Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Ignite the mind.


Plenary proceedings, House of Reps, Thursday, May 9th, 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, May 8th 2024.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. The Ad-Hoc Committee to engage with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to address the issues expressed by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria is to be Chaired by Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase. All Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen of Petroleum and Gas related Committees of the House will constitute the membership of the Ad-Hoc Committee.

PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Abdullahi Balarabe laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) on alleged gross abuse of office and misconduct.
  2. Hon. Nweke Felix laid a petition on behalf of some complainants in Rivers State against NPDC on alleged negligence as a result of gas flaring that has continued to wreak havoc on their community.
  3. Hon. Peter Ifeanyi laid a petition on behalf of some complainants (Dominion Micro Finance Bank) against the Central Bank of Nigeria on the alleged illegal withholding of their operational licenses even though they have met all due requirements.

All petitions were referred to the House Committee on Public Petitions for further legislative action.


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Abubakar Fulata moved a motion on the urgent need to ensure the full implementation of the agreement signed by the Federal Government and the Academic and Non-Academic Staff Unions of Tertiary Institutions to ensure consistent strikes are averted and it was seconded by Hon. Hussain Jalo. Hon. Fulata in leading the debate stressed the importance of the smooth running of the education sector to ensure proper upbringing of citizens that will continue socioeconomic development of the country and establish productive and sound policies for Nigeria in future.

He expressed concern at the number of industrial actions that have continued to disturb the educational calendar which is negatively affecting the future of Nigerian students and their ambitions. Hon. Fulata also stated that these non implementation of agreements which causes these industrial disputes gives government a bad face. He therefore called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to use his good office to ensure these agreements are properly implemented and that the Ministry of Finance should ensure release of funds when directed.

He also called for fair treatment of the Tertiary staff, implementation of all agreements and that the relevant Committees of the House should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on University Education, Polytechnic Education, Colleges of Education, Finance, Labour and Productivity, as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Hon. Austin Achado moved a motion on the need to investigate the procurement process and award of the contract and construction of the Lagos-Calabar highway and it was seconded by Hon. Solomon Wombo. Hon. Austin in leading the debate expressed concern that the project though laudable, seems to have violated the procurement process strategy as well other provisions of the relevant Act. He stated that the Ministry of Works did not follow the due process of advertisement in order to avail all interested contractors the opportunity to bid for the tenders. He expressed worry that if let to fly, it constitutes abuse of office and procedure by the Minister of Works.

Hon. Austin therefore called on the Ministers of Works, that of Finance and the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure that due process is adhered to and that the House should constitute an Ad-Hoc Committee to ensure compliance.

Hon. Unyime Idem proposed an amendment to direct the referral of the motion to the House Committee on Public Procurement which he said has already started work on the matter.

Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka also proposed an amendment to involve the House Committee on Works. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Works as well as that on Public Procurement for further legislative action.

  1. Hon. Rufus Adeniyi moved a motion on the need to investigate the gruesome killing of Master Damilola Iyanda and it was seconded by Hon. Murphy Osaro. Hon. Rufus in leading the debate stated that the victim was slain by a police officer while attending the after-party of his brother’s graduation. Hon. Rufus condemned in strong terms the alleged unprofessional conduct of the officer that allegedly caused the death of Master Damilola.

He called on the House Committee on Police Affairs to urge the Inspector General of Police to ensure due investigation and provide due compensation to the victim’s family and to ensure proper training for police officers to ensure these tragedies do not continue to occur. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Police Affairs.

  1. Hon. Obuku Oforji moved a motion on the urgent need to revive the power supply to communities in Bayelsa State and it was seconded by Hon. Amobi Ogah. Hon. Oforji in leading the debate stressed the need to revive the power supply as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company is unable to supply power to many communities in Bayelsa State. He stated that the Bayelsa State Government proposed to take over some of the responsibilities to ensure supply to these affected communities and this is what has brought a bit of succor to the power supply situation in the affected communities.

He expressed worry that Gas supply which is in abundance in the region and that is readily available to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company is still not being utilized to provide power to citizens. He wondered why the module which got burnt is still being blamed for the Niger Delta Power Holding Company’s inability to perform its duties 3 years down the line. Hon. Oforji called on the House to summon the leadership of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company to brief it on why it is not able to fix the burnt module after 3 whole years. He also called on the House Committee on Power to ensure compliance.

Hon. Billy Osawaru in contributing to the debate stated that the module which got burnt 3 years ago has still not been fixed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company which is a shame considering the efforts and support of government to make sure these companies function optimally. He condemned in strong terms the attitude of laxity that has seen Nigerians suffer the effects of their incompetence.

Hon. Bitrus Laure proposed an amendment to prayer 2 that the leadership of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company should appear before the House Committee on Power instead of the whole House. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Power.

  1. Hon. Mohammed Saidu moved a motion on the need to address the brutal killing of 46 people and kidnapping of 35 people in some communities in Sokoto state and it was seconded by Hon. Eze Nwachukwu. Hon. Saidu in leading the debate called on the leadership of the relevant security agencies of government to provide more security personnel to ensure safety of the residents of the affected communities. He also called on the National Emergency Management Agency and the Agency for Displaced Persons to provide assistance to the affected victims.

Hon. Yusuf Gagdi proposed an amendment to ensure the prayers of the motion is extended to affected communities in Plateau state.

Hon. Saitome Ahmed also proposed an amendment to add the House Committee on Disaster Preparedness to the referral of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on National Emergency Management Agency as well as that on the National Council for Refugees.

  1. Hon. Femi Bamisile moved a motion on the need to ensure relevant government agencies track activities of companies in the private sector, as well as those that are foreign based but operating in Nigeria, in order to ensure they do not contradict governing socioeconomic Laws and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Sani. Hon. Bamisile in leading the debate stressed the need for proper tracking of the activities of these companies in order to ensure that the people and government of Nigeria are not subjected to losses and compromised through fraudulent trade practices.

He commended the efforts of the relevant agencies in handling these trackings, but called for more collaboration as well as the use of more sophisticated methods to achieve this. Hon. Bamisile expressed worry that if this issue is not addressed firmly, Nigeria will keep losing scarce funds and foreign exchange to unscrupulous elements. He called for the setting up a special investigative Committee to investigate and recover looted resources. He also called for a more sophisticated system for tracking these activities of companies to ensure further breaches are halted. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Special Committee to be Chaired by Hon. Abubakar Yalleman.

  1. Hon. Kingsley Chinda (House Minority Leader) moved a motion on the need to halt the proposed cyber security levy to be imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Kelechi Nwogu. Hon. Chinda in leading the debate stated that the motion is as a result of the outcry of Nigerians and concerns by all Honourable Members of the House of Representatives on what this proposed policy could do to already burdened Nigerians.

He expressed concern that businesses have been directed to collect the levies at point of electronic payment and this is subject to wide interpretation and application that will leave the burden on Nigerians. He stated that if this is not properly interpreted, the policy will be applied in error of the true intent. Hon. Chinda called on the House to direct the Central Bank to withdraw the ambiguous circular and present a more concise one that can be properly interpreted and implemented to avoid ambiguity.

He called on the House Committee on Banking Regulations as well as that on Banking and Other Ancillary Issues to guide the Central Bank accordingly. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Banking Regulations, Banking Institutions as well as that on Banking and other Ancillary Issues.

  1. Hon. Etanabene Benedict moved a motion on the urgent need to ensure implementation of government reforms in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Fake. Hon. Benedict in leading the debate stated that the motion seeks to ensure the proper composition of the Foreign Affairs Ministry for effective service delivery through well defined democratic policies. He however expressed concern that despite the efforts of government, conditions still prevail in the lives of Nigerians abroad that can cause high levels of stress, trauma, tension or even loss of life in unclear circumstances. Hon. Benedict called for proper intervention from government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that Nigerians stop falling prey to scams in looking for visa to study or live abroad. He stated that if the proper policies are implemented all the finances that go to these unscrupulous scammers will be properly channeled to the country through appropriate quarters which is more legal and safer for citizens. He called on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to ensure compliance and report back to the House in 3 weeks.

Hon. Alex Mascot in contributing to the debate stated that Nigerians are languishing in different prisons through vague circumstances and situations in different countries abroad and there is the need for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora Commission to ensure the safety of Nigerians worldwide. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Nigerian Content Programmes, Contracts, Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (NOPCESTI) Bill, 2024 (HB.1167) (Hon. Tijjani Zanna Zakariya) – First Reading.
  2. North East Development Vocational Education Institute, Alkaleri, Bauchi State (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1180) (Hon. Kabiru Yusuf Alhaji) – First Reading.
  3. National Vocational and Entrepreneuship Institute, Jos, Plateau State (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1186) (Hon. Daniel Asama Ago) – First Reading.
  4. National Agency for Technology Management (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1193) (Hon. Tijjani Zanna Zakariya) – First Reading.
  5. Niger –Delta Development Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1233) (Hon. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  6. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1252) (Hon. Abiodun Isiaq Akinlade) – First Reading.
  7. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1255) (Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi) – First Reading.
  8. Police Service Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1256) (Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi) – First Reading.
  9. Pension Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1268) (Hon. Moses Fayinka) – First Reading.
  10. National Broadcasting Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1270) (Hon. Moses Fayinka) – First Reading.
  11. National Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) Development Council (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1287) (Hon. Zakaria Dauda Nyampa) – First Reading.
  12. Budget and National Planning Bill, 2024 (HB.1302) (Hon. Ibrahim Ayokunle Isiaka) – First Reading.
  13. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1310) (Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi) – First Reading.
  14. National Grains Development Council (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1311) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  15. Federal College of Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisitions, Isiagu Obizi, Awka South, Anambra State (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1322) (Hon. Obiageli Lilian Orogbu) – First Reading.
  16. African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons (Domestication and Enforcement) Bill, 2024 (HB.1350) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  17. National Institute of Agricultural and Applied Economics (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1351) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – First Reading.
  18. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1354) (Hon. Patrick Umoh) – First Reading.
  19. Federal Polytechnics Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1372) (Hon. Tersser Ugbor) – First Reading.
  20. Federal Universities of Agriculture Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1375) (Hon. Adesida Abiodun) – First Reading.
  21. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1384) (Hon. Yusuf Galambi) – First Reading.

Adjournment:

The House at 12:54 PM adjourned plenary to Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House, Hon. Julius Ihonbvere 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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