Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Thursday, November 25th, 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 approved the votes and proceedings for Wednesday, November 24th, 2021


PETITIONS

  1. Rep. Haruna Dederi laid two petitions calling for investigations from two complainants.
  2. Rep. Henry Nwawuba laid a petition from a former corporal of the Nigeria Police who was laid off for manslaughter but was cleared of any wrongdoing by the courts. He had been trying to get his reinstatement to no avail. He craved the intervention of the House to resolve the issue.
  3. Rep. Herman Hembe laid a petition on behalf of the University of Agriculture, Markurdi, Benue State on the need to restore a program that had been previously delisted in the management faculty. They craved the intervention of the House to get the course reinstated.

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


MOTION OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

  1. Rep. Henry Nwawuba moved a motion on the urgent need to sensitize Nigerians on the danger of crystal meth and it was seconded by Rep. Shehu Kakale.

Rep. Nwawuba stressed the highly addictive nature of the drug on the youth and its capabilities of corrupting the mentality of its users. He stated that many Mexican drug lords have set up laboratories to produce the drug in Nigeria. He expressed concern about the violent nature of its users when under its influence. He called on the House to mandate the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to ensure that the production and distribution of the hard drug are contained.

Rep. Toby Okechukwu in contributing to the debate stressed the addictive and hallucinating influence of crystal meth on its users. He called for the unravelling of the producers and flow channels of the drug so it can be taken completely out of the Nigerian society market.

Rep. Lynda Ikpeazu stated that the effects of the drug are highly addictive, destructive and lethal, to the extent of making its users zombie-like. She called for the proper funding of NDLEA rehab centers to contain the menace.

Rep. Tajudeen Yusuf appealed for the expansion of the scope of investigations into all the innovations in drug manufacture, use and abuse. He stressed that the future of the Nigerian youth may be at risk and they may be unable to compete with their contemporaries globally if the dangerous trend and habits are not curtailed. He called on religious and traditional leaders, as well as policymakers to sensitize the Nigerian youth on the need and benefits of living a drug-free life.

Rep. Shehu Kakale stressed that the ease with which the drug is produced makes it very accessible and cheap. He stated that the effects of the drug contribute to the banditry and hooliganism the nation is grappling with. He called on the federal government to come up with a marshal plan to tackle the flow of the drug.

Rep. Jonathan Gbefwi stated that one of the major causes of depression and suicide is drug use and abuse. He called on the NDLEA and the Immigration Service to ensure the implementation of mechanisms for these drugs not to enter into the Nigerian society. Rep. Gbefwi called on the National Orientation Agency for more sensitization to ensure the Nigerian youth appreciate the danger of the abuse of the drug.

Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas stressed the correlation between drug abuse and insecurity in Nigeria. He commended the NDLEA for its efforts at battling the drug menace but called for collective efforts and employment of resources of government agencies to ensure the war against drug abuse is won. Rep. Namdas also called on adults to be better role models to the youth to battle the addiction to crystal meth.

Rep. Ifeanyi Momah proposed an amendment to the prayers of the motion by calling for a combined force by security agencies in collaboration with the NDLEA to destroy the labs that exist nationwide.

Rep. Shehu Kakale also proposed an amendment to urge better funding for NDLEA.

Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa proposed an amendment to expunge the part of the motion that pronounced Japan as the origin of the drug for use by Japanese pilots on suicide missions. This is so that Nigeria does not fracture its relationship with other nations.

Rep. Toby Okechukwu proposed an amendment calling on the Ministry of Health to provide a clear policy on over-the-counter drugs that can be manipulated to become addictive drugs, and that the House Committee on Health should ensure compliance.

The motion was voted on and adopted as amended.

  1. Rep. Ibrahim Isiaka moved a motion on the need to investigate the process of the issuance of operational licenses to employment agencies and labour recruiters as it relates to human trafficking and manipulation and it was seconded by Rep. Vincent Ofumelu.

Rep. Isiaka in leading the debate stated that some of the labour recruiting agencies manipulate unsuspecting youth with the guise of providing better jobs, especially in the Middle East. He expressed concern with the high number of millions of people trapped in forced labour through such tricks. Rep. Isiaka stated that Nigeria ranks highest in Sub-saharan Africa with a composition of people who are victims of child trafficking, forced labour and sexual exploitation. He urged the House to mandate the relevant Committees of the House to carry out an investigative hearing on the qualification for the issuance of operational licenses to labour recruiting agencies.

The motion was voted on and adopted.


PRESENTATION OF BILLS

  1. Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery, Nteje, Anambra State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1730) (Rep. Vincent Ofumelu) – First Reading.
  2. Federal College of Agriculture (Technical) Ogboinbiri, Bayelsa State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1731) (Rep. Preye Influence Goodluck Oseke) – First Reading.
  3. National Biotechnology Development Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1732) (Rep. Alli Adeyemi Taofeek) – First Reading.
  4. National Senior Citizens Centre Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1733) (Rep. Olarewaju Ibrahim Kunle) – First Reading.
  5. National Commission for Nomadic Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1734) (Rep. Preye Influence Goodluck Oseke) – First Reading.
  6. Examinations Malpractices Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1735) (Rep. Olarewaju Ibrahim Kunle) – First Reading.
  7. Federal Medical Centre Sabongida–Ora, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1736) (Rep. Julius O. Ihonvbere) – First Reading.
  8. Nigerian Centre for Vaccine Research and Development (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1737) (Rep. Kasimu Bello Maigari) – First Reading.
  9. Commercial Commuters Protection Bill, 2021 (HB. 1738) (Rep. Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali) – First Reading.
  10. Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1739) (Rep. Ahmad Kalambaina) – First Reading.
  11. Sa’adu Zungur College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Zungur Bauchi State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1740) (Rep. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  12. Federal College of Education, Bssambiri, Bayelsa State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1741) (Senate) – First Reading.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS

  1. A Bill for an Act to Regulate the Planning, Preparation, Passage and Execution of the Budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB. 1332) (Rep. Abbas Tajudeen) – Second Reading

Debate
Rep. Zazau stated that the legal framework needed for effecting the regulation, planning, passing and execution of the budget has some voids and the Bill seeks to fill the voids to ensure the strict application of the budget as a financial tool for planning and implementation of government.

The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on National Planning and Development.

  1. A Bill for an Act to repeal the Federal college of dental technology and therapy Act and enact the Federal university of health science and technology Bill, Enugu to make comprehensive provisions for management and administration of the university, and for related matters (HB. 1604) (Rep. Okechukwu Toby)- Second reading

Debate
Rep. Toby Okechukwu moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Yohanna Jiba.

Rep. Okechukwu in leading the debate stated that the institution was established long ago and it has metamorphosed over the years from a College for Dental Technology and Therapy to a full-fledged University. The Bill he stated seeks to ensure that the federal nature of the institution should reflect in its name.

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 Establish Federal University of Health, Sciences and Technology, Kankia and to make Comprehensive Provisions for Management and Administration of the University; and for Related Matters (HB. 1641) (Rep. Yahaya Abubakar Kusada) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Abubakar Kusada moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Johnson Oguma.

Rep. Kusada stated that the Bill seeks to establish the institution to aid the advancement of learning, knowledge as well as the award of certificates in health, science and technology for individuals in the Kankia region and its environs. He stressed the importance of the institution as it would be the first of its kind (Federal University) in the region with the people in dire need of it.

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 Provide for Legal Framework to Establish Federal Medical Centre, Illeh; and for Related Matters (HB.1389) (Rep. Joseph Edionwele) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Joseph Edionwele moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Nicholas Ossai.

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 Repeal the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, 2007 and Enact the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Bill, 2021 to Provide for Establishment of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency for the Promotion of Maritime Safety and Security, Protection of the Marine Environment, Ship Registration and Commercial Shipping, Maritime Labour; and for Related Matters (HB. 1476) ((Rep. Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Lynda Ikpeazu moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Taiwo Oluga.

The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Maritime Safety Education and Administration.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Merchant Shipping Act, 2017 and Enact the Merchant Shipping Bill; and for Related Matters (HB. 1602) ((Rep. Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Lynda Ikpeazu moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Samson Onu.

The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Maritime Safety Education and Administration.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Ginger Development Board and to Provide for the Promotion and Regulation of Ginger Industry; and for Related Matters (HB. 1251) (Rep. Gabriel Saleh Zock) – second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Gabriel Zock moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Ifeanyi Momah.

The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Regulation and Conduct of the Practice of Broadcasting Profession in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB.1150) (Rep. Olaifa Jimoh Aremu) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Olaifa Aremu moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Alli Taofeek.

The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values.


MOTIONS

  1. Need to Strengthen Traditional and Alternative Medicine for Sustainable Health Care Delivery in Nigeria:
    Rep. Balarebe Shehu Kakale.

The House:
Notes that the global outbreak of COVID–19 has exposed the disproportionate burden of Nigeria’s over-dependence on imported medical, pharmaceuticals, devices, equipment and other related health services;

Also notes that there is an overwhelming increase in awareness for locally-sourced health solutions in Nigeria with more Nigerians demanding health care services that are local, homegrown, organic, close, conveniently accessible and affordable;

Concerned that failure to strengthen and adequately utilize alternative medical practices in the country undermines the sustainability of the domestic structures, denies Nigerians the opportunity to test their usefulness in the prevention and cure of various ailments, and leads to waste of resources;

Aware that evidence has shown that Nigeria, in particular, has a plethora of medicinal plants scientifically proven to have immense health benefits but the country has failed to effectively use them;

Also concerned that the lack of a sustainable domestic approach to healthcare delivery has resulted in a weak healthcare system in the country especially in efforts towards combatting COVID–19 and other epidemics;

Worried that the overdependence on foreign medicine has created a lacuna in Nigeria’s healthcare system, thus limiting access to other effective forms of treatment and leaving citizens vulnerable to various diseases;

Resolves to:
Mandate the Committees on Healthcare Services, Health Institutions, Appropriations, Finance, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Science and Technology, Labour and Productivity and Ad–hoc Committee on COVID–19 to liaise with the Federal Ministries of Health, Industry Trade and Investment, Labour and Productivity, Science and Technology to devise strategies towards strengthening and developing alternative healthcare delivery in the country and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate
Rep. Shehu Kakale moved the motion on the Need to strengthen traditional and alternative medicine for sustainable healthcare in Nigeria and it was seconded by Rep. Boniface Sunday.

Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas proposed an amendment to refer the motion to only the relevant Health Committees of the House to prevent the work from being cumbersome.

Rep. Haruna Dederi proposed an amendment to call on the Ministry of Health and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to expedite the various requests by traditional medical practitioners to be consolidated as recognized treatment experts.

The motion was voted on and adopted as amended.

  1. Call to Address the Menace of Persistent Bank Robberies and Threat to Lives and Properties of the People of Odo–Otin/Ifelodun/Boripe Federal Constituency of Osun State:
    Rep. Afolabi Olalekan Rasheed:

The House:

Notes the persistent and unabated rate of deadly armed robbery attacks targeted at banks in Odo–Otin/lfelodun/Boripe Federal Constituency, which has paralyzed economic activities;

Also notes the recent robbery attack on 28 September 2021, where criminals invaded and looted Wema Bank, Iragbiji in Boripe Local Government Area, killing innocent Citizens;

Further notes that the dastardly robberies started on the 12 February 2016 when three commercial banks, namely Skye bank (now Polaris), First Bank and Union, were simultaneously robbed, in Ikirun, Ifelodun Local Government Area, the headquarter of the Federal Constituency and killed ten (10) people to the carnage;

Observes that within this year, three distinct bank robbery incidents had taken place in the remaining two Local Government Areas that made up the Federal Constituency, thus subjecting residents to perpetual fear, economic woes as a result of the relocation of all the banks to neighbouring communities several kilometres away from Odo–Otin/lfelodun/Boripe Constituency;

Aware that there are over thirty towns and several villages across the three LGAs that made up the Constituency with a population of over 800,000 at the moment spread across 540km2, but could only boast of five divisional police posts, 203 personnel and five rickety and worn–out patrol vehicle;

Also aware that the primary responsibility of government to citizens is the protection of the right of life and property of citizens, as guaranteed by Section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution;

Cognizant of the dare effect of the incessant robbery incidents on the innocent citizens and the economic woes left behind;

Concerned that the seemingly abysmally presence of security personnel on the ground who are usually overwhelmed and gruesomely murdered in cold blood calls for serious concern;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Inspector General of Police to develop and put in place formidable security apparatus, mechanism and strategy, including efficient backup response to prevent the persistent occurrence of armed robbery attacks within the Constituency;

(ii) also urge the Inspector General of Police and other relevant authorities to relocate the 39th Mopol Unit to Ikirun, Ifelodun Local Government Area headquarters where the Units was to be located to curtail the escalating crime rate in the area;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Police Affairs to ensure compliance.

Debate
Rep. Afolabi Rasheed moved the motion on the call to address the menace of persistent bank robberies and threat to lives and properties of the people of Odo–Otin/Ifelodun/Boripe federal constituency of Osun state and it was seconded by Rep. Abdulganiyu Johnson.

The motion was voted on and adopted.

  1. Need to Ensure Revenue Integrity for Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Other Aviation Agencies in Nigeria:
    Rep. Henry Nwawuba:

The House:
Notes that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was established to revive the country’s financial system by resolving non–performing loan assets in the economy;

Also notes that AMCON has bought over all the asset of Arik Air and has been managing it since 2017;

Further notes that AMCON is alleged to be in the process of establishing a new airline called EAGLE NG through a third–party company without a proper divestment plan amidst reported agitations opposing the creation and final certification of NG Eagle from Arik Air over their alleged indebtedness to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA);

Concerned that Arik Air may be stripped of its aircraft fleet, thus rendering it insolvent and unable to settle the unremitted 5% Ticket Sales Charges/Cargo Sales Charges (TSC/CSC) amounting to Nine billion, Six Hundred and Seventy–Five Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy One Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy Four Naira and Eighty–Five Kobo (N9,675,771,574:85) pre–receivership debt before February 2017 and Four Hundred and Eighty–Three Million, One Hundred and Ninety–Three Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety Three Naira and Two Kobo (N483,193,793:02) Post–Receivership after February 2017;

Also concerned that AMCON is using Arik’s pre–receiving assets to establish a new airline but refusing to accept unremitted pre–receivership 5% TSC/CSC;
Disturbed by AMCON’s classification of the statutory 5% TSC/CSC as unsecured bearing in mind the provisions of Part 5 Section 12(1) of the Civil aviation Act, 2006 and considering that the unremitted 5% TSC/CSC funds belong to Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) which to be shared on a pre-determined formula, and Twenty–five (25%) of the unremitted funds is to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund by the beneficiary agencies;
Worried that NG Eagle’s Air Operator Certificate application process is in the final stage pending the resolution of these pre and post AMCON unremitted statutory 5% TSC/CSC and that if urgent action is not taken, it may degenerate into another huge financial loss by the Federal Government;

Resolves to:
(i) Urge the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to stop further moves to establish NG Eagle’s Air until full resolution of the matter;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Aviation to investigate the matter to ensure that an effective resolution is reached and report back within two (2) weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Investigate the Utilization of Over 200 Billion Naira on Construction of Lokoja to Benin Road:
    Rep. Johnson Egwakhide Oghuma.

The House:

Notes that the dualization of Lokoja–Benin Federal Highway from Obajana junction to Benin, Edo State was awarded to a consortium of contractors in 1999 with a completion date of December 2021;

Also notes that over 200 Billion Naira has been budgeted from 1999 to 2021 in addition to the various loans and interventions projects such as SUKUK, among others;

Aware that the road is a major highway connecting routes from the North to East, South–South and Western parts of Nigeria;

Dismayed that the Lokoja–Benin Section is now a death trap as people can no longer travel safely and what was a three (3) hour trip has now become a whole day’s journey and sometimes impassable;

Concerned that if no urgent intervention to construct the Lokoja to Benin road is taken lives, goods and worth billions of Naira will be destroyed;

Desirous of the need to unearth the latent and obvious reasons behind the total abandonment of the road projected for completion in December 2021;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committees on Works and Finance to investigate the slow state of works on the Lokoja–Benin Federal Highway compared to the colossal amounts budgeted and expended on the highway and report back within four (4) weeks;

Debate
Rep. Johnson Oghuma moved the motion on the need to investigate the utilization of over 200 Billion Naira on the construction of Lokoja to Benin road and it was seconded by Rep. Leke Abejide.

The motion was voted on and adopted.

  1. Need to Ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
    Rep. Miriam Onuoha.

The House:

Notes that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (A/RES/611106) was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signatures on 30 March 2007 and Nigeria is a signatory to the convention;

Also notes that the Convention follows decades of work by the United Nations to change attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. It takes to a new height the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of the society;

Further notes that recognizing that the United Nations, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights, has proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind;

Recalls the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations which recognizes the inherent dignity and worth and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. In other words, emphasizing the importance of mainstreaming disability issues as an integral part of relevant strategies of sustainable development;

Concerned that the implication of non–ratification of this convention, on Nigerians with disabilities negatively imparts the full implementation of the contents of its provision within the Nigeria territory;

Cognizant of the need to domesticate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the wellbeing of persons with Disability;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to forward to the National Assembly the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for Ratification;

(ii) mandate the Committees on Disabilities and Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation.

Debate
Rep. Miriam Onuoha moved the motion on the need to ratify the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and it was seconded by Rep. Abdulganiyu Johnson.

Rep. Jonathan Gbefwi proposed an amendment that the House Committee on Treaties and Protocol should be incorporated into the prayers of the motion.

The motion was voted on and adopted as amended.


Adjournment:
The House at 13:41 adjourned plenary till Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and seconded by Rep. Mohammed Jega.

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