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Nigeria National Assembly: Plenary proceedings, House of Reps, Wed, Dec 20th, 2023

The Deputy Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu presided.

By admin , in Inside stories , at December 22, 2023 Tags: , ,

After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Deputy Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Tuesday, December 19th, 2023.


MOTIONS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon Adeniyi moved the motion on attacks and gruesome killing in his constituency and it was seconded by Hon. David Agada. Hon. Adeniyi in leading the debate stated that the bandits hit a bank and it led to loss of lives and many properties. He called on the Inspector General of Police to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice and that the House Committee on Justice should ensure compliance.
  2. Hon. Muhammed Mukhtar moved a motion on the urgent need to halt the implementation of the new JAMB direct entry candidates’ policy for additional test and it was seconded by Hon. Ahmed Musaba. Hon. Mukhtar stated that JAMB has announced that the direct entry candidates will be subjected to new special scrutiny tests. This policy he stated directly challenges the capacity of JAMB to provide this admission in its stipulated capacity to admit direct entry candidates as against the standard of admitting fresh students. Hon. Mukhtar stated that the trying economic times makes it imperative for JAMB to be sensitive to imposing undue financial burdens to students and parents. He further called on JAMB to immediately suspend the proposed aptitude test and that the House Committee on Tertiary Education should ensure compliance.
  3. Hon. Ngozi Okolie moved a motion on the urgent need to ensure the rehabilitation of major highways nationwide and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Almarura. Hon. Okolie stated that the state of roads in the nation needs urgent attention as the cost of airfares has become unbearable, especially for travelling during the yuletide. He stated that if the burden on the Federal Government is too heavy; it can come into agreement with States to ensure speedy rehabilitation nationwide. He called on the House Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency to ensure compliance.

PERSONAL EXPLANATION:

  1. Hon. Tajudeen raised a point of Order that the number of House Members present do not form a legitimate quorum. The Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Kingsley Chinda responded that many members are at various Committee assgnments for the budget process. This position was reiterated by Hon. Maki Yalleman, Hon. George Ozodinobi, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere, Hon. Olumide Osoba, Hon. Ademorin Kuye, Hon. Gaza Gbwefi and many others.

The Deputy Speaker of the House in his ruling stated that the Order was not properly sited and that the number of Honourable Members present as at the commencement of plenary who duly signed the attendance register before going for other duties form a quorum. The point of order was overruled .


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Federal Technical College, Nasarawa Burkullu, Zamfara State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.1049) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.
  2. Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.1050) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.
  3. Unified and Special Operations Forces (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.1051) (Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi) – First Reading.
  4. Pension Reforms Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 1052) (Hon. Miriam Onuoha) – First Reading.
  5. Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB. 1053) (Hon. Miriam Onuoha) – First Reading.
  6. National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB. 1054) (Hon. Ukodhiko Ajirioghene Jonathan) – First Reading.
  7. National Agency for Technology Incubation Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023(HB. 1055) (Hon. Ukodhiko Ajirioghene Jonathan) – First Reading.
  8. Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshots Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB. 1056) (Hon. Tasir Olawale Raji) – First Reading.
  9. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB.1057) (Hon. Akani Clement Ademola) – First Reading.
  10. Federal University of Technology, Osogbo (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.1058) (Hon. Adewale Morufu Adebayo) – First Reading.
  11. National Apprenticeship Scheme Bill, 2023 (HB. 1059) (Hon. Benjamin Okeize Kalu) – First Reading.
  12. National Eye Centre Act (Amendment) Bill, 2003(HB. 1060) (Hon. Benjamin Okeize Kalu) – First Reading.
  13. National Ear Centre Bill, 2023(HB. 1061) (Hon. Benjamin Okeize Kalu) – First Reading.
  14. National Securities Agencies Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023(HB. 1062) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  15. National War College Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023(HB. 1063) (Hon. Benjamin Okeize Kalu) – First Reading.

ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. Consolidation of Bills:

(i) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Niger Delta Development Commission Act No. 6 2000 and for Related Matters (HB.87) (Hon. Obi Aguocha); and

(ii) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Niger Delta Development Commission Act No. 6, 2000 and for Related Matters (HB. 154) (Hon. Paschal Agbodike).

Debate:

Hon. Francis Waive moved for the consolidation of the 2 bills and it was seconded by Hon. Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The motion for consolidation was voted on, adopted and the House Committee on Rules and Business was asked to schedule a date for the debate on the general principles of the consolidated bill.

  1. A Bill for an Act to make Provisions for the Retirement Age for Staff of National Assembly Service and for Related Matters (HB.529) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. Bill was read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal University of Sports, Afuze, Edo State and for Related Matters (HB.476) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The bill was read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Chartered Institute of Loan and Risk Management of Nigeria to provide for the Control of its Membership and promote the practice of Risk Management in Nigeria and for Related Matters. (HB.629) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The bill was read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Solid Minerals Company to Receive, Manage and Invest Funds for the Advancement of the Mining Industry and for Related Matters (HB.752)

(Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Gaza Gbwefi moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo. Hon. Gbwefi in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to improve the potential of the solid mineral sector, to boost the economic diversification drive of Nigeria and add to the drive for direct foreign investment into the economy of the country.

The Deputy Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu praised the spirit of the bill as it aims to improve the national drive for economic diversification for all Nigerians. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Solid Mineral Development.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Medical Centres Act to Establish Federal Medical Centre, Okehi, Kogi State to Provide Primary to Tertiary Healthcare Services in all Ramifications and for Related Matters(HB.776) (Hon. Abdulmaleek Abdulraheem Danga) –Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Abdulraheem Abdulmaleek moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded Hon. Jafaru Yakubu. Hon. Abdulmaleek in leading the debate stated that the Institution will ensure improved and better healthcare in Kogi state and its environs. It will also reduce child mortality as well as complications and mortality rate among pregnant mothers. He stated that the institution would also boost employment, and the positive engagement of citizens. The bill was voted on, approved and referred to the House Committee on Health Institutions.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend Federal Medical Centres Act and Establish Federal Medical Centre, Fagge, Kano State and for Related Matters (HB. 94) (Hon. Muhammad Bello Shehu) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Mohammed Shehu moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Chike Okafor. Hon. Shehu stated that the intention of the bill is to directly improve the socioeconomic activities in the region and ensure its applied effect nationwide. He urged Honorable members to support it. 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 Establish Nigerian Marine Corps to Promote Maritime Security and for Related Matters (HB. 225) (Hon. Alex Egbona) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Alex Egbona moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Zannah Usman. Hon. Alex stated that the Bill seeks to check the activities of pirates on the Nigerian waterways as it continues to deprive the nation of scarce revenue. He stressed the need to protect the economic potentials of the maritime sector to boost and contribute to the diversification of the national economy. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Navy, as well as that on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration.


MOTIONS:

  1. Reconsideration of Outstanding Bills from the Preceding Assembly:

Hon. Francis E. Waive:

(i) Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 145);

(ii) Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.522);

(iii) Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.523);

(iv) National Rice Production, Processing and Research Institute Igbemo Ekiti, Ekiti

State Establishment Bill, 2023, HB. 584;

(v) Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State Establishment Bill, 2023, (HB 585);

(vi) Chartered Institute of Cooperative Professionals of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.603);

(vii) South–East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023(HB.626);

(viii) Federal University of Agriculture, Ugbawka, Nkano East, Enugu State (Establishment) Bill, (H669);

(ix) Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 670);

(x) Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery, Obuoffia, Awkunanaw, Enugu State

(Establishment) Bill, 3023 (HB. 671);

(xi) Naional Inland Waterways Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 748);

(xii) Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 20323 (HB.767);

(xiii) Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.799);

(xiv) Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.861);

(xv) National Metallurgical Training Institute Onitsha, Anambra State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 966);

(xvi) Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2023 (HB. 984);

(xvii) National Youth Service Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 985); and

(xviii) Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.1043).

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 145, 522, 523, 584, 585,603, 626, 669, 670, 671, 748, 767, 799, 861, 966, 984, 985 and 1043 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. George Ozodinobi. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Committee of the Whole.

  1. Need to Reconstruct Gombe-Biu Road with the Dualization of Gombe to Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park in Dadin Kowa, Yamaltu-Deba Federal Constituency, Gombe State:

Hon. Inuwa Garba:

The House:

Notes that the Gombe-Biu Road is the primary transportation route connecting major cities in the North-East Geo-Political Zone providing over 90% daily access to the neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroun;

Also notes that the deteriorating roads in Nigeria are attributed to insufficient geotechnical studies, inaccurate geological knowledge, inadequate construction design, and use of substandard materials;

Aware that despite government efforts through the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, federal highways, including the Gombe-Biu Road, are in deplorable condition, leading to numerous road crashes and insecurity risks;

Also aware that the Federal Government secured funding for the Gombe-Biu road in 2017, but current remedial efforts by the Federal Ministry of Works are insufficient for total repair, requiring urgent intervention;

Observes that the Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park, designed to attract both local and foreign industries, will benefit from proximity to the reconstructed road for the delivery of manufactured goods and services;

Disturbed that in considering the overall deplorable condition of roads across Nigeria, a 2014

Global Road Safety Facility (World Bank) Report records the country having the highest number of deaths associated with road injuries in Africa, accounting for 52.4% of deaths among 100,000 people;

Worried that the poor state of the Gombe-Biu road has significantly impacted the economic activities of the communities along its corridor, particua larly in transporting farm produce and services, leading to a decline in income and livelihoods for the residents;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to urgently initiate the reconstruction of the Gombe- Biu highway and dualize Gombe to Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park, Dadin Kowa in Yamaltu Deba Federal Constituency, and include the same in the 2024 budget estimates; and

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

Debate:

Hon. Inuwa Garba moved the motion on the need to reconstruct Gombe-Biu road with the dualization of Gombe to Muhammadu Buhari industrial park in Dadin Kowa, Yamltu- Deba federal constituency, Gombe state.

Hon. Misau proposed an amendment to extend the prayers to include the reconstruction to affected areas in Bauchi state. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Works.

  1. Need to Rehabilitate and Construct 65 Kilometres Rural Access Roads within Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency:

Hon. Akingbaso Festus Olanrewaju:

The House:

Notes that Idanre/lfedore Federal Constituency is a major cocoa producer in South-West Nigeria, engaged in farming of yam, cassava, banana, plantain, and palm products as well as quarrying and mining activities;

Also notes that the road stretching from Idanre town–Odo Opa–Omifunfun–Ofosu Camp to Benin-Ore Expressway which was constructed in the early 1970s is about 50 years without maintenance and rehabilitation;

Aware that the Akure Ilesha–Ibadan Expressway is a major route for commuters and trucks carrying heavy goods, especially Cocoa and other farm products in large quantities from different plantations along the route;

Also aware that the Idanre–Odo Opa–Omifunfun–Ofosu Camp road and Ilara–lbuleAule road, Ilara–Ero road, Ikota–ljare roads are not motorable to transport farm produce due to lack of alternative routes connecting the major markets, thereby resulting to wastage of harvest of farm produce;

Worried that the deplorable state of the Akure–Ilesha–Ibadan Expressway has narrowed the width to single lane thus, causing ghastly accidents, loss of lives, vehicular breakdown and agricultural waste;

Concerned that human activities have paralyzed, loss of economy; houses and other properties destroyed if adequate measures are not taken to rehabilitate and construct an alternative route for food security;

Cognizant of the need to rehabilitate Idanre–Odo Opa–Omifunfun–Ofosu Camp road and to construct Ilara–Ibule–Aule road, Ilara–Ero road and Ikota–ljare road all about 65 kilometres access roads linking farms in Idanre/lfedore Federal Constituency to facilitate the transportation of farm produce to neighbouring communities and states to enhance our economy;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Security to accommodate the rehabilitation and construction of about 65 kilometers of rural access roads in Idanre–Odo Opa–Omifunfun–Ofosu Camp road and within Ilara–Ibule–Aule road, Ilara–Ero road and Ikota–ljare road of Idanre/lfedore Federal

Constituency, Ondo State in the 2024 Appropriation budget estimates to aid the transportation of farm produce to the market; and

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

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Adopt Chinese Yuan Currency to Mitigate the Impact of the Naira’s Depreciation.

Hon. Jafaru Gambo Leko:

The House:

Notes that the Nigerian economy has experienced substantial shifts regarding the value of the Naira, triggering economic instability and uncertainty;

Also notes that the International Monetary Fund proposed diversification of foreign exchange reserves for central banks of developing countries, including Nigeria;

Further notes that the global economic landscape is evolving and international trade dynamics are shifting, with China assuming a leading role in global trade;

Aware that the People’s Republic of China has a stable and globally recognized currency, the Chinese Yuan (CNY), which is gaining recognition in international trade;

Cognizant that adopting the Chinese Yuan as an additional foreign exchange reserve currency might mitigate the adverse effects of Naira depreciation, reduce the risks associated with exchange rate fluctuations, and enhance Nigeria’s economic stability.

Furthermore, it would enhance Nigeria’s trade and economic ties with China, a crucial trading partner.

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committees on Banking Regulations, Banking and Other Ancillary Institutions to liaise with the Central Bank of Nigeria to explore the appropriate mechanisms, policies, and partnerships required for the adoption of the Chinese Yuan (CNY) as an official foreign exchange reserve currency alongside other major international currencies and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Jafaru Leko moved the motion on the need to adopt the Chinese Yuan currency to mitigate the impact of the Naira’s depreciation and it was seconded by Hon. Donald.

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the Yuan is already a legal tender but the best way to strengthen the Naira is to improve national manufacturing and production.

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the motion is in line with ensuring the strengthening of the Naira and proposed an amendment that since the policy had already been adopted, the motion should call for implementation and not for fresh adoption. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Banking Regulations and Banking and other Auxiliary Activities.

  1. Need to Release Palliatives and Sundry support for Dry Season farming in the North Central Zone:

Hon. Ahmed Adamu Saba:

The House:

Notes that on Thursday, November 2, 2023, the National Assembly passed the 217 trillion naira 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bill which includes palliative measures like wage awards for emergencies in infrastructure, insecurity and labour demands;

Also notes that Goal 2 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) aims toeradicate hunger by 2030, enhancing small-scale farmers’ productivity and income, thus promoting sustainable food production in Nigeria;

Further notes that the Federal Government has declared a national emergency on food security due to rising inflation, making basic foods more expensive, and escalating malnutrition and poverty rates across the country;

Aware that rural communities in North Central are major cereal producers in the country, utilizing terraced savannahs for food production despite the region and unique dry season, which can be improved with irrigation;

Also aware that in the budgetary provisions of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the sums of Twelve Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N12 500,000,000), and twenty-five Billion Naira (N25,000,000,000) were proposed for the provision of seedlings, other agricultural inputs, and supplies in the six states in the North Central Zone and dry season farming for an additional 80,000 hectares to the National Agricultural Growth Scheme Programme for the production of wheat, maize, rice, and cassava, including the purchase of assorted inputs for the rainy season nationwide, respectively;

Concerned that recurrent floods in the North Central region have severely impacted food production, threatening farmers’ livelihoods and worsening food security issues in the country;

Cognizant that dry-season farming in Nigeria enhances food availability and security and satisfies population needs;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Food Security, and Finance to immediately initiate processes for the prompt distribution of palliative measures as provided in the Supplementary Appropriations Act, 2023 to facilitate and promote dry season farming in the North Central Zone;
(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to provide adequate irrigation sources and water supply for agricultural production in the North Central Zone; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Agricultural Production and Services, Finance and Water Resources to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Ahmed Saba moved the motion on the need to release palliatives and sundry support to dry season farming in North Central Zone and it was seconded by Hon. Yusuf Ibrahim. Hon. Chike Okafor proposed an amendment to incorporate the House Committee on Food Security to the prayers. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Finance, Water Resources as well as that on Food Security.

  1. Need to Direct Telecommunication Companies to Restrain from Unwarranted Charges on Services not Rendered and improve Service Delivery:

Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo:

The House:

Notes that over two hundred and twenty-two million, five hundred thousand (222,500,000) Nigerians subscribed to telephone services at the end of 2022 according to the National Bureau of Statistics;

Concerned that despite the increasing and remarkable patronage of telecommunications services by Nigerians including low-income earners, rural dwellers and the vulnerable in our society, communication services provided by network carriers are not proportionate with the interest expressed by Nigerians;

Worried that Nigerians pay charges on calls with low voice quality arising from congestions, calls freezing and fluctuating network services;

Cognizant that Nigerians lose valuable business hours and finances due to poor service delivery by these network service providers whilst enriching the service providers to their detriment;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that registered network providers: MTN, Glo, Airtel, and 9mobjle provide quality communication services to Nigerians;

(ii) also urge the Nigieria Communications Commission to abort unwarranted charges on cans that bridge to wrong parties and zero voice; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Communications to ensure Compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo moved the motion on the need to direct telecommunications companies to restrain from unwarranted charges on services not rendered and improve service delivery and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Ambarura. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Communication.

  1. Ravaging effects of Gully Erosion in Yenagoa, Obogoro, Famgbe, Ikolo and other Communities within and Around the Ikoli River of Bayelsa State:

Hon. Oboku Abonsizibe Oforji:

The House:

Notes that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that the security, safety and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government;

Also notes that the ravaging effect of coastal erosion in Yenagoa, Obogoro, Famgbe, Ikolo, and other communities within and bordering the Ikoli River, resulted in devastating consequences for the indigenes and residents of the areas;

Observes that landslides from the coastal erosion originating from the Ikoli River have submerged buildings, churches, farmlands, worship sites, schools, football fields, and a lodge housing National Youth Service Corps members.

Concerned that the ongoing disaster has been unaddressed for years, causing fear among the indigenous and community residents.

Worried that the erosion has caused significant hardship for indigenous communities, affecting their economic livelihoods and causing children to travel long distances for basic education. Furthermore, numerous residents were displaced by the disaster.

Alarmed that at the peak of the rainy season, the implications of heavy flooding ignite a looming danger unless prompt action is taken to mitigate the disaster. Ultimately, lives are lost, including the death of a woman tragically swept away by a landslide in her sleep, whose body remains unaccounted for to this day;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to promptly tackle this menace and save the communities from the risk of extinction by implementing reclamation and shore protection measures for the communities within and bordering the Ikoli River;

(ii) also urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to ensure the resettlement of displaced residents in affected areas and provide relief materials; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Environment to conduct a tour of the affected communities to assess the damages and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Investigate the Loss of Revenue of Over $60,000,000,000 (Sixty Billion Dollars Only) due to Inflated Cash Calls by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited Joint Venture Agreements:

Hon Chika Okafor:

The House:

Notes that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) on behalf of the Federal Government operates Joint Ventures and related agreements with private Oil Companies in both Oil and Gas sectors, with the aim of sustainable revenue generation and economic development;

Also notes that the NNPCL, as representatives of the Federal government and Federation have about 60% holding while other partners have the remaining 40%;

Further notes that the joint ventures operate under a “Joint Operating Agreement” that spells out the responsibilities of each of the partners in the ventures;

Concerned that due to bloated Cash Call Costs, the NNPCL Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS), a unit under the NNPCL in charge of negotiation of costs (both Capex and Opex) have caused huge losses in the neighbourhood of ($60,000,000,000) Sixty Billion Dollars over the years;

Also concerned that the activities of NNPCL Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS) have resulted in huge revenue losses, fiscal deficits and an alarming debt profile;

Aware of the need to ensure probity, transparency and value for money in the NNPCL Joint Venture operations;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committees on Finance and Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to conduct a comprehensive investigation on all the NNPCL Joint Venture Operations to determine income and Cash Call costs due to each partner, especially the Federation/ FGN and whether due process and diligence were observed in the exercise.

Debate:

Hon. Chike Okafor moved the motion on the need to investigate the loss of revenue of over $60 Billion due to inflated cash calls by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited Joint Venture Agreements and it was seconded by Hon. Adesola Adedayo. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Finance as well as that on Petroleum Resources Upstream.

  1. Need to Remit Accrued 5% Users’ Charge of Petroleum Pump Price and Diesel to Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) for Effective Roads Maintenance:

Hon. Aderemi Oseni:

The House:

Notes that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) requires improved funding to enhance its efficiency, the Agency’s rebirth strategy involves leveraging on the sources of funding provided by law, as lack of funds is a significant challenge that hinders its optimal performance;

Also notes that to underscore the importance of funding to road management and maintenance, Section 4(1) of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (Amendment) Act, 2007 provides thus:- “the fund of the Agency shall consist of; 5% users’ charge on pump price of petrol, diesel and of which 40% will accrue to FERMA”;

Concerned that since the commencement of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (Amendment) Act, 2007 which embodies this provision, the Users’ Charge has not been remitted to the Agency which has accumulated to about N900 billion;

Disturbed that the perpetual non-remittance of N900 billion in user charges on petrol and diesel pumps negatively impacts the Agency’s finances and performance consequently affecting the state of federal roads;

Cognizant of the need to remit the user’s charge on pump prices of petrol and diesel of about N900 billion to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in pursuance to Section 4(1) of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act, 2007 as part of the efforts for increased funding for timely and effective maintenance of the federal roads to foster economic growth and development;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and Ministry of Finance and Office of the Account General of the Federation to ensure that User’s charge on the pump price of petrol and diesel are immediately remitted to FERMA under Section 4(1) of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (Amendment) Act, 2007; and

(ii) mandate the Committees on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), and Legislative compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Aderemi Oseni moved the motion on the need to remit accrued 5% users’ charge of petroleum pump price and diesel to Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) for effective roads maintenance and it was seconded by Hon. Kafilat Ogbara. Hon. Ahmed Satomi came under personal explanation stating that though the spirit of the motion is very commendable; there is the need to reflect the conflict with contractors and other providers of service and ensure the full picture is adequately addressed for the proposed infrastructural developments.

Hon. Babajimi Benson reminded Honourable Members that the House of Representatives had in different Assemblies continued to try and improve road infrastructure and that the need for that cannot be overemphasized. He called for the appropriated funds to be properly directed to the development of road infrastructure.

Hon. Kareem Tajudeen proposed an amendment to incorporate the House committee on Finance as well as that on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to the prayers of the motion.

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the motion draws attention to the irresponsibility of the Executive Arm of Government and neglect of the National Assembly Laws in such matters. He called on the Federal Civil Service to be more patriotic and stop misleading politicians to misuse public funds meant for such critical infrastructure development processes and ensure the proper funds are engaged in appropriate quarters.

Hon. Femi Bamisile stated that several agencies illicitly benefit from the diverting of these funds which has systematically led to the moribund and dilapidated state of the Nigerian roads. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Finance, Works as well as Legislative Compliance.

  1. Need for the Federal Civil Service to Establish Independent Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO):

Hon. Adedayo Adesola Samuel:

The House:

Notes that the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, 2004 was repealed and established the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in 2022, to serve as a regulatory body for health insurance schemes;

Also notes that Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are mandated to act as intermediaries between hospitals and healthcare providers, operating under the regulatory authority of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA);

Aware that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) manages the premium contributions of federal civil servants, acting as both the health maintenance organization (HMO) and the insurance provider;

Observes that the Federal Civil Service is the only federal institution without its own Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), unlike other federal institutions like the Nigerian Armed Forces, Police, Customs, and Immigration;

Concerned that the current arrangement causes federal civil servants to lose their coverage upon retirement despite their career-long premium contributions;

Also concerned that the contributions of federal civil servants have been a major source of distraction to the regulatory and universal health coverage responsibilities of the NHIA;

Worried that the NHIA’s regulation and implementation of health insurance schemes for federal civil servants have not prioritized their health, particularly post-retirement;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to focus on enhancing its regulatory capacity, while the Federal Civil Service should be tasked with creating its independent HMO;

(ii) also urge the Head of Service of the Federation to initiate the process of establishing an independent Health Management Organization (HMO) that meets National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) accreditation requirements; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Healthcare Services, Public Service Matters and Labour, Employment and Productivity to ensure compliance

Debate:

Hon. Adedayo Samuel moved the motion on the need for the Federal Civil Service to establish independent Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and it was seconded by Hon. Muktar Shagaya. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Health Services, Public Service Matters as well as that on Labour, Employment and Productivity.


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

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Medical Centres Act and Establish Federal Medical Centre, Okigwe and for Related Matters (HB. 172) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 27/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill seeks to amend the Principal Act to ensure the Medical Center has the adequate legal backing.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-3

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Colleges of Education Act, Cap. F8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Establish Federal College of Education, Mutum Biyu, Taraba State and for Related Matters (HB.494) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:10/10/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill also seeks to amend the Principal Act to give the Institution legal backing.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-3

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act, Cap. A12, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Establish Federal College of Horticulture, Okigwe and for Related Matters (HB. 171) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:27/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill also seeks to amend the Principal Act to give the Institution legal backing.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-3

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Food Vendors Registration Council of Nigeria charged with the Responsibility of Advancing the Registration, Training, and Safe Practice of Raw and Cooked Food Vending Businesses and preventing double Taxation Collection on members of the Council by Unauthorized Bodies in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 326) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:19/10/2023

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill seeks to protect food vendors and the purchasing public from possible quacks and health hazards due to manipulation and negligence.

Hon. Dagomie Abiante stated that the passage of this bill looks as a duplication of purposes as a similar Health Maintenance bill for the strengthening of the Nigeria Food Council had recently been passed.

Hon. Francis Waive stated that the bill will also further strengthen the any other existing Law and the opinion of Hon. Abiante should have come at the second reading of the bill and halting it now is tantamount to wasting parliamentary time and procedure.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-23

Clause amended and approved: Long title to expunge ‘unauthorized bodies’

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish National Assembly Budget and Research Office which Provides the National Assembly with Objective, Timely and Non-Partisan Analysis Needed for Economic and Budget Decisions; and for Related Matters (HB.600) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:23/11/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill seeks to ensure that the National Assembly Budget Office acts as an independent body to ensure transparency and assistance to all committees and as a role model for other Parliaments worldwide.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-24

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Service (NHFSS) to Prevent and Combat Forest Crimes and Enhance Security Within Nigerian Forests and for Related Matters (HB.90) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:18/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the bill seeks to safeguard the Hunters and Forestry profession to make it at par with international standard of protecting wildlife, forests and all wild life resources.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-29

  1. Ad–hoc Committee on International Boundary Dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon:

Hon. Awaji-Inombek D. Abiante:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee on International Boundary Dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon on the Need to Locate Pillar 113A in the Demarcation and/or Ceding of Danare and Biajua Communities of Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State and Sina–Kamale Area of Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 24/10/2023).

(i) urge the officials of the Nigerian Government who hold the trust of the federal government to demonstrate patriotism and professionalism in discharging official duties;

(ii) also urge the attention of the National Boundary Commission and the Surveyor General’s offices to further call the attention of the United Nations Joint Technical Team on the implementation of the International Court of Justice Judgment of 2002 to follow strictly the specifications given in the said Judgment in tracing and delineating of Nigeria-Cameroon Border from Yola down to Agbokim Etung in Cross River State, and never to assume or presume to misplace any known PILLAR and unilaterally forcefully deciding to re-locate such PILLAR(S) indiscriminately across border lines thereby disrupting century long peaceful communal communities;

(iii) further urge the National Boundary Commission and the Surveyor General of the Federation to further call the attention of the working partner of the United Nations Joint Team, to use the ICJ-adopted map to trace the ‘missing’ PILLAR 113A – 6 miles from the location of PILLAR 113 behind Primary School Danare along the DANARE- BAJE(BADJE)-Cameroon Road, and not DANARE-BIAJUA-Nigerian Road, (which is suspiciously unpatriotic and unprofessional conduct on the side of such Nigerian officials);

(iv) that there is no missing or displacement of the International Pillar 113A which ought to be located in BAJE(BADJE)-CAMEROON–6 miles from established PILLAR 113 at

DANARE PRIMARY SCHOOL, but that the officials charged with the duty of tracing such vital pillar either deliberately or unprofessionally went to the wrong direction from the known established ICJ recognized specified measured authenticated coordinates and road directions into a well peacefully settled Nigerian community of DANARE- BIAJUA;

(v) that the Nigerian supervisory agencies (the National Boundary Commission and the Surveyor General) should stop collaborating with, or allowing the ulterior interest of Cameroon in deliberately displacing and/or re-locating PILLAR 113A from

CAMEROON-BAJE(BADJE) across the BAPUO RIVER into NIGERIA-DANARE- BIAJUA by proposing the obnoxious illegal ‘straight-line method’ of borderline from PILLAR 113 to PILLAR 114 which will bring about the unsolicited disservice of ceding the NIGERIA-DANARE-BIAJUA community of Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State of Nigeria to the Republic of Cameroon;

(vi) that there should be strict adherence to the ICJ Judgment and sundry Treaties by the implementation team of the National Boundary Commission whereby stakeholders should be carried along in identifying the true colonial historical natural border points which are the basis for any successful international border delimitation and delineation as was adopted by the International Court of Justice (ICJ);

(vii) that the Federal Government should suspend all further demarcation exercises being carried out by the United Nations Joint Task Team and the National Boundary Commission, and should reinterpret the ICJ Ruling in line with the original intendment of the Treaties, which had respect for traditional boundaries, hence, that the DANARE and BIAJUA communities in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State and the SINA-KAMALE and other disputed communities in Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South and Madagali Local Government Areas of Adamawa State should be territories of Nigeria going by the ICJ Ruling that clearly stated that international border lines should be demarcated by natural watersheds, mountains and other natural fault lines;

(viii) that the Federal Government should insist on changing the French Company charged with the contract of demarcating the International Boundaries of Nigeria and Cameroon as the Company has shown bias against Nigerian interests to the benefit of Cameroon like deliberately using wrong coordinates to place beacons and pillars at wrong border points which led to most of the protests by the affected Nigerian communities;

(ix) that all previous traditional boundaries where there is no existing conflict should be respected (instead of the UN JTT & the National Boundary Commission using wrong interpretations of the ICJ ruling to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of border communities);

(x) that paragraphs 120-124, pages 74 – 75, of the ICJ Judgment stated that ‘among other things, it is up to the parties to find solutions to any resultant problem to protect the rights and interests of the local population’, be adopted in all boundary delimitation/demarcation exercises;

(xi) that the border development agency (BCDA) should be mandated to establish or site projects in all boundary communities to demonstrate Nigeria’s presence in those communities;

(xii) that the defence headquarters should as a matter of urgency build its own permanent ‘forward operating base’ in Danare Boki Local Government Area of Cross River state to release the Community Health Centre the army has been using presently as its ‘forward operating base’ so that the community can regain the Health Centre for its health emergency needs.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Dagomie Abiante stated that the House had earlier constituted an Ad-Hoc committee to work on the boundary dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon and it established that certain boundary areas in Northeast Nigeria needed further scrutiny as well as the erection of infrastructure to physically demarcate these regions in order to prevent further encroachments on the boundaries.

Summary of voting:

Recommendations voted on and adopted: 1-12


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 14:14 PM adjourned plenary to Thursday, December 21st, 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.

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