Friday, April 19, 2024
Ignite the mind.


Plenary Proceedings, House of Reps, Thursday February 29th, 2024

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


After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Wednesday, February 28th, 2024.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Membership of the Ad-Hoc Committee of the House on the restructuring of Federal Agencies and Commissions was announced and it is to be chaired by the Leader of the House, Hon. Julius Ihonbvere.

Reconstitution of House Committees: New Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen were announced to fill new vacancies in the affected Committees of the House.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu who Chairs the Special Committee of the House on the Review of the Constitution announced a press conference on invitation for memoranda at meeting room 447 by 3:00 PM.


PETITIONS:

Hon. Jesse Onuakalusi laid a petition on behalf of students of the University of Jos Dental Association on the alleged non-accreditation of their course of study that has kept students from graduating with recognizable degrees.

Hon. George Ozodinobi laid a petition on behalf of some complainants against DSTv on the alleged unauthorized use of their intellectual property.

Hon. Joseph laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the alleged unlawful dismissal from the Secondary Education Board in Ebonyi state and called for reinstatement and payment of all denied benefits.

Hon. Ikenga UgoChinyere laid a petition on behalf of a family against Shell Petroleum Development company on the need to address the alleged environmental degradation, oil spillage, water supply, wild life destruction in their environment as a direct result of the exploration activities of Shell Petroleum Development Company.

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


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka moved a motion on the need for a national reconciliation and integration process to rebuild confidence in the new generation in order to attain the Nigeria of our dreams and it was seconded by Hon. Adebayo Adepoju. Hon. Isiaka in leading the debate stated that the motion seeks confidence boosting in patriotism in young and old Nigerians, facilitating of nation building, reducing conflict, promoting social cohesion and promoting confidence in local and foreign investment.

He stressed the need for a peaceful and more united Nigeria. Hon. Isiaka stated that this will enable Nigeria engage in more mutually beneficial relationships with other nations. He urged the federal government to set in motion the process for National integration and reconciliation. He further called on the National Assembly to set up a special Committee to interphase to ensure the prayers and aims of the Motion becomes a reality. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to an Ad-Hoc Committee to be soon constituted.

Hon. Bello Sinkafi moved a motion on the need to extend the UTME registration by JAMB and it was seconded by Hon. Tunji Olawuye. Hon. Bello in leading the debate stated that the current economic hardship has made it difficult for many parents to meet up with the timeline of the online registration of candidates to partake in the upcoming examinations. He stated that if more time is not accorded these candidates, it would cause the disenfranchisement of huge numbers of the intended candidates.

He called on JAMB to extend the timeline for the registration to accommodate all intending candidates and that the relevant Committees of the House should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Examination Boards.

Hon. Dominic Okafor moved a motion on the urgent need to correct the plight of depositors and customers of financial institutions whose operational licenses were revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Fatoba Olusola. Hon. Okafor in leading the debate stated that the operating licenses of some micro finance banks were revoked by the CBN which has adversely affected Nigerians who deposited in them. He expressed worry that despite some of these banks meeting the requirement of the CBN, these operational licenses have still not been reinstated.

He called on the House to invite the Governor of the CBN to address the House on the way to make the release of the affected licenses possible in order to alleviate the sufferings of already over burdened Nigerian depositors. He also called on the relevant Banking Committees of the House to ensure compliance. He further called on the CBN to make provision for Nigerians with trapped funds in the affected banks to be able to access their funds pending when the issues can be resolved administratively. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Banking Institutions as well as that on Banking Regulations.

Hon. Kama Andy moved a motion on the urgent need to comprehensively review the Stephen Oronsaye report and it was seconded by Hon. Bassey. Hon. Kama in leading the debate stated that there is the need to thoroughly review the report and it’s recommendations before it’s implementation. He further highlighted that subsequent governments rejected some parts of the reports, while those accepted were not adopted. Hon. Kama also stated that the immediate past administration set up a Committee to study the white paper of the report with no favorable outcome.

He expressed worry that the implementation now may throw up unforeseen consequences. He urged the Federal government to thoroughly review the report in consideration with present realities before considering its implementation. He further called for the Legislative Arm of government to ensure that any action taken on this be cautious and in the true interests of the socioeconomic wellbeing of Nigerians. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the newly constituted Ad-Hoc Committee on the restructuring of Federal Agencies and Commissions.


PRESENTATION OF REPORT:

64th Session of the Organization of African Caribbean, Pacific States and European Union (OACPS – EU):

Hon. Adewunmi Onanuga:

“That the House do receive the Report to the Nigerian Delegation to the 64th Session of the Organization of African Caribbean, Pacific States and European Union (OACPS – EU) Parliamentary Assembly and 1st Session of the OACPS – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly under the Samoa Agreement, held in Luanda, Angola 17 – 21 February, 2024”.

The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Adewunmi Onanuga and seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act, Cap. A12 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (as amended) to make Provision for Establishment of Federal College of Agriculture, Geidam and for Related Matters (HB. 767) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbvere moved for the third reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The bill was voted on, read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Produce (Enforcement of Exports Standards) Act, Cap. P23, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Federal Produce Inspection Service (Enforcement of Exports Standards) (Establishment) Bill, 2024 to Provide for the Inspection and Enforcement of Grades and Quality Standards of Produce and Commodity intended for Export from Nigeria at Ports of Shipment and for Related Matters (HB. HB.616) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbvere moved for the third reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The bill was voted on, read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Coordinating and Conduct of the Practice of Broadcasting Profession in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB.247) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbvere moved for the third reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The bill was voted on, read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Federal Capital Territory Abuja Area Courts (Repeal and Enactment) Act, 2010 and Enact the Federal Capital Territory Abuja Area Courts Bill to, among other things, Expand the Jurisdiction of the Area Courts to Entertain both Civil and Criminal Matters and for Related Matters (HB. 378) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbvere moved for the third reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The bill was voted on, read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Peace Corps to facilitate Peace, Volunteerism, Community Services, Neighbourhood watch and Nation Building and for Related Matters (HB. 309 and HB. 482) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbvere moved for the third reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The bill was voted on, read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Medical Centres Act and Establish Federal Medical Centre, Igboora and for Related Matters (HB.799) – Third Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbvere moved for the third reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The bill was voted on, read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria to Provide for the Control of its Membership and Promote the Practice of Public Management in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 984) – Third Reading.

Debate:

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

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, Cap N86, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for inclusion of Anambra State as an Oil Producing State and for Related Matters (HBs. 154 & 857) (Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi and Hon. Paschal Agbodike) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. George Ozodinobi moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Paschal Abodike. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Institute of Health Service Administrators of Nigeria to Provide for the Control, Health Administration and Regulation of the Activities of its Members and for Related Matters (HB.935) (Hon. Bassey Akiba) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Bassey Akiba moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Maureen Chinyere. Hon. Bassey in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to ensure development of healthcare delivery which is critical for the development of Nigeria and Nigerians. He bemoaned the fact that despite huge yearly budgetary allocations to development of the healthcare sector, little progress can be seen that still sees Nigerians traveling abroad in droves to access quality healthcare and depriving the nation of essential foreign exchange, also making frustrated medical practitioners seek better working conditions abroad. Hon. Bassey further stated that the provisions of the bill, if well applied as law will help bring to the fore a more sanitized healthcare system for Nigeria. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Health Services.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigerian Coal Corporation Act, Cap. N95, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Nigerian Coal Development Commission, Enugu and for Related Matters (HB.667) (Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Chimaobi Atu moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Boniface Omerengwa. Hon. Atu in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to repeal the 2004 Act and enact the proposed bill to take care of modern realities as the provisions of the former Act have become moribund. He stated that it seeks to regulate activities around the legal mining of coal to ensure benefits to government and Nigerians within a safe procedural method. It also seeks to punish illegal exploration and exploitation of coal resources for selfish purposes. 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 Provide for Establishment of Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery Oke–Igbo, Ondo State and for Related Matters (HB.774) (Hon. Festus Ayodele Adefiranye) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Festus Adefiranye moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Afolabi Moruf. Hon. Festus in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks the establishment of the proposed college of nursery and midwifery to strengthen the healthcare delivery in Ondo state. He stated that the proposed institute will address the massive brain drain in the sector, provide affordable healthcare and provide employment and all its multiplier effects in the community. He stated that it will also ensure those in the region do not have to travel far to access quality and affordable healthcare. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Health Institutions.


MOTIONS:

  1. Outstanding Bills from Preceding Assembly:

Hon. Francis E. Waive:

(i) Mandatory Inclusion of Teachings on Breast and Cervical Cancers into the Curriculum of all Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria Bill, 2023 (HB. 501);

(ii) Mandatory Inclusion of Preventive Measures and Teachings on Sexual Gender Based Violence into the Curriculum of all Levels of Secondary Schools in Nigeria Bill, 2023 (HB.502);

(iii) Chartered Nigerian Institute for Industrial Security (HB.505);

(iv) Counterfeit Medical Products, Fake Drugs and Wholesome Processed Foods (Prohibition and Control) Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB.580)

(v) National Primary Health Care Development Agency Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 806); and

(vi) Federal University of Environment and Technology, Koroma/Saakpenwa, Tai Ogoni, Rivers State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.1040).

The House:

Notes that pursuant to Order Twelve, Rule 17 of the Standing Orders, the House may, upon being re-gazetted or circulated, reconsider in the Committee of the Whole, without commencing denovo, the Bill(s)–

(a) whose report was presented by the Committee before consideration;

(b) passed by the House and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence for which no concurrence was made or negative;

(c) passed by the Senate and forwarded to the House for which no concurrence was made or negative; or;

(d) passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding therefore was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the preceding Assembly.

Also notes that the aforementioned Bills were passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the last Assembly;

Aware that the Bills were read for the first time as HBs. 501, 502, 505, 580, 806 and 1040 respectively;

Resolves to:

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

Debate:

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

  1. Need to Encourage the Growth and Development of Indigenous Construction Companies in Nigeria:

Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali Halims:

The House:

Notes that Indigenous Construction Companies are business entities registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a Limited Liability Company and other relevant authorities such as PenCom, ITF, COREN, BPP, etc., with the sole aim of engaging in construction work within the country;

Also notes that the Indigenous Construction Companies have complied with relevant annual taxes to maintain their business;

Concerned Nigeria, after 63 years of independence, lacks locally grown indigenous construction companies capable of competing with foreign firms for major construction projects like port facilities, buildings, roads, railways, airports, and runways;

Aware that the areas indigenous construction companies lag behind their foreign counterparts includes equipment ownership, compliance levels with health, safety and environment standards, organizational structure, and financial capacity;

Also concerned that foreign companies have dominated Nigeria’s construction industry while Nigerian companies have been shut out due to lack of capability;

Worried that if not addressed promptly, indigenous companies in Nigeria may face closure;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to provide equal opportunities for indigenous construction companies to thrive,

(ii) also urge Federal Government to mandate all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government to ensure that certain portions of their projects are air marked for indigenous construction companies;

(iii) further urge the federal government to provide tax relief and exemption duty for the importation of heavy equipment to indigenous construction companies; and

(iv) mandate the Committees on Public Procurement, Customs and Excise, and Finance to ensure compliance.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Introduce Mandatory Drug Testing for Secondary School Students in Nigeria:

Hon. Moshood Olanrewaju Oshun:

The House:

Notes that adolescence is a critical period for drug abuse, influenced by factors such as experimental curiosity, peer pressure, poor socio-economic conditions at home and the need for extra energy for daily activities;

Also notes that the youth are critical stakeholders in fostering socio-economic development in the country and their vulnerability to societal vices necessitates strategic government intervention to secure their wellbeing and enhance their contributions to national development;

Worried that substance abuse among young people is fast becoming a global public health concern, gradually leading to complications like personality disorders, drug dependence and death;

Also worried that according to studies which showed a notable prevalence of drug and substance abuse across secondary schools in Nigeria, one in every four students between 15-19 years abused substances, syrup containing codeine and tramadol topped the list of drugs, ranking higher than cannabis;

Aware that Random Student Drug Testing (RSDT) is a drug prevention programme whereby students are tested for recent use of illegal substances, and is aimed at deterring drug use and identifying students who need help with staying drug-free;

Cognizant that a mandatory routine and random drug testing for students is for preventive, not punitive purposes, and early intervention is crucial for achieving success in tackling the menace of substance abuse:

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministries of Education and Health to collaborate and develop a mandatory drug testing programme for secondary school students in Nigeria;

(ii) also urge the National Orientation Agency and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to increase awareness about substance abuse among secondary school students nationwide; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Basic Education and Services, and Healthcare Services to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks (4) for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Moshood Oshun moved the motion on the need to introduce mandatory drug testing for secondary school students in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Ari Abdulmumin. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committees on Basic Education and Services as well as that on Healthcare Services.

  1. Need to investigate the Funds Disbursed to the Licensed Electricity Distribution Companies

by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Loans under the National Mass Metering Program

Hon. Uchenna Harris Okonkwo:

The House:

Notes that the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP) was launched by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide funds as loans to the licensed Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to improve customers metering and eliminate estimated billing;

Also notes that the NMMP aims to reach over 6 million households and businesses with meters before the end of 2021 as part of the power sector reform agenda to promote transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the power sector;

Concerned that there have been reports of discrepancies, mismanagement, and non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the loans disbursed under the NMMP by some DisCos, leading to inefficiencies, underperformance, and failure to achieve the objectives of the NMMP;

Worried at the lack of proper oversight, monitoring and evaluation of funds disbursed under the National Mass Metering Program by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which has created opportunities for corruption, diversion, and misappropriation of public resources;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to prioritize the implementation of the Power Sector Recovery Program, which provides a roadmap for sustainable power sector reform;

(ii) also urge the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide a detailed report on the implementation of the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP), including the number of loans disbursed, the amount disbursed, and the status of the loans, to the Committee on Banking and regulations;

(iii) further urge the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to provide a comprehensive assessment of the performance of the DisCos in metering customers and eliminating estimated billing;

(iv) mandate the Committees on Banking Regulations, Power, Rural Electrification Agency, Housing and Habitat, to investigate the disbursement and use of funds under the NMMP by the Central bank of Nigeria and ascertain the level of compliance with the terms and conditions of the loans;

(v) also mandate the Committees on Banking Regulations and Power to investigate:

(a) cases of discrepancies, mismanagement, and non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the loans disbursed under the National Mass Metering Program; and

(b) the level of oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of the use of funds disbursed under the National Mass Metering Program by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and to recommend measures to enhance transparency, accountability, and performance in the National Mass Metering Program and report back within four (4) weeks

Debate:

Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo moved the motion on the need to Investigate the funds disbursed to the licensed Electricity Distribution Companies by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as loans under the National Mass Metering Program and it was seconded by Hon. Chukwugozie Nwachukwu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committees on Power, Banking Regulations, Rural Electrification as well as that on Housing and Habitat.

  1. Deplorable State of Road Network in Federal Housing Estate, Alimosho federal constituency of Lagos State:

Hon. Ganiyu Adele Ayuba:

The House:

Notes that Gowon Estate and Federal Low-Cost Housing Estate also known as (Shagari Estate) in Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State, were constructed and managed by the Federal Housing Authority in accordance with its mandate of development and management of Real Estate on both commercial and portable basis in all States of the Federation;

Also notes that the aforementioned Estates were built as part of plans by the Federal Government to cater for housing deficits and infrastructural inadequacies in Nigeria and like some other Housing Estates across the country, were provided with social amenities including but not limited to road networks to make human and vehicular movement within the Estates easy;

Concerned that over the years, the roads within Gowon and Shagari Housing Estates in Alimosho Federal Constituency have become dilapidated due to neglect and abandonment by the agencies responsible for their maintenance;

Also concerned that the deplorable state of the roads has caused pain and agony to residents, particularly during emergencies, resulting to loss of productive times, avoidable expenses on vehicle maintenance and depreciation of the value of properties within the Estates;

Cognizant that unless urgent steps are taken to rehabilitate the roads in the affected Estates, the situation could worsen, thus resulting in devastating consequences;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Housing Authority and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to commence rehabilitation and reconstruction of the dilapidated roads in Gowon Estate and Federal Low-Cost Housing Estate in Alimosho Federal Constituency of Lagos State; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Housing and Habitat to visit Gowon and Shagari Estates, Alimosho Federal Constituency to access the level of degradation of the road network and make budgetary provision for the rehabilitation of the Gowon and Shagari Estates, Alimosho, Lagos State in the subsequent budget estimates;

(iii) mandate the Committees on Housing and Habitat, and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Ganiyu Ayuba moved the motion on the deplorable state of road network in the Federal housing estate, Alimosho Federal constituency of Lagos state and it was seconded by Hon. Adewale Adebayo. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Housing and Habitat.

  1. Need to Revoke Non – Performing Modular Refinery Licenses and Re – Issue License to Competent Investors:

Hon. Chris Nkwonta:

The House:

Notes that as a way to end the importation of petroleum products into the country, the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 established the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority as the new body responsible for regulating the Midstream and Downstream sectors and issuing licenses to operators in the sectors;

Also notes that pursuant to this mandate and according to the Department of Petroleum Resources forty–four (44) refinery project licenses were issued to private investors in the country, with 32 invalids in the past three years, while 11 new licenses were granted between May 2018 and March 2021;

Aware that as of April 2018, there were 38 proposed modular refineries with capacities ranging from 5,000 barrels per stream day to 30,000 bpd and six conventional plants with a total capacity of 1.35 million bpd;

Also aware that the Department of Petroleum Resources has completed the construction of four modular refineries with a total capacity of 23,000 bpd in Nigeria. The refineries are Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, Imo State, OPAC Refineries in Delta, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (Train 3), Rivers State, and Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Company Limited, Edo State;

Cognizant that Dangote oil refinery has begun producing diesel and aviation fuel after years of construction delays at 650,000 barrel per day (bpd) with the expectation that other idle licensees will follow in the footsteps of the historic plant’s success;

Worried that investments in oil exploration in the country have been few and oil majors exit onshore and shallow water assets due to rising insecurity and sabotage of oil infrastructure and legal disputes with communities in the Niger Delta;

Concerned that the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum and Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has said the Federal Government is planning to revoke unused oil exploration leases that companies were granted but have not been able to carry out any exploration activities on them;

Disturbed that the commission has not revoked the expired licenses, in line with the PIA, which empowered it as the regulator to review the technical and financial capabilities of companies holding oil exploration leases;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to revoke idle modular refinery licenses and re-issue them to competent and ready investors;

(ii) also urge the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to expedite action on the rehabilitation of the Country’s refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Warri, and Lagos Sates to ensure increased production and alleviate the country’s petroleum crisis; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Petroleum Resources (upstream) and Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to ensure compliance.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Convert Old Federal Government Press Building, Ajegunle to a Vocational and Skills Acquisition Centre for Youth Empowerment:

Hon. Kalejaiye Adebayo Paul:

The House:

Notes that in 1975, the federal government established the Federal Government Press in Ajegunle, which played a central role in handling federal government publications like gazette, bulletins and periodic magazines;

Also notes that the Federal Government Press, Ajegunle was established in 1975 with responsibility to managing the federal government publications such as gazette, bulletins, and periodic magazines;

Aware that the establishment provided employment opportunities for the local community and encouraged business activities through the procurement of printing materials;

Worried that the relocation of Federal Ministries and Agencies to Abuja in December 1991 resulted in the neglect of the Federal Government Press in Ajegunle, which was converted into an Event Centre;

Recognizes that the best solution is to repurpose the abandoned building into a Vocational and Skills Acquisition Centre to accommodate and empower Nigerian youths with relevant skills and preparing graduates for employment;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation to relinquish the property to Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) for the purpose of the conversion;

(ii) also urge the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to take over and fund the establishment of same; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to ensure compliance.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Call to Constitute the Board of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM):

Hon. Tochukwu Chinedu Okere:

The House:

Notes that Section 2(1) of the Nigerians in Diaspora Establishment Act, 2017 states that there shall be a Governing Board for the Commission, which will be responsible for its general administration;

Also notes the genuine intent of President Muhammadu Buhari in signing the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission Act, 2017 was in response to complaints Nigerian suffers in their host countries, resulting in a huge embarrassment to the image of Nigeria and its rating before the community of nations;

Further notes that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission provides for the engagement of Nigerians in the Diaspora in the policies, projects, and participation in the development of Nigeria and the purpose of utilizing human capital and material resources of Nigerians in the Diaspora towards the overall socio-economic, cultural, and political development of Nigeria;

Aware that Nigeria has a huge, well-educated, and hardworking diaspora population across all the continents of the world and constitutes a significant percentage of active economic capital for our national growth and development;

Also aware that a recent World Bank report states that Nigeria is the highest remittance-recipient country in Sub-Saharan Africa, approximated at about $20 billion in official remittances by the end of 2023, which is about 38% of remittances flowing to the regions. At the close of 2023, the exchange rate of N885.88 was about N17.71 Trillion;

Concerned that the challenges faced by the Nigerians in the diaspora that necessitated the establishment of the Commission remain unresolved and have worsened, attributed to the fact that the Board of the Commission has yet to be constituted by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria since its establishment seven years ago;

Also Concerned that Nigerians in the diaspora have contributed significantly to the country’s economic growth, development, and social stability, and their welfare be given special attention by the government and its organs;

Worried that if the Board is not constituted immediately, the capacity of NIDCOM to address the challenges of Nigerians in the diaspora will worsen and that would present Nigeria from a negative perspective as a country that does not care for the welfare of its citizens, thus undermining the establishment of the Commission;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the President to give effect to the provisions of Section 2 (1) of the NIDCON Establishment Act, 2017 by constituting the Board of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM); and

(ii) also urge the President to inaugurate the Board after their confirmation and charge it to immediately address the numerous challenges facing Nigerians in the Diaspora; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Diaspora to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Tochukwu Okere moved the motion on the call to constitute the Board of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and it was seconded by Hon. Billy Osawaru. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Diaspora.

  1. Need to Restrain the Relocating of the Long-Time-Installed Fire Fighting Simulator and Other Equipment from the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kaduna State:

Hon. Sadiq Ango Abdullahi:

The House:

Notes that the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace is allegedly relocating the long-time installed firefighting simulator from the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kaduna State which has been of great importance to the College, to an unknown destination;

Also notes that the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology is a higher education institution in Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kaduna State, established in 1964 specifically to train students on aircraft engineering, flying, and air traffic expertise advise;

Aware that the firefighting simulator was installed to train firefighting officials on twenty-eight types of fire and non-fire operational incidents involving aircraft in the aerodrone and its vicinity and tackle any fire incidence in the college;

Worried that the Minister’s email to Alpha Metal Technology Company, who installed a firefighting simulator at the college, has caused tension, as the firefighting simulator benefits higher institutions in Zaria and environs;

Cognizant that the firefighting simulator is a national asset and an important tool in the training of firefighting officials within the aviation industry, and it also reduces the capital flights of training aircraft firemen and women overseas;

Resolves to:

(i) invite the Hon. Minister of Aviation to brief the House on the relocation of the Fire Fighting Simulator; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Aviation to investigate the allegations about the relocation of the firefighting simulator and the location to be taken to and report back within two (2) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Sadiq Abdullahi moved the motion on the need to restrain the relocating of the long-time installed fire fighting simulator and other equipments from the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kaduna state and it was seconded by Hon. Kelechi Ibe who also proposed an amendment to delete prayer 1 which calls for the invitation of the Aviation Minister. This he stated is only necessary after the investigation has been carried out, as inviting the Minister before the investigation is preemptive.

An amendment was also proposed to suspend the relocation of the equipments until the investigation is concluded. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Aviation as well as that on Aviation Technology.

  1. Urgent Need to Act on the United Nations (UN) Report on Terrorist Cells in Kastina State.

Hon. Aliyu Abubakar:

The House:

Notes that over the years, the North-Western States have been consistently associated with banditry, particularly Katsina State, where 23 out of the 34 local government areas are directly attacked;

Aware of the recent United Nations Special Report on the ongoing security challenges in certain areas of Katsina State which has disclosed the existence of 24 terrorist cells spanning approximately 30 forests in the North-West region of Nigeria. The report also provides details on the numerical strength and leadership of the cells.

Also aware that the report identified the presence of encampments in Kankara, Safana, Jibia, and Batsari Local Government Areas of Katsina State, accommodating an estimated populace of no fewer than 1,920 terrorists;

Also notes that the bandits have destroyed lives and properties in Northern Nigeria, causing severe impacts on political and socio-economic development;

Cognizant of the need to address this organized crime of banditry, to prevent humanitarian and human rights consequences, security deterioration, and violence spread in conflict-affected communities.

Resolves to:

(i) urge the relevant security agencies to take advantage of the intelligence to combat banditry attacks in Katsina State and take stiffer measures to ensure the safety of lives and properties in affected the communities;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to intervene and assist the victims to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the affected areas; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Emergency Disaster Preparedness and Poverty Alleviation to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Aliyu Abubakar moved the motion on the urgent need to act on the United Nations (UN) Report on Terrorist Cells in Kastina State and it was seconded by Hon. Aminu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

  1. Need to Address the Delay in Completing the Dualization of the Suleja–Minna Road Project:

Hon. Yusuf Kure Baraje:

The House:

Notes that the contract for the dualization of the 124.8km Suleja-Minna road was awarded in 2010 with an initial completion date of 2011, remains uncompleted to date;

Worried at the challenges faced by commuters plying the single-lane road due to the deplorable state and frequent accidents on the road;

Aware that at inception of the project, only 280 million Naira was released for the project in 2011, and has been supported by funding windows like the Sukuk Road Funds and NNPC Tax Credit Scheme, despite ongoing work;

Concerned that the project’s completion date remains uncertain, despite multiple extensions over a decade, causing concern over economic activities, logistics issues, and citizen expectations and a decline in the quality of the work;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to conduct a special audit of the project’s funds, monitor the progress, and ensure project delivery within a set timeframe;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Works to interface with the Federal Ministers of Works, Finance, Budget and National Planning to address timely release of funds, project implementation challenges and ensure timely delivery of the road dualization project; and

(iii) also mandate the Committee on Works to conduct oversight visits to the project site, interface with the contractor and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Yusuf Baraje moved the motion on the need to address the delay in completing the dualization of the Suleja–Minna road project and it was seconded by Hon. Shehu Rijau. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Works.


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

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, Cap E Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to enhance effective Collaboration with relevant Law Enforcement Agencies and for Related Matters (HB. 315) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 10/10/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the bill seeks to amend Section 1 of the existing Act to bring it to tandem with current realities and to provide clarity in operations.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-11.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Chartered Institute of Mentoring and life Coaching Nigerian (CIMLCN) to be charged with the responsibility for Registration, Discipline of its Members to Systematize the Practice of Mentoring and Coaching and for Related Matters (HB. 753) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:9/11/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the bill seeks to establish the chartered institution in order to ensure the maintenance of high standard of mentoring to build individuals with strong personalities for impacting resourcefulness.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-23.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish National Metallurgical Training Institute, Sagamu, Ogun State to Provide Training, Information, Supervision, Guidance and advice to Students, researchers and Personnel in Iron and Steel, and Oil and Gas Industries for National Development and for Related Matters (HB. 109) – Committee of the Whole:23/11/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the Bill seeks the establishment of the proposed training institution to provide guidance and training for students, researchers and instructors in the iron and steel industry as well as those in oil and gas sector.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-45.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish National Rice Production, Processing and Research Institute Igbemo–Ekiti, Ekiti State and for Related Matters (HB. 584) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:20/12/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the bill is equally an establishment Act aimed at improving quality rice production and processing to boost food security. He praised government for the timeliness and objective of the bill.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1, 3-7

Clause amended and approved: 2

Clauses expunged: 8, 9

Further consideration of the bill was deferred for further legislative clean up.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State and for Related Matters (HB. 585) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:20/12/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the bill seeks the establishment of the proposed college of nursing and midwifery for the advancement of the training, research and practice in the healthcare delivery sector and for the good of Nigerians residing in the region.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-39.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, Cap No.5 Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to clearly define the scope of Powers of the Chairman of the Commission; to Revoke Order or Notice under the Act; to avoid Arbitrariness and Ensure Effective Collaboration between the Commission and Other Agencies; and for Related Matters (HB. 316) (Leader) –Committee of the Whole: 10/10/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the bill seeks to amend Sections 6 and 51 of the existing Act to clearly define the scope of power of the Chairman of the Commission to ensure non-abuse of power and to ensure functions of the Commission does not clash with other similar Commissions or Agencies.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-4.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal College of Agricultural Technology Otun Ekiti to Provide full-time Courses in Agricultural Technology, Applied Science Management and other Fields of Studies and to make Provisions for the General Administration of the College and for Related Matters (HB.875) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:8/2/2024.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the bill had been considered by the former Assembly and seeks the establishment of the proposed College of Agricultural Technology for the development in research and practice in the agricultural sector as a means of boosting national economic diversification.

Summary of voting:

Clauses voted on and approved: 1-32.


HOUSE IN PLENARY:

The House reverted to plenary and adopted the report of the committee of the Whole following a motion by Hon. Sada Soli and seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda.


Adjournment:

The House at 14:07 PM adjourned plenary to Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by Hon. Sada Soli and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon.Kingsley Chinda.

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

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