Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

Reports

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase presiding.

After leading the opening prayer and the National Pledge, the Deputy Speaker examined and approved the votes and proceedings for Wednesday, February 24th, 2021


ANNOUNCEMENT

The new Standing Order of the House is ready for collection, Honorable Members should send their aides to the Committee on Rules and Business with a photocopy of their identification card for collection.


PETITIONS

  1. Rep. Abdullahi Ibrahim laid a petition from a complainant who was appealing his wrongful dismissal from the Nigerian Army
  2. Rep. Chudi Momah laid a petition from a complainant who is a member of the body of the outdoor advertising and signage agents. He is petitioning the body over the breach of his right as a member of the organization
  3. Rep. Ben Roland Igbakpa laid a petition on behalf of a constituent from Sapele in Delta state calling for the review of his dismissal from the Nigerians Customs Service. He called on the Customs Service to convert the termination of his employment to voluntary retirement.
  4. Rep. Aliyu Magaji laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against First Bank of Nigeria plc.
  5. Rep. Chinedu Ogah laid 2 petitions
  6. Rep. Ibrahim Olanrewaju laid a petition from a complainant against the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) on the non-payment of his due salary and entitlements.

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


MOTIONS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

  1. Rep. Ahmed Jaha moved a motion on the need to urgently rescue one Pastor Bulus of the EYN Church in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State from the clutches of suspected Boko Haram insurgents and it was seconded by Rep. Ahmed Awal.
    In leading the debate, Rep. Jaha stated that the abduction of Pastor Bulus was after an attack on their community. He urged the House to urge the Federal government to do everything it can to ensure the rescue of the pastor who the suspected insurgents are threatening to kill if a ransom is not quickly paid before the expiration of a stated deadline. Rep. Jaha further called on the Federal government to ensure the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks are taken care of.
    The motion was voted on and adopted.
  2. Rep. Abdullahi Salame moved a motion on the need to provide relief materials to victims of attacks by armed bandits in Sokoto state and it was seconded by Rep. Aishatu Dukku. Rep. Salami in leading the debate expressed worry at the continuous spate of attacks on residents of communities in Sokoto state. These attacks, he said have become too frequent and too widespread. Rep. Salame called on the House to direct the Ministry on Humanitarian Affairs to provide relief for the victims within the affected communities. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the relevant committees of the House.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS

  1. Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1220) (Rep. Yusuf Buba Yakub) – First Reading.
  2. University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards Etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1221) (Rep. Bamidele Salam) – First Reading.
  3. National Appreciation for Security Agencies Bill, 2021(HB. 1222) (Rep. Bamidele Salam) – First Reading.
  4. National Honours Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1223) (Rep. Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad)
  5. Banks (Motor Vehicle Loans) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1224) (Rep. Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad) – First Reading.
  6. Army Colour (Prohibition of Use) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1225) (Rep. Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad) – First Reading.
  7. Veterinary Surgeons Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1227) (Rep. Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad) – First Reading.
  8. Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment, Etc.) (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1215) (Rep. Olubunmi Tunji–Ojo) – First Reading.
  9. Federal Capital Territory Outdoor Signage and Advertisement Agency Bill, 2021(HB. 1232) (Rep. Abdullahi Idris Garba) – First Reading.
  10. Community Sheriffs (Establishment) Bill, 2020 (HB. 1233) (Rep. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT

Committee on Army:
Rep. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Army on the purported Voluntary Resignation of over Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Soldiers” (HR. 15/07/2020) (Referred: 23/7/2020).

The report was laid following a motion by Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas and seconded by Rep. Blessing Onuh


BILLS

  1. Consolidation of Bills:

(a) A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Advertising Practitioners (Registration, Etc.) Act, Cap. A7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enact the Advertising Practitioners (Registration, Licensing, Etc.) Bill for the establishment of a Council for Advertising Practitioners as the Apex Regulatory Authority for the Nigerian Advertising Profession and Practice; and for Related Matters (HB. 137) (Rep. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas); and

(b) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Advertising Practitioners (Registration, Etc.) Act Cap. A7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to ensure the smooth operation of the Council; and for Related Matters (HB. 518) (Rep. Adeyemi Akeem Adeniyi).

Debate
Rep. Abubakar Fulata moved for the consolidation of the 2 Bills and it was seconded by Rep. Wale Raji.
The Bill was voted for, approved for consolidation and the Committee on Rules and Business was asked to schedule a date for the debate on its general principles.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend Section 3(2)(a) of the National Agency for Population Programmes and Development Act, Cap. N2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 by adding ‘and the Notice shall take effect upon being received by the minister” immediately after the word ‘Minister’; and for Related Matters (HB. 725) (Rep. Olufemi B. Adebanjo) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Adebanjo moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Mohammed Umar.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Population.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Sustainable Development Fund Charged with Responsibility for Imposing, Operating and Maintaining the Fund for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB. 133) (Rep. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas) – Second Reading

Debate
Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas moved for the second reading of the Bill and stated that with the expiration of the millennium development goals and the application of the wider-scoped sustainable development goals. He said the Bill is meant to ensure countries remain on the right path of meeting the goals spelt out for citizens of their countries by the year 2030, adding that Nigeria needs to ensure it does not derail from the track of progress. Rep. Namdas commended the Buhari-led administration for its resolve and proactive preparedness to meet the goals. He called for support of the Bill and for the political will by all stakeholders to meet the laudable targets.
The Bill was voted for, passed for second reading and referred to the House Committee on the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


MOTIONS

  1. Call for Reconstruction of a Collapsed Bridge in Tungan–Madaki Community, Jiwa Ward of Abuja Municipal Area Council:
    Rep. Micah Yohanna Jiba

The House:
Notes the collapse of the Tungan–Madaki Bridge linking Jiwa community with other communities in Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory;
Also notes that the collapse of the bridge has resulted in cutting off of Tungan Madaki from other communities in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), bringing social and economic activities to a halt with pupils and students unable to attend school;

Aware that Tungan Madaki is a large settlement that is in proximity with Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and many Civil Servants, Airport Staff and Nigerians doing their legitimate businesses are residing in the Community;
Concerned that the bridge, which was constructed more than 50 years ago as the only road to and from Tungan Madaki Community, has degraded so much that it has become a death trap especially during the rainy season;

Worried that agricultural produce often go to waste in the course of transporting them to the market due to the collapse of the bridge, as indigenes of Tungan Madaki are the highest producers and suppliers of tuber crops in the Federal Capital Territory;

Also worried that women and children in the surrounding villages of Tungan–Wakili, Tungan–Ashere, Tungan–Nasara, Tungan–Jiwa, Tungan–Kwasau and others cannot access basic health care, attend schools and the market for fear of being victims of flooding in the rainy season;

Disturbed that despite the persistent cries of residents of communities around the area for remedial actions on the bridge, nothing has been done by successive Federal Capital Territory Administrations to ameliorate the situation, causing the people to undergo untold hardship;

Also disturbed that the continued abandonment of the Tungan–Madaki bridge, which serves as a link to Area Councils of the F.C.T, is inhibiting commuting and transportation of agricultural produce from the predominantly farming communities to the city centre;

Cognizant that if urgent action is not taken, especially in view of the current economic realities, the people of the affected communities will continue to suffer economic hardship and threat to their lives and properties due to the perennial flooding ravaging the area;

Resolves to:
(i) Urge the Ecological Fund Office to urgently deploy its technical team to access and repair the Tungan–Madaki bridge; and

(ii) mandate the Committees on Federal Capital Territory and F.C.T Area Councils and Ancillary Matters to liaise with the Federal Capital Territory Administration with a view to taking expedited action to reconstruct the bridge.

Debate
Rep. Micah Jiba moved the motion calling for the reconstruction of a collapsed bridge in Tungan–Madaki community, Jiwa ward of Abuja Municipal Area Council and it was seconded by Rep. Gideon Gwani.
Rep. Micah thanked the leadership and members of the House for standing by him during his family’s time of grief and prayed God’s blessings on them all.
As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and adopted.

  1. Need to Compel the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to Suspend Charges on the Offshore Safety Permit (OSP):
    Rep. Patrick Nathan Ifon:
    The House:

Notes that the Offshore Safety Permit (OSP) is a Personnel Accountability System (PAS) designed by the Department of Petroleum Resources for tracking of personnel working in Onshore and Offshore locations, managing installations owned and/or operated by Oil and Gas operators and contractors in Nigeria;

Aware that the fundamental purpose of OSP is to account for and save the lives of oil and gas workers through effective training in compliance with Mineral Oils (Safety) Regulations and International Codes, Standards and Best Practices;

Informed that OSP (according to DPR) is a necessary safety precursor for every person operating in onshore and offshore locations as it helps to ensure that basic safety/survival training is obtained before deployment;

Cognizant that the Department of Petroleum Resources is responsible for the issuance, and establishment/ management of OSP in the National Data Repository (NDR); a permit they claim attests to the eligibility and safety of an offshore worker in his work zone, issued only on presentation for scrutiny, other certificates of competence from recognized institutions;

Dismayed that despite the provisions of the Petroleum Act which emphasizes operational excellence in Oil and Gas industries, and the provision of Sections 5, 6, 8,9,18, and 20 of the Mineral Oils (Safety) Regulation, 1997 that makes it mandatory for workers to be trained, the Department of Petroleum Resources has not provided the mandatory training and are exploiting the unemployed desirous of working offshores;

Concerned that the Department of Petroleum Resources has no justification in charging unguaranteed job seekers, even those in the employment of IOCs for the issuance of OSP;

Worried that job seekers, who pay hundreds of thousands of naira to acquire certificates like Basic Safety, Firefighting and other requisite safety certificates that forms the basic criteria for the issuance of Offshore Safety Permit (OSP), are forced to pay an outrageous fee of between N300, 000 – N 350, 000 and a yearly renewable charge of N 100.000 for unguaranteed jobs after the issuance of the permit;

Convinced that the suspension of charges on OSP will contribute to the enforcement of the Local Content Act by allowing the percentage of job available to indigenous persons in the oil and gas industry, who have met IOCs working criteria to be employed since Sections 30–31 (1) of the Local Content Act creates room for safety training of prospective workers by the project operators.

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) to:

(i) liaise with the Department of Petroleum Resources to urgently take necessary steps in suspending further charges on innocent Nigerians who require OSP for job clearance;

(ii) also liaise with DPR to ensure that servicing companies who are awarded contracts by IOCs, should acquire every working permit to cover their recruits after training them to cover the scope of their job specifications;

(iii) conduct an internal audit on the Department of Petroleum Resources (OSP) charges since the commencement of the permit in 2012.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House for further legislative work to be done on it.

  1. Need to Ascertain the Level of Food Security in Nigeria:
    Rep. Dennis Idahosa:
    The House:

Notes that the Agricultural sector has witnessed policy changes since Vision 20:2020 (NV: 20:2020) was launched in 2009 and in August 2016, the Agriculture Promotion Policy known as Green Alternative was again launched and has reshaped the direction of agricultural development in Nigeria;

Also notes that as the Nation experiences different phases of strategic plans, there has been no systematic framework of reviewing the performance of the sector vis-a-vis food security and global competitiveness as required under the Economic Communities of West African States Agriculture Policy (ECOWAP) which Nigeria is a signatory and a major player;

Aware that the Agricultural Sector is the fulcrum for food and nutrition security, rapid industrialization, employment generation, sustained economic growth, and poverty reduction which has become imperative as the prospect for reliance on crude oil reduces globally.

Also aware that Nigeria, with a population of close to 200 million and a further projection of over 350 million in 2050, the need for food security is imperative, given that the world food summit in 1996 agreed that food security exists when all people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life;

Concerned that despite hundreds of billions of naira appropriated to Agriculture over the years, the outputs in relations to production and food security is not commensurate with the amount spent and therefore the need to verify the current state of small, medium and large scale farming is necessary for the food stability and security of Nigeria’s soaring population;

Recalls that in the 1960s, Agriculture accounted for 65-70% of total exports but fell to about 40% in the 1970s, and crashed to less than 2% in the late 1990s;

Resolves to:

(i) Mandate the Committees on Agricultural Production and Services, and Finance to interface with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria Farmers Association and other relevant stakeholders to ascertain the level of food security in Nigeria and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action;

(ii) also mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House due to the absence of the sponsor

  1. Need to Address the Challenges of Open Defecation in Nigeria:
    Rep. Sada Soli:
    The House:

Notes the concerted efforts by the Federal and States Governments to curb the incidence of open defecation across the country;

Aware that Nigeria is among the global league of countries where open defecation is prevalent with an estimated 47 million Nigerians indulging in the practice;

Also aware that as part of the Government’s efforts to remove Nigeria from the unenviable World Bank ranking in Open Defecation, President Muhammadu Buhari, on 20 November 2019 signed an Executive Order 009 titled “Open Defecation Free Nigeria by 2025 and for related matters”;

Disturbed that Nigeria is at the brink of becoming number one country with the highest number of people in the world practising Open Defecation;

Worried that efforts in the past to address the situation had yielded minimal results and if there is no concrete effort from all and sundry, Nigeria may not be able to meet the projected target of the Executive Order 009 by 2025 as well as achieving the Sustainable Development Goal No.6 which intends to address Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH);

Also worried about the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report which estimated that about 122,000 Nigerians, including 87,000 children under the age of five die every year from diarrhoea, intestinal worm infections, cholera, hepatitis, typhoid and other preventable sanitation illnesses;

Resolves to:

(i) Call on the Federal Ministries of Water Resources and Health, in conjunction with relevant development partners, to prioritize efforts on aggressive rural water and sanitation projects to provide potable water and functional toilet facilities to achieve an Open Defecation Free (ODF) Society;

(ii) also call on the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and other relevant Agencies to give proper sensitization to the public on the negative effects of Open Defecation in community hygiene and safety;

(iii) further call on Members of the National Assembly, as the closest representatives of the people, to ensure that sensitization campaigns on the dangers of open defecation form part of their constituencies’ legislative agenda;

(iv) mandate the Committees on Healthcare Services and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House due to the absence of the sponsor

  1. Establishment of a Direct Debit System for Payment of Utility Bills by Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs):
    Rep. Uju Kingsley Chima:
    House:

Notes that Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is a major factor in the economic growth of every country and should at least represent 50% of the Gross National Income of an economy of a country to be stable;

Also notes that Section 80(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that MDAs should pay their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) into the Consolidated Revenue of the Federation;

Further notes that Nigeria relies on about 90% of Externally Generated Revenue (EGR), through Crude Oil, as the source of the nation’s gross national income;

Aware that the Federal Government also relies on payment of Utility Bills, like Water and Electricity Bills as a major boost to its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR);

Recalls that in order to ensure that Utility Bills are paid, the Federal Government introduced laudable measures where individuals and the Private/ Public sectors pay promptly by privatizing some sectors of the economy, like the electricity sector;

Worried that the MDAs are often accused of not paying Utility Bills to the bodies responsible for the collection, thereby making it impossible to remit the funds to the government and this has adverse effects on Internally Generated Revenue;

Conscious of the urgent need to establish and devise workable means of ensuring that MDAs pay their utility bills to the Government through direct debit mechanism of debiting the accounts of all MDA’s at the end of each month, in conjunction with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committees on Appropriation, Finance and Public Accounts to interface with the heads of the Ministries, Department and Agencies to initiate a workable Strategic Plan to enhance the efficient payment of monthly Utility Bills of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate
Rep. Kingsley Chima moved the motion on the establishment of a direct debit system for payment of utility bills by Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and it was seconded by Rep. Emeka Chinedu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the relevant committee of the House.


CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE) Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase presiding:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of Federal University of Education, Aguleri; and for Related Matters (HB. 1138) (Committee of the Whole: 9/12/2020).

Consideration of the report stepped down by leave of the House

  1. Committee on Army:
    Rep. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas:
    “That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Army on the purported Voluntary Resignation of over Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Soldiers and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 2/3/2021).

(i) That the Nigerian Army should improve on the welfare of its personnel, especially those in battlefields or other combat operations to further make the Soldiers more committed to their jobs and to the nation at large;

(ii) that there should be effective monitoring or follow up in the delivery of the welfare packages in all the Army formations to ensure that they reach out to all the beneficiaries (the soldiers) in a fair and equitable manner;

(iii) that the Army should continuously embark on orientation of soldiers, both old and new, about the reality of their jobs and the need to be committed to their country. This will reduce the number of soldiers leaving the Army due to loss of interest.

Synopsis of the report:
Rep. Namdas stated that the recommendations of the report were based on the fact that the soldiers that resigned were mostly citing poor welfare as being the main reason for wanting to leave the service of the army. He stressed the need for the Nigerian government to ensure officers of the armed forces are well motivated, this is so that the personnel defending the Nigerian territory should be well motivated to do so, and overcome threats; home or abroad.

Summary of voting:
Recommendation voted on and approved: 1-3


HOUSE IN PLENARY

The House reverted to plenary and adopted the report of the Committee of the Whole following a motion by the Leader of the House, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and seconded by the Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu.


Adjournment:
The House at 12:42 adjourned plenary till Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment by the Leader of the House, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and seconded by the Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu

Courtesy:
Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives

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