Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Ignite the mind.


Plenary proceedings, House of Representatives, Thursday, May 23rd, 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 Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024.


ANNOUNCEMENT:

  1. There will be a meeting of all Honourable Members from North Central forum in Lafia, Nasarawa State on Saturday, May 25th, 2024.

Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase.


PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against a Police officer on alleged police brutality, human right abuse, threat to life, gross abuse of office and the forceful takeover of a health center converted to an illegal detention center.
  2. Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged failure to refund over N60 Million to him since 2021.
  3. Hon. Kolawole Davidson Akinlayo laid a petition on behalf of a complainant on alleged fraud, stealing and obtaining money by false pretence.

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


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Chinedu Ogah moved a motion on need to address the educational needs of less privileged Nigerians and it was seconded by Hon. Tijjani Zakariya. Hon. Ogah in leading the debate stated that JAMB having conducted its computer-based entrance exams into tertiary institutes, did not take into cognizance the fact that some children of low income families had never seen, had access to, or handled a computer while in school. He stated that the inability of these children to use the computers made them fail the examination even though they had due knowledge of the subjects to be written. He called on the House Committee on Information Technology and Communication to call on the Ministry of Education and that on Information Technology to ensure all Nigerian children are computer literate before graduating from secondary school and needing to sit for the JAMB exams. Hon. Ogah also called on the House Committee on Information as well as that on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Hon. Gaza Gbefwi applauded the spirit of the motion and stressed the need for all Nigerian students to be abreast with the tenets of information technology in order to be able to compete and be at par with their international counterparts.

Hon. Kalejaye Paul proposed an amendment to ensure all the intended computer based training centers, especially in the rural areas should be equipped with solar panels for non-interrupted power supply.

Hon. Jafaru Ali supported the idea and spirit of the motion as it seeks to address the diversity between the wards of the haves and those of the have-nots. He called on government to provide solutions to the technological challenges of those in the rural regions so that they can compete favorably with their peers in other regions. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Information Technology and Communication, University and Universal Education as well as that on Appropriations.

  1. Hon. Inuwa Garba moved a motion on the need to investigate the alleged dismal supply of electricity to the entire Gombe State leading to loss of life, economic activities and properties and it was seconded by Hon. Abubakar Nalaraba. Hon. Garba in leading the debate stated that the activities of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) leaves much to be desired and frustration in the residents of Gombe State as the lack of electricity has grounded businesses, made it extremely difficult to pump drinking water, made agricultural practices almost grounded and caused loss of some lives. He called on the House Committee on Power to investigate the issue while that on the Northeast Development Commission should provide support for the citizens. He also called on the House Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Hon. Shettima Ali proposed an amendment asking for the prayers of the motion to cover the entire Northeastern region of Nigeria which are also affected by this unavailability of electricity.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha rose to state that he had earlier moved a similar motion on the floor of the House concerning the electricity challenges of the whole Northeast region and a resolution had been taken on it. He further stated that adopting this same motion would be a waste of legislative time and process.

Hon. Victor Nwokolo who is the Chairman, House Committee on Power verified the position of Hon. Ahmed Jaha and that the 4 Committees that had the referral of the House from the motion of Hon. Jaha have already started sitting. The motion was then stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Hon. Cyril Godwin moved a motion on the need to investigate the acquisition and illegal demolition of buildings belonging to the Nigeria Railway Corporation by the Enugu State Government and it was seconded by Hon. Akintunde Rotimi. Hon. Cyril in leading the debate expressed concern at the insensitivity of the State government to demolish the said buildings despite the protests by the affected residents. He called on the House Committee on Land Transport to investigate the circumstances surrounding this act and report back to the House. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Land Transport.
  2. Hon. Gabriel Saleh Zock moved a motion on the need for urgent intervention to address attacks and kidnappings in some communities in Kachia, Kaduna State and it was seconded by Hon. Dagomie Abiante. Hon. Saleh in leading the debate stated that the activities of these bandits have gone on for a long time. He stated that scores of people have lost their lives and properties have been destroyed. He stated that people are not able to go to their farms any more for fear of being attacked.

Hon. Saleh called on the heads of relevant security agencies to ensure adequate security formations are established and maintained in the region and that the relevant security Committees of the House should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committees on Army, Police, Defense, as well as that on National Security and Intelligence.

  1. Hon. Akinlayo Kolawole moved a motion on the need to address killings and gruesome murder in a community in Ekiti State and it was seconded by Hon. Shittu Galambi. Hon. Kolawole in leading the debate stated that both the Ekiti and Kwara State governments had met to resolve the boundary dispute that causes these unprovoked attacks and agreed that the disputed region belongs to Ekiti state. He therefore expressed worry and dismay at why the resolved issue still keeps causing fracas in the region. Hon. Kolawole stated that these attacks has made people afraid to go to their farms and has grounded socioeconomic activities in the region. He stressed the need for taking and maintaining a firm stand on the matter. He called on the Inspector General of Police to ensure the safety of all residents of the region and that the Boundary Commission should resolve the border concerns between the warring communities. He also called for the setting up of an Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate and report back to the House.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha proposed an amendment to refer the matter to relevant Standing Committees of the House instead of constituting a new Ad-Hoc Committee. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Police, National Security and Intelligence as well as that on Special Duties.

  1. Hon. Sesi Oluseun moved a motion on the closure of Banex plaza, Abuja and the need to employ modern means for security personnel to engage in the handling of civil disputes and it was seconded by Hon. Obinna Aguocha. Hon. Oluseun in leading the debate expressed concern at the continuous closure of the plaza which has a serious toll on the economy of the Federal Capital Territory.

He called for a review of military engagements in civil matters. Hon. Oluseun also condemned the civilians’ action of brutalizing the army officers in uniform. He called for the immediate opening of the plaza and that modern means such as CCTV cameras should be used to monitor activities at such public places. He called on the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Defense, as well as that on Police Affairs to investigate the circumstances surrounding the skirmish and report back to the House. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Army, National Security and Intelligence as well as that on Police Affairs.


MATTER OF PERSONAL EXPLANATION:

  1. Hon. Kelechi Nwogu rose on Order 8(6) and 18(11) stressing why the report on a motion moved by Hon. Kingsley Chinda on the 16th of March, 2024 on the need to ensure a living wage for the Nigerian worker has not been laid. He stated that it is important, especially as the Nigeria Labour Congress are threatening an industrial action soon.

Hon. Kingsley Chinda (House Minority Leader) called for the immediate setting up of an Ad-Hoc Committee to ensure the House is proactive and not wait for Labour to go on strike.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha proposed an amendment calling on the leadership of the initial Committee it was referred to, to state why they have not laid the report.

Hon. Julius Ihonbvere (House Majority Leader) stressed that the threat of strike by Labour is something that should not be taken lightly. He stated that the House should do all it can through its legislative tools to avert the proposed strike action. Hon. Ihonbvere called on the leadership of the House to intervene in the matter.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. National Environmental Standards and Regulations Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1393) (Hon. Tochukwu Okere) – First Reading.
  2. Nigerian Co-operative Societies Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1394) (Hon. Tochukwu Okere) – First Reading.
  3. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1408) (Hon. Babajimi Benson) – First Reading.
  4. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1409) (Hon. Babajimi Benson) – First Reading.
  5. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1418) (Hon. Dalhatu Shehu) – First Reading.
  6. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1419) (Hon. Kafilat Ogbara) – First Reading.
  7. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1421) (Hon. Kafilat Ogbara) – First Reading.
  8. Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery Egbu, Owerri North, Imo State (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1395) (Hon. Tochukwu Okere) – First Reading.
  9. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1396) (Hon. Tochukwu Okere) – First Reading.
  10. Integrated Agro-Industrial Park Nekede, Owerri West, Imo State (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1397) (Hon. Tochukwu Okere) – First Reading.
  11. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1410) (Hon. Babajimi Benson) – First Reading.
  12. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1411) (Hon. Babajimi Benson) – First Reading.
  13. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1412) (Hon. Babajimi Benson) – First Reading.
  14. Federal College of Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition, Ingawa, Katsina State (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1416) (Hon. Abubakar Yahaya Kusada) – First Reading.
  15. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1422) (Hon. Kafilat Ogbara) – First Reading.
  16. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1433) (Hon. Miriam Odinaka Onuoha & Hon. Canice Moore Nwachukwu) – First Reading.
  17. National Anthem Bill, 2024 (HB. 1470) (Hon. Julius Ihonvbere) – First Reading.
  18. Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1462) (Hon. Abuubakar Hassan Fulata) – First Reading.

ORDERS OF THE DAY BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Domesticate and Enforce in Nigeria the International Convention against Doping in Sport, Establish Nigeria Anti–Doping Centre to Implement Nigeria’s obligations to World Anti– Doping Code, International Standards and for Related Matters (HB.1441) (Leader) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonbvere (House Majority Leader) moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda, (House Minority Leader). Hon. Julius Ihonbvere in leading the debate stressed the need for ratifying Nigeria’s signature by establishing the proposed anti-doping center as Nigeria has been dragged to court for not doing so earlier. He stressed that it is important to have this ratification especially as the Olympic Games is fast approaching and Nigeria is supposed to participate. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Treaties, Agreements and Protocols.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for the National Anthem of Nigeria and for Matters Related (HB. 1470) Hon. Julius Ihonvbere – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonbvere (House Majority Leader) moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Chike Okafor. Hon. Julius in leading the debate stated that the time has come for Nigeria to reflect on the past, present and forecast the future by looking at the National Anthem as a National symbol of unity. He stated that the realities of the time calls for focus on a true renewed hope and it is pertinent to go back to using the former National Anthem as it reflects more on the Nigerian spirit. Hon. Julius stated that the position of the Bill may not be popular, but it is highly necessary as it stresses the need to serve Nigeria, stand in unity with one another despite our diversities and ensure a more prosperous country.

Hon. Kingsley Chinda, (House Minority Leader) in speaking against the Bill questioned the need for switching back to the former version of the National Anthem. He stated that the history of the former version dates back to the colonial times and was composed by Britons. The new version was implemented to loose Nigeria from the hold of colonialists. He also stated that Nigerians do not see National Anthem as the pressing issue right now, and that the House should dwell more on pressing issues such as insecurity, hunger and economic hardship.

Hon. Ahmed Satome in contributing to the debate stated that Nigerians need government to provide solutions to hunger and insecurity and not to tell them which National Anthem to sing. He stressed the need for government to focus more on research and technological development, progress and stability for Nigerians.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha in his contribution supported the Bill and stated that the present National Anthem has not been implemented in the daily lives of Nigerians and there is indeed the need to revert back to the former version which sounds more patriotic. He stated that the patriotism of Nigerians has been eroded by diverse challenges to the Nigerian way of living which has resulted in the mass exodus of Nigerians to other countries for better standard of living. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the Committee of the Whole.


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

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for the National Anthem of Nigeria and for Matters Related (HB. 1470)-Committee of the Whole: 23/5/2024

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonbvere stated that the essence of the report is simply to move for the reversal, for Nigerians to adopt the former version of the National Anthem in order to promote patriotism and adherence to the true Nigerian spirit.

Summary of voting:

Clauses amended and approved: 1-10


HOUSE IN PLENARY:

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


BILL:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for the National Anthem of Nigeria and for Matters Related (HB. 1470)-Third Reading

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonbvere 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.


Adjournment:

The House at 14:12 PM adjourned plenary to Thursday, May 30th, 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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