Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Nigeria National Assembly: Plenary proceedings, House of Reps, Fri, Dec 1st, 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 30th, 2023.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. The Appropriation Committee is to meet with its members at room 301 after plenary.
  2. The Appropriation Committee is to meet with Chairmen/Deputy Chairmen of Standing Committees on Saturday, December 2nd, 2023 by 11:00 AM at room 301.
  3. The leadership of some freshly constituted Committees of the House, as well as for those hitherto unannounced were announced.
  4. Membership of Committees have been reconstituted to express better geographical spread, balance and equity. Honourable Members are to collect the new committee constitution list.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS

  1. Nigerian Paramilitary Services Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.1028) (Hon. Ibrahim Almustapha Aliyu) – First Reading.
  2. National Out-of-School, Vulnerable and Indigent Children Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.1029) (Hon. Ibrahim Almustapha Aliyu) – First Reading.
  3. National Research Institute for Traditional Art, Culture and Medicine, Igbo–Ukwu, Anambra State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.1030) (Hon. Dominic Ifeanyi Okafor) – First Reading.
  4. Federal College of Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition, Ila–Orangun, Osun State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.1031) (Hon. Akanni Clement Ademola) – First Reading.
  5. Anatomy Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 1032) (Hon. Dennis Idahosa) – First Reading.
  6. Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 1033) (Hon. Dennis Idahosa) – First Reading.
  7. Institute of Physician Associates of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 1034) (Hon. Dennis Idahosa) – First Reading.
  8. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 1035) (Hon. Mohammed Muktar) – First Reading.
  9. Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 1036) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – First Reading.
  10. National Mass Transit Scheme (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 1037) (Hon. Jesse Okey – Joe Onuakalusi) – First Reading.

ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N27,503,404,073,861 (twenty seven trillion, five hundred and three billion, four hundred and four million, seventy-three thousand, eight hundred and sixty-one Naira) only, of which N1,376,352,359,690, 00 (one trillion. three hundred and seventy-six billion, three hundred and fifty-two million, three hundred and fifty-nine thousand, six hundred and ninety Naira) only is for Statutory Transfers, N8,490,960,606,831 (eight trillion, four hundred and ninety billion, nine hundred and sixty million, six hundred and six thousand, eight hundred and thirty-one Naira) only is for Debt Service, N9,918,248,229,600 (nine trillion, nine hundred and eighteen billion, two hundred and forty-eight thousand, two hundred and twenty-nine thousand, six hundred Naira) only is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure while the sum of N7,717,842,877,740 (seven trillion, seven hundred and seventeen billion, eight hundred and forty-two million, eight hundred and seventy-seven thousand, seven hundred and forty Naira) only is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on 31 December, 2024 (HB.1027) – Second Reading (Second Allotted Day).

Debate day 2:

The Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved the motion for the resumption of the debate and it was seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

Hon. Kafilat Ogbara expressed enthusiasm and fulfillment at the outlines of the budget as she said it reflects the yearnings of Nigerians. She commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on such a people-oriented budget. She also commended the idea of making people participation in the budget process possible during the town hall meeting as expressed by the Honourable Speaker Abbas Tajudeen. Hon. Kafilat also praised the budget for including the place of children and youth, healthcare development, improvement of security, as well as public-private partnership. She called on all Nigerians to join hands together to make the aim of the budget achievable. She further called on Honourable Members to ensure proper oversight.

Hon. Khadija Ibrahim in her contribution commended President Tinubu for introducing a budget that increases capital spending, reduces deficit and ensure economic development. She also commended the rejigging of the security apparatus of Nigeria. Hon. Khadija called for more efforts to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians as a result of the fuel subsidy removal, as normal wages doesn’t cater for people anymore without them borrowing to supplement.

She also praised allocations to education that should cater for the restiveness of teachers/lecturers that will also ensure they administer education properly. She further praised attention given to other critical sectors such as healthcare delivery and the practical diversification of the economy.

Hon. Clement Jumbo praised the budget outline but queried the present constitution of the National Planning Commission which promotes policies for planning for equity in distribution of resources. He called for a reawakening of the Commission to help ensure the practical application of the benefits of the budget for all Nigerians. Hon. Clement also expressed a bit of doubt at the achieveability of the benchmark indices as Nigeria has failed to meet critical oil/non-oil production outputs.

He called for the lowering of the bar base for participation in infrastructural development so more participants can key into the practice. Hon. Clement further called for a budget that will ensure the improvement of education and health which will have the resultant effect of ensuring Nigeria meets the global development goals.

Hon. Victor Nwokolo in his contribution praised the budget on many aspects but spotted a missing gap in the budget as there is shortage in provision for the improvement of the power sector. This he stated is an oversight as the power sector is the backbone of production, manufacturing, quality healthcare development, uninterrupted relaying of security information within security agencies for real time response.

Hon. Pascal Abodike called on Honourable Members to painstakingly scrutinize the budget to ensure it is practical for the development of all Nigerians. He stressed the need for the provisions of the budget to adequately handle insecurity as development can only come about in a peaceful nation. Insecurity he stressed is something that hinders internal and external investment.

Hon. Inuwa Garba stressed the need for proper budgetary scrutiny on the part of the Legislature to ensure Nigerians remain the principal beneficiaries. He urged Honourable Members to ensure what is passed is judiciously implemented. Hon. Garba also stressed the need to ensure absolute security is attained and maintained in Nigeria. As someone from the Northeastern region, he and his constituents he stated have borne the brunt of insecurity for a long time and they have seen how insecurity hinders progress and development.

Hon. Abdullahi Halims in his contribution commended President Tinubu for what he termed a budget that takes into cognizant local and global parameters for practical implementation. He expressed hope that the funds proposed for critical sectors such as agricultural development, security, healthcare development and education will positively stimulate them to achieve the set objective of the budget. Hon. Halims encouraged all arms of government to work together to make the budget implementation a success.

Hon. George Ozodinobi praised the spirit of the budget, but he expressed worry at the estimated revenue for Nigeria as if not properly managed, will leave the bulk of those expectations on heavily overburdened/taxed importers and the Nigerian business class. He called on his colleagues to work with the little time they have to properly scrutinize and bring out a budget of a truly renewed hope for Nigerians.

Hon. Blessing Amadi expressed hope that the administration of the budget will cure the pains and hunger of Nigerians as the economic times are indeed hard. She called for proper oversight to ensure the benefits of the budget trickles down to all Nigerians.

Hon. Agbedi Frederick stressed the need for proper budgetary allocation for transportation, especially for those who rely on marine transportation for those in the riverine communities. He stated that since the removal of the fuel subsidy regime, the cost of marine transportation has tripled. Hon. Agbedi stated that looking at the 2024 budget provisions; the neglect of this aspect of the transportation sector (marine) is again visible, this he stressed is what makes goods and services highly expensive within the region.

Hon. Mukhtar Chawai commended the allocations in the budget to defense and internal security as that should ensure an improvement in the combat against insurgents. He also stressed that all other critical sectors, as well as private and public investments can only be secured by adequate security. He further stressed the need to ensure development in the non-oil sector as Nigeria is short on this achievement. He expressed the need to attract more development partners. Hon. Chawai also called for the reduction of recurrent expenditure to ensure proper capital development.

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe expressed worry at the budgetary allocation for education as it falls short of the UNESCO budgetary percentage recommendation. He also called for better provisions for the healthcare sector, in order for it to be always ready in case of any unforeseen incidences. This is so that the nation is not caught unawares by such cases as Covid-19. Hon. Ginger also called for equity in allocation of resources and development as the Southeast have continued to see themselves marginalized.

Hon. Dominic Okafor called for the effective implementation of the budgetary provisions so that Nigerians can start feeling the benefits and will reciprocate by paying their taxes, levies and will live more patriotically. He also called for the strengthening of the private sector to adequately drive the economy and build up the wealth creation base.

Hon. Cyril Godwin criticized the poor management of the critical oil sector which is directly responsible for oil theft and smuggling. He criticized the lip service by the government in this regard and wondered why the International Oil Companies are not made to meet up with the requirement of community development, investments and corporate social responsibility.

Hon. Ahmed Munir in his contribution stressed that the point of the budget is not in the amount of money in itself, but where it is to be best invested. He stressed the need for collaboration between all sectors of the economy to ensure the joint ambition of a better Nigeria is attained. He called on Committees of the House to work together to ensure all agencies work in unison to ensure the budget becomes a practical work tool.

Hon. Ozurigbo praised the outline of the budget and expressed hope that the promise for the complete rehabilitation of the 3 national oil refineries is achieved as this will go a long way in developing the critical oil sector. He also called for the sustenance of the funding of development programs aimed at ensuring former militants are trained to ensure they remain positively self reliant in different sectors of the economy.

Hon. Aliyu Madaki praised the spirit of the budget and stressed that if properly implemented; will develop the lives of Nigerians. He stressed that the budget is one of hope as there is nothing to be renewed due to the fact that Nigerians had gone through horrible times in the last 8 years. He called for proper implementation of the budget, especially in the area of education.

A contribution was made to ensure proper border control as the porous nature of the Nigerian borders fosters insecurity and that food security needs to be assured.

Hon. Paul Nnamchi called for increment in the budgetary allocation to education in order to make it more attractive and desirable for the future of Nigerians. He further called for the extension of the rail tracks linking the Southeastern parts to other regions of the nation.

Hon. Obuku Oforji praised the budgetary allocation for security as different regions of the whole nation seemed to have been unsafe for Nigerians to live and thrive recently, in this light he also called for the increase of benefits of security personnel. He also stressed the need to save the education sector from the continuing exodus of education practitioners.

Hon. Oforji praised the accommodation of the student loan in the budget to help students stay in school. He also called for an enabling environment for public-private partnership to thrive as that will ensure private sector development that translates into socioeconomic development. Hon. Oforji called for commitment to the practical application of the budget as many beautiful budgets previously passed that were not well implemented amounted to waste of time.

Hon. Gboyega Isiaka appreciated the concerns of Nigerians to the success of the budget but reminded all that where Nigeria is now is a collective failure. He expressed optimism that the trends and policies being implemented, though initially painful; will definitely lead to a stronger Nigeria. Hon. Isiaka called on Members to be stern and sensitive in engaging the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to ensure loopholes and financial leakages are blocked. He further called for the strengthening of national institutions to properly implement government policies. He also reiterated the need to adequately monitor activities surrounding the border towns as there is a lot of hardship being expressed by the residents of those towns.

Hon. Felix Nweke called for the increments in provisions for education and security, especially security within the Federal Capital Territory. He also expressed anxiety at the means of attaining the proposed revenue projections. Hon. Nweke stressed for sincerity of security personnel, especially on the high seas as a lot of crude oil theft occurs and seems to be left to slide for selfish reasons. He stressed the need to strengthen the Naira against the Dollar for the business sector to thrive and for affordability of goods and services. He then called for skill development for Nigerians instead of stipend cash transfer as social safety nets.

Hon. Olufemi Ogunbanwo called for scrutiny in debt servicing against capital expenditure. He called for more patronage of locally manufactured goods and the reduction in the cost of governance.

Hon. Ja’far Shettima stressed the need for educational development, especially in northern Nigeria where the effects of insecurity has totally depleted the level of education to almost total abandonment. He called for proper allocation for security in the north so that education will not totally collapse.

Hon. Eze Nwachukwu praised the Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen for his address during the budget presentation and expressed optimism that if the Speaker’s recommendations are implemented, Nigeria will be the better for it. He however expressed worry that the effects of previous budgets are hardly seen or abandoned in the localities. He called for proper oversight and scrutiny of Federal projects in States and Local Governments. He also reiterated the importance of oversight of security allocations so that the ranks and file are not frustrated into sabotage.

Hon. Famous Osawaru praised the diversity of players within the democratic sphere at the moment which should lead to better checks and balances. He expressed dismay at the inability of Nigeria to provide universal healthcare, quality education and an enabling environment for graduates to be gainfully employed. This he stated diminishes the hope of Nigerians and hopes the “renewed hope” budget will begin the process of curing these ills.

Hon. Awualu Gwalabe expressed optimism that the current budget proposal will live above the norms of previous budgets and called on all Nigerians to ensure proper implementation.

Hon. Usman Balami commended President Tinubu for the budget presentation. He however called for strict implementation of the budget for the benefits to reach down to all Nigerians.

The appropriation bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Appropriation, as well as to all other Standing Committees who will serve as sub Committees on the budget.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ON COMMITTEES

Before adjournment, the Speaker announced the reconstitution of some Standing Committees of the House as follows:

  1. Committee on Petroleum Resources Training Fund:
    Chairman – Hon. Eriyotomi Thomas
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Ajilo Umaru Shehu
  2. Committee on States and Local Governments:
    Chairman – Hon. Shehu Sale Rijau
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Vincent Bulus
  3. Committee on Traditional Institutions:
    Chairman – Hon. Ari Abdulmumini
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Muhammed Abubakar
  4. Committee on Food Security and Nutrition
    Chairman – Hon. Chike John Okafor
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Peter Aniekwe
  5. Committee on NASENI:
    Chairman – Hon. Taofeek Ajilesoro
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu Bungudu.
  6. Committee on National Security and Intelligence:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Martins Oke George
  7. Committee on Aviation Technology:
    Chairman – Hon. Abiodun Akinlade
  8. Committee on Digital and Communication Technology:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Rahis Abdulkadir
  9. Committee on Healthcare Services:
    Chairman – Hon. Dennis Idahosa
  10. Committee on Foreign Affairs:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Dibiagwu Eugene Okechukwu
  11. Committee on Federal Colleges of Education:
    Chairman – Hon. Tanko Adamu
  12. Committee on Public Sector and Institutional Reforms:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. John Dafang
  13. Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Felix Nweke
  14. Committee on Interior:
    Chairman – Hon. Ahmed Aliyu Abdullahi
  15. Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs:
    Chairman – Hon. Nwachukwu Moore Chukwugozie
  16. Committee on Special Duties:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Abdullahi A. Rashid
  17. Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Mukhtar Chawai Zakari
  18. Committee on Police Institutions
    Chairman – Hon. Aliyu Boya
  19. Committee on Renewable Energy
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Aliyu Iliyasu
  20. Committee on Safety Standards:
    Chairman – Hon. Suleiman Gummi
  21. Committee on Niger Delta Ministry:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Umar Yusuf Yako
  22. Committee on Diaspora:
    Chairman – Hon. Tochukwu Chinedu Okere
  23. Committee on Science Research Institutions:
    Chairman – Hon. Olaide Akinremi
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Kabiru Ahmadu Mai Palace
  24. Committee on Science Engineering:
    Chairman – Hon. Inuwa Garba
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Jafaru Magaji
  25. Committee on Women in Parliament:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Amadi Blessing Chigeru
  26. Committee on Youth in Parliament:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Mu’azu Abdullahi Gwarzo
  27. Committee on Internal Security of the National Assembly:
    Deputy Chairman – Hon. Hart Cyril.

Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved a motion for the House to adopt the votes and proceedings of the day and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda.


Adjournment:

The House at 13:12 PM adjourned plenary to Tuesday, December 12th, 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 Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda

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

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