Friday, April 19, 2024
Ignite the mind.


Plenary proceedings, House of Reps, Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

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


After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Deputy Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Thursday, February 15th, 2024.


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

  1. Hon. Sadiq Tafida (Taraba state (PDP).

The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu on behalf of the Legislature assured Nigerians that the immediate trials being suffered are temporary and Nigeria will overcome them all. He called for patience and for the resilient spirit of Nigeria to excell over despair. He praised the plans of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to steer Nigeria out of poverty and into prosperity. True progress he stressed is not easily achieved, but can however be achieved collectively.

Rt. Hon. Kalu called for the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians to use macro and micro business to overcome poverty, create wealth and employment. He further called on Nigerians to rise up above the daunting challenges in the spirit of renewed and unwavering hope. He expressed commitment to building a Nigeria that the present and future generations will be proud of.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. Honorable members of the River state caucus are to meet at 3:00 PM at the Minority Leader’s office (suite 4.17)
  2. Free diabetic and eye check will be conducted at Meeting Room on Wednesday, February 21st at Meeting Room 034 by 9:00 AM.
  3. Inauguration ceremony of the Special House committee on the Review of the Nigerian Constitution will hold on Monday, February 26th, 2024 at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hotel by 10:00 AM.

PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Jessey Onuakalusi laid a petition on behalf of a community in an estate in Lugbe who were allegedly forcefully and illegally threatened of ejection.
  2. Hon. Clement Jimbo laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Nigerian Army Military Police, Mambilla Barracks over the alleged unlawful arrest of an officer for over 10 days. He called on the House to prevail on the Army to release the officer.

Both petitions were referred to the House committee on Public Petitions.


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Ginger Onwusibe moved a motion on the urgent need to investigate the unprovoked killing of a Nigerian by officers of the Nigerian Army in Abia State and it was seconded by Hon. Chris Nkwonta. Hon. Ginger in leading the debate stated that the incessant cases of extra-judicial killings especially in Abia State has become alarming. He stated that the killing was allegedly due to the victims refusal to be illegally extorted by the Army. He called on the House Committee on Human Rights as well as that on Justice to investigate the issue and report back to the House. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Human Rights as well as that on Justice.
  2. Hon. Mohammed moved a motion on the urgent need to check the massive killings in Sokoto State by bandits and it was seconded by Hon. Yusuf. Hon. Mohammed in leading the debate stated that the spate of insecurity and attacks in over 40 villages in Sokoto state has become alarming. Sokoto State he stated is in urgent need for the beefing up of security presence as residents have abandoned their homes and socioeconomic activities due to fear of the attackers.

He called for the deployment of more officers of the national security apparatus to the region. He further called on the relevant humanitarian as well as emergency relief agencies to come to the aid of the victims. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to House Committees on Humanitarian Affairs, NEMA, Army, Airforce, as well as that on Police.

  1. Hon. Bello Shinkafi moved a motion on the urgent need for government to check the stem of killing as well as destruction of properties in Zamfara State and it was seconded by Hon. Lawan Ali. Hon. Bello in leading the debate stated that the increasing levels of insecurity in the state has brought the socioeconomic activities in the state to a halt despite the sufferings by residents due to the prevailing national economic hardship. He called on the relevant security agencies to deploy more personnel to beef up security in the region and that the necessary Committees of the House should ensure compliance within 2 weeks.
  2. Hon. Midala Balami moved a motion on the urgent need to tackle killings in Hawul, Sabon Gari, Lasa and other communities in Borno sate and it was seconded by Hon. Patrick Umoh. Hon. Balami in leading the debate stated that the rate of these attacks have become overbearing and no measure for cushioning the effects of the attacks seems to abound. He stressed the need for security agencies to wake up to their responsibilities to keeping Nigeria safe and that the none-apprehension of these bandits only emboldens them. Hon. Balami called for the deployment of more officers of the national security apparatus to the region. He further called on the relevant humanitarian as well as emergency relief agencies to come to the aid of the victims. The motion was voted, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Humanitarian Affairs, NEMA, Army, Air force as well as that on Police.
  3. Hon. Ali Isa moved a motion on the urgent need to call on the federal government as well as stakeholders to tackle the destruction of critical vaccines and medical supplies engulfed by a fire in Gombe state. Hon. Ali in leading the debate expressed worry that the non-replacement of the items can frustrate government’s efforts at ensuring health security for Nigerians. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Healthcare Services as well as that on Health Institutions.

ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Establishment of State Police and for Related Matters (HB.617) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu and Fourteen Others) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Mouktar Shagaya moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Ambarura. Hon. Shagaya in leading the debate stated that the Bill seeks the establishment of state police across Nigeria to meet growing national insecurity. He stressed the need to revisit the existing framework to meet the current national situation. He stated that the security challenges are local and require local solutions.

Hon. Shagaya assured that state policing will ensure the streamlining of all state security apparatus with the federal police for maximum outcome. He stated that the Bill only seeks to amend relevant sections and schedules to ensure success such as the transfer of the police from the exclusive list to the concurrent list to empower states to have control amongst other proposed provisions. He stated that the Bill if properly implemented will prove as a building block for a more secured Nigeria.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha in supporting the debate reiterated the need for such a state policy on security to deal with local insecurity issues. He stressed the need for this, especially for those suffering in the Northeastern part of the country. He commended the efforts of the civilian JTF in complementing security efforts in Borno state against Boko Haram and stressed that this are the types of complementary achievements possible with adopting state policing. He stated that the Nigerian Army has been overburdened as it is truly not their responsibility to provide internal security, they are only called upon due to the failure of the existing structure.

Hon. Babajimi Benson in contributing to the debate commended the spirit of the Bill and hoped Nigeria can meet the United Nation’s ratio of citizens to security operatives. He called for the licensing of states that can meet the requirements to operate their own policing and be properly monitored. For any erring police of a state, such an operational license can be revoked and not renewed. Hon. Benson also stated that available personnel from other sectors can be seconded to beef up the state police without having to employ many new staff and overburden government.

Hon. Dagomie Abiante expressed joy as the Bill reflects the spirit true federalism. He however pleaded with Honorable members to ensure that the Bill succeeds this time around so as to tackle insecurity as the Bill had failed in previous Assemblies.

Hon. Aliyu Madaki while praising the Bill stated he was one of those that killed it in previous Assemblies due to the fear of the perceived way state governors could manipulate the state police in their favor against perceived opposition. He however stated that the prevailing national security challenges now show the need for state policing for the security of Nigerians everywhere.

Hon. Sada Soli in his contribution stated that over 21 states are caught in a quagmire of religious and traditional misunderstanding and establishing state policing as laudable as it is will definitely be misappropriated. He called for caution in its application.

Hon. Ademorin Kuye in supporting the Bill encouraged Honorable members to ensure its passage for the securing of lives and properties on Nigerian lives. He also reiterated the fact that Nigeria is grossly inadequately policed. Hon. Kuye stated that state policing will ensure the personnel will be effectively policing their localities where they are deployed to.

Hon. Ebikake Enenimiete called for the passage of the Bill to provide the legal framework for adequate policing.

Hon. Bello Kumo in supporting the Bill expressed worry over its application. He called for the addressing of grey areas that can be manipulated for personal and greedy gains of individuals in authority. He agreed that government’s first responsibility is to provide security for the citizenry, but caution needs to be applied. He bemoaned the reality that long military rule has made the army overshadow the police even in the application of internal security. He stated that political playmakers can sabotage the good intentions of the Bill.

Hon. Etabnabene Benedict strongly supported the Bill but also expressed caution in the application of the Bill so that it is not misappropriated. He called for the expunging of the term ‘state police’ and replace it with ‘the decentralization of federal police’ to deal with the perceived fears of misappropriation.

Hon. Aguocha Obinna stated that many states do not economically qualify to be stand alone states, let alone have state policing.

Hon. Ogewu Agada stated that any measure that will deal with insecurity that has also caused food insecurity in Nigeria should be supported. He called on Honorable members to support the establishment of the State police that will give local solution to the problem. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the Special Committee on the Review of the Constitution.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish National Polytechnic Commission to Supervise, Regulate and Co-ordinate Polytechnics and for Related Matters (HB.673) (Hon. Iduma Igariwey) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Igariwey Enwo moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Ereyitomi Thomas. Hon. Enwo stated that the bill seeks to establish the commission for the regulation of tertiary education in polytechnics nationally and is in line with the legislative agenda of the House.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha in speaking against the bill stated that the creation of commissions for all branches of education is unfair. He stated that the commission will add financial burden on government to manage such commissions instead of channeling such scarce funds to improvement of education nationwide.

Hon. Kalejaye Paul stated that the bill is timely as it simply seeks to effectively manage educational facilitators in technical education.

Hon. Ikenga stated that the bill will be in contravention of the need to reduce the cost of governance. He called for the amendment of laws to take care of what the Bill seeks to cure.

Hon. Gboyega Isiaka who is the chairman, House Committee on Polytechnics stated that the bill is in line with the yearning of lecturers and students of polytechnics. He stated that the proposed commission will cure a lot of lapses in the polytechnic education sector.

Hon. Igariwey Enwo in exercising his right of reply allayed the concerns of the cost burden on the government to set up and run the commission as a similar commission already exists to monitor university education and the t is only fair for one to regulate polytechnic affairs. He stated that the Bill is completely in response to the yearning of those in the technical education sector. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Federal Polytechnics and Higher Education.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal Vocational and Entrepreneurship Institute, Okota/Oshodi, Lagos State and for Related Matters (HB. 226) (Hon. Jesse Okey – Joe Onuakalusi) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Jesse Onuakalusi moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Mudashiru Lukman. Hon. Onuakalusi in leading the debate stated that the proposed institute seeks to improve the entrepreneurial and vocational training and knowledge base of individuals, especially Nigerian youth in the region. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Federal Polytechnics and Higher Technical Education.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery, Awa – Ijebu, Ogun State and for Related Matters (HB.552) (Hon. Joseph Folorunsho Adegbesan) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Joseph Adegbesan moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Austin Achado. Hon. Joseph in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks for the establishment of the proposed nursing college to provide the legal framework to meet the educational needs and wellbeing of Nigerians in the region for training and research in nursing. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to House Committee on Health Institutions.


MOTIONS:

  1. Rescission of the House Resolution (HR.32/02/2024):

Hon. Francis Waive​​​​Hon. Solomon Bob:

The House:

Recalls that on Tuesday, 13 February, 2023, it debated on a motion on Need to monitor increased FAAC allocation and usage in accordance with enabling laws in the country to reduce poverty in Nigeria;

Aware that it resolved and mandated the Committees on Special Duties, National Planning and Economic Development and Inter-Governmental Affairs to look into State spending and utilization of the increased allocation from FAAC;

Notes that the subject matter of the motion is not within the powers of the National Assembly to legislate and hence the motion for the rescission;

Resolves to:

Rescind its resolution (HR.32/02/2024)

Debate:

Hon. Isa Ambarura moved the motion on recession of the House resolution (HR.32/02/2024) and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Jalo.

Hon. Ademorin Kuye who was the sponsor of the said motion on which the House seeks to rescind its earlier resolution stated that the matter is constitutional. He referred the House to Section 2(2) of the constitution which provides for the sovereignty of Nigeria as a federal entity as an injury or injustice in one state is that of all others. The motion he stated is as a result of the cry of Nigerians nationwide and that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the state governors met and have begun extending help to Nigerians as a result of the resolution of the motion of the House and it was in line, and should not be jettisoned.

Hon. Solomon Bob who moved for the rescission of the resolution stated that it was in line with constitutional processes and not emotions. He stressed that there is no wrong way to do the right thing. The National Assembly he stressed cannot meddle in state affairs as is wholly expressed in Section 88 of the constitution.

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the motion for recession is in order constitutionally.

Hon. Pascal Abodike stated that it is the state Houses of Assembly that should question the governor’s and not the National Assembly and the motion for recession is in order.

Hon. Patrick Umoh in supporting Hon. Ademorin Kuye stated that the resolution of the motion was directed at government agencies on which the National Assembly through its Committees can oversight and not to state governors.

Hon. Babajimi Benson reiterated this view and stated that the motion by Hon. Kuye was to cure the hardship suffered by Nigerians due to the seeming disharmony between the monetary and fiscal policies.

The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu stated that the constitution clearly prescribes the limit of the National Assembly on such matters as formula of revenue mobilization and disbursement to government agencies and not to state governors which goes against the doctrine of separation of powers. The motion for recession was voted on and adopted.

  1. Urgent Need to Investigate the Closure and Exodus of Multinational Companies in Nigeria:

Hon. Patrick Umoh ​​Hon. Lukman Alani Mudashiru​ Hon. Paul Ekpo:

The House:

Notes that over the past seven years, several manufacturing Companies, particularly three in the fast-moving goods industry, have either left Nigeria or stopped production due to business challenges;

Also notes that companies such as Surest Foam Limited, Mufex, Framan Industries, MZM Continental, Nipol Industries, Moak Industries, Stone Industries, Procter and Gamble, Sanofi-Aventis, and Equinor have exited the country, with French pharmaceutical producer, Sanofi planing to exit Nigeria, while Bolt Food discontinues food delivery due to economic challenges, Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing also declares temporary redundancy due to unforeseen business issues;

Observes that in 2006, Michelin and Dunlop, tire manufacturing companies, relocated from Nigeria to Ghana due to lack of electricity supply and insecurity, recently, Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have announced plans to cease production of iconic products in Nigeria after 51 years and have appointed third-party distributors to sell prescription medicines and vaccines in the country;

Also observes a report by Cardinal Stone, a financial solutions firm which states that the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods subsector may exit the country this year if the operating environment does not improve;

Aware of a quarterly report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that showed a 33% decrease in investments to 1.03 billion, Dollars in the second quarter of 2023 from 1.54 billion, Dollars in the same period in 2022, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported that Nigeria experienced a negative (-187 million) foreign direct investment inflow last year for the first time in 33 years;

Concerned that the continuous departure of Multinational Companies is causing concern as it could significantly impact the country’s GDP, hinder economic growth potential, and job losses, increased poverty, decrease government revenue and investor confidence in the Nigerian market;

Worried that Multinational Companies are exiting or closing operations in Nigeria due to economic uncertainties, challenging business environments, lack of electricity, constant naira devaluation, high taxes, insecurity, poor infrastructure, port congestion, and stringent government policies;

Recognises the Tenth House of Representatives’ Agenda, particularly Agenda four (4) on “Economic Growth and Development,” which, among others, aims at promoting sustainable economic growth and improving ease of doing business in Nigeria;
Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government and other relevant Agencies and Ministries to:

(a)​implement clearly defined measures to address the challenges confronting the nation, particularly in the manufacturing sector, and create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive;

(b)​collaborate with the private sector to develop policies that will stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities in the country;
(c)​prioritize investments in the infrastructure and power sectors; provide tax incentives to encourage businesses and investors to invest in Nigeria;

(ii)​mandate the Committees on Industry, Labour, Employment, and Productivity to investigate the closure of local Companies and the departure of Multinational Companies from Nigeria and the factors militating against the ease of doing business in Nigeria with the aim of assisting the House in meeting its Agenda on Economic Growth and Development and forestalling the closure of Companies in Nigeria and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Patrick Umoh moved the motion on the urgent need to investigate the closure and exodus of Multinational companies in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Mudashiru Lukman. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Industry and Labor, Employment and Productivity.

  1. Need to Investigate the Abandoned 38.7 Million Dollars Phase 2 of the NNPC – NAOC Joint Venture Okpai Independence Power Plant Project:

Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi:

The House:

Notes that the Okpai Independent Power Plant project, a joint venture between the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and the Federal Government, received approval from the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for the construction of phase 2;

Also notes that despite the substantial investment of 38.7 million, Dollars and the commencement of Phase II construction in November 2017, the project ended up being abandoned, resulting in the dilapidation of the critical Federal infrastructure;

Aware that the Phase II project has reached approximately 90% completion prior to its abandonment by contractors Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited (SCNL) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC);

Further notes that the project site is in a grave state of decay, with billions of Dollars’ worth of equipment and turbines unused, covered by grass, and taken over by shrubs;

Concerned that the abandonment of the Phase II project jeopardizes significant investments and furthermore hampers increase in electricity generation for the nation;

Also concerned that there is ambiguity surrounding the project’s contract amount, casting doubt on accountability and transparency in its execution;

Recognises the fact that the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited (SCNL) were involved in the award and execution of the project;

Disturbed about the lack of advancement of the project and the need for government action to preserve this essential national resource;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Power to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the funding and contractors, which includes the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, ascertain the impediments leading to the abandonment of the project, and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi moved the motion on the need to investigate the abandoned over 38.7 Million Dollars Phase 2 of the NNPC – NAOC joint venture Okpai Independence Power Plant Project and it was seconded by Hon. Sani Bala. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Power.

  1. Plight of Retirees under the contribution Pension Scheme:

Hon. Clement Jimbo:

The House:

Notes that the Pension Reform Act, 2014, was enacted to govern and regulate the administration of the uniform contributory pension scheme for both the public and private sectors in Nigeria;

Also notes that the objectives of the Pension Act, as spelt out in Section I of the Act, are to establish a uniform set of rules, regulations, and standards for the administration and payment of retirement benefits for the Public Service of the Federation, the Public Service of the Federal Capital Territory, the Public Service of the State Governments, the Public Service of the Local Government Councils, and the Private Sector;

Further notes that the Act was established to ensure that every person who worked in the public service and the private sector receives his or her retirement benefits as at when due, as well as assist improvident individuals to cater for their livelihood in old age;

Observes that the Act also establishes a Contributory Pensions Scheme (CPS) for payment of retirement benefits to employees to whom the Scheme applies under the Act;

Aware that the Act further establishes a Retirement Savings Account (RSA), which specifies that a holder of the account shall, upon retirement or attaining the age of 50 years, whichever is later, utilize the amount credited to its RSA for the benefits specified in Section 7 Subsection I (a)-(e) of the Act;

Also aware that where an employee voluntarily retires, disengages, or is disengaged from employment as provided for under Section 16(2) and (5) of the Act, the employee may, with the approval of the National Pension Commission (NPC), withdraw an amount of money not exceeding 25% of the total amount credited to his RSA;

Also observes that most government retirees complained of rip-offs under the guise of managing their benefits and entitlements under the Contributory Pension Fund Scheme operated by the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs);

Concerned that the retiree’s complaint that the Contributory Pension Scheme denies them of having a greater share of the lump sum after retirement, 25% of the total amount credited to their RSAs is usually dispensed across board under the scheme, while the balance of 759% is retained by the PFA for investment in the capital market with high returns, which is never added to the retirees’ monthly payments;

Also concerned that with the rising value of the dollar against the naira, removal of fuel subsidies and increase in the price of goods and services, such paltry monthly payments, which remain the same for years, cannot sustain the retirees who had served the country honourably for 35 years;

Worried that Pension Fund Administrators’ 75% RSA investments have not yielded adequate returns to Nigerian workers post-retirement due to inflation and naira dwindling fortunes, causing further economic impoverishment;

Also worried that an investment of 5 million, Naira in Treasury bills at the current rate of 13.9% per annum should have yielded a return on investment to a retiree of N695,000.00, and when divided by the monthly payment, a retiree gets N57,900.00, but instead N26,000.00 is paid resulting in an assumed shortfall of N31,900.00 because retirees have no option to invest;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Pension Commission to investigate the complaints of former employees who have been negatively impacted by the administration of pension funds;

(ii) also urge the Commission to ensure strict enforcement of the law and design a framework to guide against infractions of the Pension Act, 2014 in furtherance of the anti-corruption stance of the present government;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Pensions to invite the National Pension Commission and Chief Executives of the PFAs to brief it on the activities of the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) as it concerns the investment of the Retirement Savings Account, benefits accruing to the employees upon retirement and the investment portfolio of the Retirement Savings Funds and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Clement Jimbo moved the motion on the plight of retirees under the contribution pension scheme and it was seconded by Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Pensions.

  1. Need to Support the various Roads and Infrastructural Projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

Hon. Chris Nkwonta:

The House:

Notes that the Federal Capital Territory is the administrative headquarter of Nigeria, focusing on strategic, economic, and political objectives;

Also notes that various road initiatives underscore the commitment of the government to infrastructure development as a vital component in advancing the socio-economic wellbeing of residents, as well as creating employment and combating insecurity;

Aware that the construction of quality roads would reduce the rate of accidents, ensure safety, promote efficient transport network, and improve the economy of Abuja;

Also aware that the current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory is working on constructing 30 kilometers of road projects across the six Area Councils, including Paikon Kore-IIbwa road in Gwagwalada and Gaba-Tokula road in Bwari; a garage junction to the LEA Secretariat road in Kuje, the Yangoji-Sukuku Ebo road in Kwali, an access road that includes a two-span river bridge over the Naharati river, Ukya in Abaji; a temporary access road linking Saburi I and two communities from the ONEX to the old Keffi road near Dei Dei, upon completion the projects, are expected to enhance socio-economic activities across the six Area Councils and promote development in the FCT;

Observes that the Phase II rehabilitation plan and resurfacing of forty–nine roads in Abuja, which encompass Asokoro and its surroundings, is underway after commencing the Phase 1 project covering 135 roads in Garki against the background that the previous government granted it before it was abandoned due to financial constraints;

Also observes that the outer southern expressway, from A. A. Rano to Deeper Life Junction, and the N-20 expressway in Jahi, all abandoned, are currently under construction;

Further observes that other ongoing projects include the rehabilitation of the Federal Secretariat Complex and the completion of roads B6, BI2, and circle roads in the Abuja Central Area, the full-scope development of arterial road N-20 from the Northern Parkway to the Outer Northern Expressway (ONEX) with spurs, the rehabilitation and expansion of the outer Southern Expressway from Villa Roundabout to the outer Southern Expressway (OSEX) ring road 1 junction with four interchanges; and the construction of Southern Parkway from Christian Center (58/9) to Ring Road 1;

Worried about the inability of the immediate former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to successfully complete key road projects and other infrastructure within the FCT;

Cognizant of the plan by the Minister of FCT to provide basic infrastructure for the proposed residential arena for judges and the effort by the Minister to complete specified abandoned projects such as the Vice President’s residence awarded in 2010 and the residences of the Presiding Officers of the National Assembly complex awarded in 2009;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Ministry of Finance and Budget Office to ensure the timely release of FCT budgetary allocations and funds;

(ii) commend Minister Nyesom Wike for his determination in overseeing the construction of various road infrastructures and successfully concluding previously neglected projects within a relatively brief timeframe; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on FCT to closely monitor the various infrastructural projects and ensure the removal of any obstacles to the completion of the various ongoing projects.

Debate:

Hon. Chris Nkwonta moved the motion on the need to support the various roads and infrastructural projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and it was seconded by Hon. Ibe Okpara.

Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka proposed an amendment to prayer 2 for the House to ‘recognize’ the efforts of the Minister of the FCT and not to ‘commend’ him as there is a ceremonial process for that. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on FCT.

  1. Need to Prioritize the Completion of the Amassoma Community Shoreline Protection Project in Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State:
    Hon. Ambaiowei Rodney Ebikebina:

The House:

Notes that between August and November when water levels rise due to the opening of dams in the Republic of Cameroun and heavy rainfall in the country, Southern Ijaw and most parts of the country experienced flooding annually which posed significant challenges in riverine areas. This flood submerges communities, displaces others along the Niger and Benue rivers, and creates multiple internally displaced persons camps;

Also notes that Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State is one the Community that has persistently endured the devastating effects of these floods leading to the 2022 devastating flood which sacked Communities creating huge humanitarian crisis. The Flood situation is heightened by climatic changes which has elevated the flood levels, making the situation increasingly unbearable. Given the devastating consequences of the flood, experts have recommended the construction of a dyke to protect coastline and riverine communities;

Concerned that several contracts for the construction of Shoreline Protection in Amassoma have been awarded in the past with no useful results. The first was awarded to Dokkin Ventures Nigeria Limited by the now obsolete Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) and was abandoned.

It was again awarded to Bussdor & Company Limited by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2003, only to be abandoned again in 2005 with disputable percentage of completion as physical assessment shows no significant job done. The contract was later transferred to Messer Ideki Services Ltd without clear details of the transfer and the valuation of the Project with no significant work done till date;

Worried that the rains have been coming thick and fast while the Federal Metrological Services has predicted that the 2023 flood levels will surpass those of 2022. The people of Amassoma and other areas within Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency are at risk of facing another devastating flood and displacement from their homes. It is only an immediate action that will assuage and give comfort to the Southern Ijaw constituents to avert the traumatic experiences of the past;

Cognizant of the need to protect lives and livelihoods in Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency and riverine communities and complete the Amassoma Community Shoreline Protection Project;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to re-mobilize the Contractor to site and engage competent Consultants to supervise the Project and ensure that the Project is executed diligently to completion before September 2024 when the next rainy season comes;

(ii) mandate the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to assess the Amassoma community Shoreline Project to ascertain the extent of work done by the numerous contractors since the Project was first awarded till date; and

(iii) also mandate the Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to liaise with the NDDC and investigate the mismanagement and abandoned of a critical intervention project with a view to holding previous companies accountable for public funds waste.

Debate:

Hon. Ambaiowei Ebikebina moved the motion on the need to prioritize the completion of the Amassoma community Shoreline Protection Project in Southern Ijaw federal constituency of Bayelsa state and it was seconded by Hon. Famous Osawaru. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission.

  1. Rehabilitation of Misau-Shira-Giade-Gwaram-Birnin Kudu Road in Bauchi and Jigawa States:

Hon. Sani I. Ibrahim Tanko ​​​Hon. Yusuf Shittu Galambi​​
Hon. Bappa Aliyu Misau​​​ Hon. Adamu Yakubu:

The House:

Notes that good road infrastructure facilitates efficient movement of goods and services between urban and rural communities, thereby promoting social and economic growth, particularly in rural areas;

Also notes that the Misau-Shira-Giade-Gwaram-Birnin Kudu Road is a Federal Road, which spans across several communities in Bauchi State and links the North East and the North West geopolitical zones of Nigeria;

Further notes that the road is significant to both social and economic development of Nigeria, as it is a major route for transporting trade and investment activities on the Kano/Maiduguri axis and parts of some West African countries, including the Niger Republic, Chad, Ghana, and Cameroon;

Worried that the road is in a dilapidated condition which poses a great risk to commuters, potentially leading to fatalities and destruction of property through accidents and frequent attacks by hoodlum thus, affecting motorists’ valuables and the time spent on transportation;

Worried that the road has been in a dilapidated state for years, causing untold suffering to the people who are predominantly farmers as socio-Economic activities in the affected communities have been hampered due to the attendant risks of transporting their produce to other markets via the dilapidated road;

Cognizant of the need to rehabilitate the rood to ameliorate the hardship encountered by motorist roads users;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to commence rehabilitation work on Misau-Shira-Giade-Gwaram-Birnin Kudu Road in Bauchi and Jigawa States;

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

Debate:

Hon. Sani Tanko moved the motion on the rehabilitation of Misau-Shira-Giade-Gwaram-Birnin Kudu road in Bauchi and Jigawa states and it was seconded by Hon. Aliyu Garu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency as well as that on Works.

  1. Need to Investigate the Privatization / Concession of Federal Government Silos in Nigeria:

Hon. Inuwa Garba:

The House:

Notes that in September, 2017, the Federal Government commenced the process of concessioning 22 out of it 33 silo complexes across the country to the private sector to ensure availability of affordable grains across the country;

Cognizant of the need to scrutinize circumstances surrounding the privatization or concession of Government Silos for Grains Storage in the country considering the vital role these silos play in ensuring food security across the country;

Also cognizant of the need to investigate the entire process of privatization or concession, including the criteria used for the selection of private entities, transparency in the bidding process to ensure accountability in public administration, and upholding the principles of fairness and equity;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to, as a matter of priority, consider subsidizing agriculture to revitalize the economy and improve food security in Nigeria; and

(ii) mandate the Committees the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, Privatization and Commercialization, Public Assets, to investigate the privatization/concession of 22 out of 33 Government Silos for grain storage and other critical national assets in Nigeria and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Inuwa Garba moved the motion on the need to investigate the privatization/concession of federal government silos in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Fuad Laguda . Hon. Uchenna Harris proposed an amendment to incorporate the House committee on Special Duties into the prayers of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Privatization and Commercialization as well as that Special Duties.


Adjournment:

The House at 14:43 PM adjourned plenary to Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by the Deputy Minority Whip, Hon. George Ozodinobi

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

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