Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Ignite the mind.


Plenary Proceedings, House of Reps, Tuesday, July 9th, 2024

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


After the recitation of the National Anthem, the opening prayer and the recitation of the National pledge, the Deputy Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Tuesday, July 2nd, 2024.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. Formation and membership of Conference committee on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act.
  2. There will be a meeting of Honourable Members from the minority caucus at 3:00 PM at Room 4.17.

PETITIONS:

  1. A petition was laid from members of the academic community of the university of Calabar on their alleged embattlement by the previous administration.
  2. Hon. Mitema Obodor laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against the Shell Petroleum Development Company on the alleged diversion of assets in Bayelsa state.
  3. Hon. Okolie Lawrence laid a petition on the alleged gruesome murder of a young man by a police sergeant.

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


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Aliyu Abubakar moved a motion on the urgent need to stop further killing, kidnappings and banditry in some communities in Katsina State and it was seconded by Hon. Umar Ajilo. Hon. Aliyu in leading the debate stated that over 65 people lost their lives recently in these communities as a result of these unprovoked attacks, while over 100 people are in the custody of kidnappers. He stressed that the activities of these bandits have become highly rampant in the region.

Hon. Aliyu also stated that these facts have hindered people from carrying out their farming activities. He called on the relevant security agencies to come to the aid of people. He further called on the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the National Emergency Management Agency to come to the aid of the victims and that the House Committee on Legislative Compliance should ensure compliance.

Hon. Sada Soli stated that the affected communities are close to his own community in Katsina State. He expressed worry at the actions or inactions of the Nigerian Army as they have not responded to several invitations for help. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Humanitarian Affairs as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Hon. Famous Osawaru moved a motion on the urgent need to conduct a Legislative Forensic investigation into the challenges facing the downstream and midstream sections of the oil sector of Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Aderemi Useni. Hon. Osawaru in leading the debate stated that the National Assembly has the right to investigate the issues that have led to prolonged scarcity of petroleum products nationwide. He stated that there is alleged corruption and mismanagement within the distribution and supply chain of the petroleum products.

Hon. Osawaru expressed worry at the adulteration of petroleum products, alleged secret return of subsidy regime payments, lack of support for local refineries and lopsided means of license allocation to marketers. He called on the House committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream and Midstream) to carry out the forensic investigation into these and many more challenges bedeviling the petroleum industry and that the House Committee on Legislative Compliance should also ensure compliance.

Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa proposed an amendment to delete any agency that deals strictly with crude oil from the prayers of the motion so that the mentioned Committees can work within their jurisdiction.The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream and Midstream).

  1. Hon. Aliyu Madaki moved a motion on the SAMOA agreement that was signed on behalf of Nigeria in June 2024 and it was seconded by Hon. Bello Shehu. Hon. Madaki in leading the debate stated that it is alleged that some clauses of the SAMOA agreement have controversial provisions that may contradict the social and religious values of Nigerians as it allegedly promotes gay, lesbian and transgender practices. He called for a deep scrutiny of the agreement before it’s implemented on behalf of Nigerians. He expressed worry that the signing of such an agreement with such clauses, if true; contravenes the sanctity and sovereignty of Nigeria. He called on the House Committees on National Planning and Economic Development, Justice as well as that on Treaties, Agreements and Protocol to investigate the matter and report back to the House.

Hon. Julius Ihonbvere in contributing to the debate stated that there is no portion of the SAMOA agreement that talks of affairs concerning LGBTQ.

Hon. Mascot Ugbeche stated that having read all 30 clauses of the SAMOA agreement, he is aware that certain clauses are abominable to African ways and values and should be resisted on all fronts. He called on the federal government to focus on more pressing issues like the promotion of the livelihood and wellbeing of Nigerians.

Hon. Kingsley Chinda in his own contribution stated that motion is an investigative one and Honourable Members should not be judgmental during their contributions, in order for the investigation to be done properly. He expressed worry on why the National Assembly was not carried along during the agreement signing process as should be the case by Law.

Hon. Ghali Mustapha proposed an amendment calling on the federal government to withdraw from the SAMOA agreement and reject it in totality.

Hon. Usman Kumo stated that there is the need to vehemently reject any agreement that violates Nigeria’s religion and morality. He called for the complete withdrawal of Nigeria from the agreement. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on National Planning and Development as well as that on Treaties, Agreements and Protocol.

  1. Hon. Ademorin Kuye moved a motion on the urgent need for state governments to address and uphold democratic principles in local governments and it was seconded by Hon. Kelechi Nwogu. Hon. Kuye in leading the debate stressed the need for financial and administrative autonomy for local governments. He expressed worry at the high number of states (21) acting with impunity and disregard for the constitution by running local governments with caretakers instead of duly elected individuals.

He called on the House Committee on Finance, Revenue Mobilization as well as that on Local Government and States to liaise with relevant Federal government agencies to ensure zero financial allocation for erring States and that the office of the Attorney General should institute legal action against erring States. He further called on the House committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committees on Finance, Revenue Mobilization, Local Government and States, as well as that on Justice .

  1. Hon. Bamidele Salam moved a motion on the need to exempt medical institutions, especially Teaching Hospitals from increase in electricity tariffs and it was seconded by Hon. Amobi Ogah. Hon. Bamidele in leading the debate stated that these medical institutions which are on the ‘Band A’ category of electricity users need intervention from the federal government so that their services will not be truncated. He called on the House committee on Power as well as that on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Health Institutions, Power as well as that on Rural Electrification.
  2. Hon. Samuel Adedayo moved a motion on the need to promote local vaccine production in Nigeria and it was seconded by Hon. Chris Nkwonta. Hon. Adedayo in leading the debate stated that with the astronomical increase in national population, there is the need to improve production of locally made vaccines. He wondered why the local vaccine production laboratory in Yaba, Lagos State is still unproductive. He called on the House Committee on Health Institutions and Healthcare Services to invite relevant stakeholders to find a way for the reopening of the Yaba vaccine production laboratory. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committees on Health Institutions as well as that on Healthcare Services.

MATTERS OF PRIVILEGE:

  1. Hon. Philip Agbese rose on a matter of privilege to condemn the notion that first-time Honourable Members are discriminated against in contributing to debates as diverse quarters have continued to allude. He called on the Honourable Member who made the comment to apologize to the House.

The Deputy Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu reiterated that there is no discrimination of any Honourable Member during plenary. The point of order was sustained.

  1. Hon. Ghali Mustapha called on the leadership of the House to desist from stating during debates on the floor of the House that new Members are learning, as everyone is equally learning.

The Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu stated that even as equals, there is always seniority in experience, and more experienced members always pass on knowledge in Parliamentary practice.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1498) (Hon. Jesse Okey – Joe Onuakalusi) – First Reading.
  2. Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery Mashi, Katsina State (Establishment) Bill, 2024(HB.1554) (Hon. Salisu Yusuf Majigiri) – First Reading.
  3. National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1564) (Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed) – First Reading.
  4. Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1565) (Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed) – First Reading.
  5. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1568) (Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali Halims) – First Reading.
  6. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1569) (Hon. Mansur Manu Soro & Hon. Wole Oke) – First Reading.
  7. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1570) (Hon. Mansur Manu Soro) – First Reading.
  8. Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1573) (Hon. Kayode Moshood Akiolu) – First Reading.
  9. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1581) (Hon. Solomon T. Bob) – First Reading.
  10. Federal University of Health Sciences and Technology, Kankia, Katsina State (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1582) (Hon. Abubakar Yahya Kusada) – First Reading.
  11. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1444) (Hon. Eze Nwachukwu Eze) – First Reading.
  12. Central Bank of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1578) (Hon. Adewale Hammed) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT:

  1. Committee on Shipping Services and Related Matters:

Hon. Abdussamad Dasuki:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Shipping Services and Related Matters on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigeria Shippers’ Council Act, Cap. N133, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact Nigeria Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency and for Related Matters (HB.1038) (Referred:14/2/2023).

The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Abdussamad Dasuki.


ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigeria Correctional Service Trust Fund and Provide a Legal Framework for the Management and Control of the Trust Fund and for Related Matters (HB. 686) – Third Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Julius Ihonbvere moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Halims. The Bill was voted on, read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the North Central Development Commission charged with the Responsibility among other things to Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation Account for the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Roads, Houses and other Infrastructural Damages Suffered by the region as a result of the effect of the Communal Crises as well as tackle the Ecological Problems and any other Related Environmental or Developmental challenges in the North Central States and for Related Matters (HB.121) – Third Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Julius Ihonbvere moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Halims. The Bill was voted on, read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the South West Development Commission Charged with the Responsibility among others to Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation Account, including Donations and Gifts, for the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Infrastructural Damages Suffered by the Region and to Tackle Ecological, Environmental and Other Developmental Challenges in the Region and for Related Matters (HB.283) – Third Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Julius Ihonbvere moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Halims. 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 to Establish the Federal Medical Centre Sabongida-Ora, Edo State, to Provide Primary to Tertiary Healthcare Services in all their Ramifications; and for Related Matters (HB.478) – Third Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Julius Ihonbvere moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Halims. The Bill was voted on, read for the third time and passed.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Rights of Nigerian Citizens Living Outside Nigeria to Vote in certain Elections Conducted in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 22) (Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Hon. Sadiq Ango Abdullahi) – Second Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Sadiq Abdullahi moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Jallo. Hon. Abdullahi in leading the debate stated that the Bill will aid Nigerians, especially those outside the country during elections to exercise their fundamental rights to vote. The Bill was voted on, approved on second reading and referred to the House Committee on Electoral Matters.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Public Procurement Act, Cap. P44, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for damage against the Contractor on issues Relating to undue delay in Completion of Contract and for Related Matters (HB. 03) (Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Hon. Marcus Onobun) – Second Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Marcus Onobun moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kalejaye Paul. Hon. Marcus in leading the debate stated that the Bill seeks to protect the procurement entities and guide the procurement processes. It further seeks to amend Section 37 of the Procurement Act to deal with delayed payments and protect all parties involved, as long as the agreements are not breached. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Public Procurement.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 1349) (Hon Benjamin Okeize Kalu) – Second Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Gana Joshua moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Chike Okafor. Hon. Gana in leading the debate stated that the Bill seeks to provide for the reservation of seats for women in National and State Assemblies. This he stated will address the imbalance of women representation in Parliament. He stated that Nigeria lags behind in women representation in Parliament when compared to other nations. Hon. Gana stated that the Bill seeks to keep the promise of ensuring more women participation and representation in Parliament and that every person, irrespective of gender has rights of participation. He asked Honorable members to rise in support of the second reading of the Bill.

Hon. Fatima Talba in contributing to the debate appealed to the men folk to ensure mothers, sisters and daughters also have their voice as representatives in Parliament. She stated that it is not a ploy to unseat the men, it is plot to call for more female representation.

Hon. Ibrahim Rabah supported the Bill and called for it to be made into Law for the good of female participation in legislature and politics in general.

Hon. Mila Usman Balami supported the Bill and called for understanding and encouragement of women participation in politics and the democratic process. He called for more gender equality-based Bills.

Hon. Akintunde Rotimi spoke in support of the Bill and decried the abysmal number of female representatives in Parliament. He appealed for Honorable members to allow for the second reading and that all issues can be trashed out during the Public Hearing on the Bill.

Hon. Ghali Mustapha in speaking against the Bill stated that the Bill is undemocratic as everyone should test his or her popularity at the polls.

Hon. Ayodeji Alaoakala stated that the Bill is highly sensitive. He stated that it is democratic for all politicians to compete fairly in the political field. He acknowledged that some political parties even give free forms to women to encourage their participation, but that’s where it can stop, it is not right to impose anyone because of gender.

Hon. Patrick Umoh stated that there is a need for every Bill to align with the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria. He stated that any Law made in segregating anyone in terms of race or gender is null and void. He stated that there is the need to protect every gender and race in Lawmaking. He called on Members to play down sentiments and follow the lead of the Constitution.

Hon. Ahmed Jaha in contributing to the debate commended Members who supported the second reading of the Bill. He urged Members not to throw away the baby with the bath water and to allow the Bill pass through the due process, and that all gray areas can be attended to in the Public Hearing domain. He called for the adoption of a system where spots of non-elected Members can be reserved for women as is practiced in the UK Parliament.

Hon. Famous Osawaru in his contribution stated that sentiments will not give the Bill success. He urged Members to deeply scrutinize the details of the Bill. He stated that it is almost impossible for anyone to willingly vacate their seats for women to take over their seats. He called for more women participation in politics, but that they should be properly elected.

Hon. Chike Okafor pleaded for Members to allow the Bill go through the proper process. He called for the adoption of any means to improve gender equality and representation in Parliament. He reminded Members that the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu who is presiding is the chief sponsor of the Bill.

Hon. Kingsley Chinda stated that Members are saddled with the responsibility to settle problems through legislation. He stated that the imbalance in female representation in Parliament is a problem that requires parliamentary solution. He stated that Nigeria ranks lowest within African countries for women representation in Parliament with only 3.19 percent. He pleaded with Members to help cure this problem and allow it go to the Public Hearing where experts and key stakeholders can contribute in alliance with the Nigerian Constitution.

Hon. Kelechi Nwogu in his contribution commended the Deputy Speaker for courageously sponsoring this Constitution Amendment Bill. He further proposed that states nationwide should adopt women for the position of Deputy Governor.

The Deputy Speaker stated that he would have wanted Nigerians to participate during the Public Hearing, but as the sponsor of the Bill and also the Presiding Officer, he may be looked at as being biased.

Hon. Ali Isa called for the passage of the Bill for second reading so it can go for Public Hearing.

Hon. Satome Ahmed also supported the second reading of the Bill for posterity sake. 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 Institute for Educational Planning and Administration Ondo City, Ondo State and for Related Matters (SB.40) (Leader) – Second Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Julius Ihonbvere moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the committee of the Whole.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Gifted and Talented Centres in the Six Geo-Political Zones in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB.931) (Hon. Akin Rotimi and five others) Second Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Akin Rotimi moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Adamu Tanko. Hon. Rotimi in leading the debate stated that there is an existing school for gifted and talented individuals in Suleja. The Bill seeks to give legal backing to the center and provide for more of such centers nationwide. He appealed to Members to support it. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Basic Education and Services.

  1. A Bill for An Act to Amend the Federal Medical Centres Act, 2022 to Establish the Federal Medical Centre, Mallam Madori and for Related Matters (HB.1504) (Hon. Abubakar Makki Yalleman) Second Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Abubakar Yalleman moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Muhammed Takai. Hon. Yalleman in leading the Bill stressed the importance of having the proposed medical center to cater for the huge healthcare needs of people in the region so that they do not have to travel to other states to access such healthcare services. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Health Institutions.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Colleges of Education Act, Cap. F8, Laws of the Federation of the Nigeria, 2004, to Provide for Establishment of Federal College of Education (Technical), Faskari, Kastina State and for Related Matters (HB. 1418) (Hon. Dalhatu Shehu) – Second Reading.

Debate:
Hon. Dalhatu Shehu moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Salisu Yusuf. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Federal Colleges of Education.


MOTIONS:

  1. Need to Improve Nigeria Road to Enhance Security, Ease Traffic and Curb Accidents Caused by Wrong Use of Walkways:

Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong:

The House:

Notes that road transportation in Nigeria is among the most affected means of movement in the country and Nigeria road are becoming increasingly congested with heavy vehicular and human traffic;

Also notes that failure of vehicles along Nigeria roads affects both the road users and the vehicles. Some of the effects identified are increased accident rate, increase in faulty vehicles, high vehicle maintenance cost, and increase in travel time due to traffic congestion and the bad nature of the road;

Aware that due to the congested nature of Nigeria road many motorists now use the walkways as transit routes which has caused accidents;

Also aware that this practice has forced pedestrians to commute on highways thereby slowing down traffic and also exposing them to danger and risk of losing their lives;

Worried that despite the loss of lives and properties caused by the reckless attitudes of motorists who misuse the walkways, the trend continues;

Concerned that poor road transportation system slows a nation’s economic, cultural, and social development. The nation’s GDP and revenue decrease when people, goods, and services cannot move from one location to another on time;

Also concerned that the other effects of bad roads include insecurity posed by criminals at failed sections of road, risk of flooding and erosion, and adverse effects on economic development;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to provide more security on Nigeria road;

(ii) also urge the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to enforce parking laws and ensure proper usage of walkways and pedestrian bridges;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Land Transport to investigate the challenges and provide permanent solutions to these challenges and report within four (4) weeks for further Legislative action;

Debate:
Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong moved the motion on the need to improve Nigerian roads to enhance security, ease traffic and curb accidents caused by wrong use of walkways and it was seconded by Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Land Transport.


Adjournment:
The House at 14:22 PM adjourned plenary to Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Abdullahi Halims 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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