The Senate on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 passed Seven Concurrence Bills into law. The legislations which scaled through second reading in the Senate on Thursday, November 17, 2016 and were referred to the Committee of the Whole for clause by clause consideration and deferred to another legislative date, originated from the House of Representatives.
The Red Chamber resumed consideration of the Seven Bills at the Committee of the Whole where their clauses, short and long titles as well as schedules were approved as recommended or amended. Afterwards, the seven bills sailed through third reading and were passed.
1) Official Secret Act CAP O3 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (H.B. 317) & 426).
2) National Film and Video Censor Board Act CAP N40 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (H.B. 224).
3) Pension Rights of Judges Act CAP P5 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (H.B. 6).
4) Federal Capital Territory District Courts (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2016 (H.B. 7).
5) Mortgage Institutions Act CAP M19 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (H.B. 253).
6) Oaths Act CAP O1 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016 (H.B. 169).
7) Dangerous Drugs Act CAP D1 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill (H.B. 292).
Similarly, the Red Chamber also deliberated upon and passed six motions which include:
1) Condemning the Rising Cases of Jungle Justice in the Country, sponsored by Sen. Gbenga Ashafa and Sen. Muhammed Ali Ndume. According to Sen. Ashafa, the Senate is distressed by the rising cases of Jungle Justice by Mobs that have arrogated to themselves the power to condemn others to death and execute judgement without recourse to the Law Courts in different parts of Nigeria. The Motion scaled through with six resolutions below:
i) Condemn in totality the abhorrent act of barbarism.
ii) Urge the Nigeria Police to confirm or deny the occurrence of the recent purported mob action in Lagos State and other States.
iii) Urge the Nigeria Police to immediately ensure that they fish out all perpetrators of this barbarism and make sure they are brought to justice.
iv) Urge the Police and other Security Agencies to live up to their responsibilities to protect our younger ones.
v) Urge the Senate to urgently accelerate the passage of Anti-Jungle Justice Bill before it.
vi) Urge the Attorney General of the Federation, the States Attorney Generals and the Police to show greater sense of duty in the diligent apprehension and prosecution of this kind of offenders.
2) Urgent need to declare State of Emergency on the total collapse of three bridges along Oyo – Ogbomosho – Ilorin Trunk ‘A’ Federal Highway and the Igbeti – Ilorin Federal Highway viz Oolo to Masifa bridge, Elega to Asani bridge and Mooro bridge, sponsored by Sen. Abdilfatai Buhari (Oyo North) and Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo Central). The Motion also sailed through with four prayers below:
i) Urge the Ministry of Power, Works & Housing and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency to ascertain the level of damage in order to salvage the situation.
ii) Urge the Federal Government to begin immediate rehabilitation of these three bridges.
iii) Call on the Federal Government to fund and complete the dual carriageway between Ogbomosho and Oyo to ease the suffering of commuters and save lives.
iv) That repair of these bridges be part of the 2017 budget.
3) The need for detailed explanation of the $15 billion proposed MOU with Indian Government and over $80 billion MOU signed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources with Chinese firms, sponsored by Sen. Clifford Ordia (Edo Central). The Motion was passed with a single resolution below:
i) Invite the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources to appear before the Senate Committees on Petroleum Upstream, Downstream and Gas to give a detailed explanation of the subject matter of each Memorandum of Understanding signed in China and the proposed MOU with India and its anticipated impact on Nigerian economy.
4) Need for Intensified Sensitization on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Nigerian Agricultural Sector, sponsored by Sen. Gershom Bassey. The Motion scaled through with two resolutions below:
i) Urge the Federal Government to put machinery in place to educate and sensitize farmers to see the wisdom in adjusting their farming programmes periodically so as to avert the effects of climate change.
ii) Urge the Federal Government to carry out public awareness campaigns on climate change so as to educate Nigerians on their expectations especially in the areas of adaptation and mitigation.
5) Need for the Establishment of Dry and Inland Ports at Onitsha, Enugu and other Land- Locked States, sponsored by Sen. Stella Oduah (Anambra North). It sailed through with three prayers below:
i) Urge the Federal Government to direct the Nigerian Shippers Council to carry out appropriate feasibility studies for the purpose of establishing Inland Ports in Onitsha, Enugu and other Land-Locked States.
ii) Urge the Federal Government based on the feasibility studies to establish the Inland Ports in Onitsha, Enugu and other Land-Locked States.
iii) Mandate the Committee on Transport and Works to ensure full compliance with prayers i and ii above.
6) Need to Increase the Funding of Uncompleted Dams across Nigeria for Optimum Performance and Service Delivery, sponsored by Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North). The Motion was passed with three resolutions below:
i) Mandate the Senate Committee on Water Resources to carry out an inventory of ongoing Water Dams and Reservoirs projects across the country with a view to ascertaining the levels of completion and ensure increased allocations to them in 2007 budget circle.
ii) Urge the Federal Government to appreciate the existential importance of water and ensure that the Nigerian Populace have access to safe drinking water as a matter of priority.
iii) Urge the Federal Government to take particular note of the acute water shortage in Enugu North Senatorial District and intervene to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.