law.

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 1-20.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Civil Defence Corps Act, 2007 to Institutionalise Collaboration between the Corps and Relevant Security Agencies to Strengthen its Complementary Role in the Maintenance of Public Law and Order and for Related Matters (HB. 312) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:10/10/2023

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims stated that the Bill seeks the strengthening of civil operations and responsibilities of the Civil Defense Corps, as well as its collaboration with other relevant security agencies for synergy in the maintenance of public Law and order.

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 1-3

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 to Regulate the Powers of the Police; to Promote Effective Collaboration between the Police and other Security Agencies and to Provide for the Operational Framework for Community Policing in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 313) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:10/10/2023

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims stated that the bill seeks to promote the operational framework of the Nigeria Police, especially in areas such as community policing and for the improvement of operations for a more socially responsible police force.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-4, further consideration of the report was deferred for more clarification.


HOUSE IN PLENARY:

The House reverted to plenary and adopted the report of the Committee of the Whole following a motion by Hon. Abdullahi Halims and seconded by Hon. Aliyu Madaki.


BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Agency for National Ethics and Values Compliance to Control Unethical Behaviour and Enforce Compliance with Principles of the National Ethics; and for Related Matters (HB.528)-Third Reading

Debate:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved for the third reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Aliyu Madaki. The bill was voted on, approved for third reading and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Civil Defence Corps Act, 2007 to Institutionalise Collaboration between the Corps and Relevant Security Agencies to Strengthen its Complementary Role in the Maintenance of Public Law and Order and for Related Matters (HB. 312)-Third Reading

Debate:

Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved for the third reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Aliyu Madaki. The bill was voted on, approved for third reading and passed.


Adjournment:

The House at 13:56 PM adjourned plenary to Tuesday, November 28th, 2023 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Abdullahi Halims and seconded by the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki.

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

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