In order to uphold the sanctity of life through strict adherence to safety rules and regulations especially in the Aviation subsector, the Senate on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 deliberated upon a Motion titled “The need to minimize the possibility of Air Mishaps and Near Fatality In Nigeria”, sponsored by Sen. Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos East) and Eight Co-sponsors.
According to Sen. Ashafa, on the 20th of February, 2018, the story of near fatal accident involving Dana Airlines with flight number 9J0363 hit the news waves. It was reported that the Aircraft overshot the runway upon landing at the Port Harcourt Airport on a flight from Abuja. The incident was attributed to the wet surface of the runway.
This and other near mishaps prompted the Senate’s concern against the backdrop that it has now become imperative to move with high speed in order to ensure that all relevant agencies in the Aviation industry do their work with excellence and minimal human errors in order to prevent avoidable loss of human lives. The Motion scaled through with two resolutions below:
i) Direct the Hon. Minister of State for Transportation (Aviation), Heads of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), and every other relevant Agency in the Aviation Industry to appear before the Senate for briefing.
ii) Urge the Hon. Minister for State Transportation (Aviation) to immediately direct all relevant agencies in the Aviation Industry to immediately conduct a maintenance and airworthiness audit on all commercial aircrafts operating within the Nigerian airspace as well as the training of personnel operating within the industry.
Also considered and passed by the Red Chamber were the Motions titled “Urgent need to repair and rehabilitate Inter-State Roads in Nigeria”, sponsored by Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North) and two Co-sponsors.
Sen. Utazi asserted that Nigeria has the second longest network of roads in Africa, after South Africa, with over 200, 000 kilometers of roads in the country. The roads are important for communication, social integration and economic development as well as defence access as the roads in the country account for more than 95% of the movement of people, goods and services.
The law-maker expressed concern over the decaying road infrastructures, with poor maintenance culture, which he said is one of the major developmental challenge Nigeria is facing. The Motion sailed through with three resolutions below:
i) Urge the Federal Government to ensure the repair and rehabilitation of Inter-State Roads in Nigeria in the 2018 fiscal year.
ii) Mandate the Senate Committee on Works to investigate the award and execution of the Idah – Odolu Nsukka – Adani Otuocha – Onitsha Federal Road which has been in a state of total disrepair.
iii) Urge the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to as an interim measure begin immediate repair of the bad portions of the Idah to Onitsha road to make it motor-able pending when full rehabilitation of works can commence.
Nevertheless, a Motion titled “Alarming Maternal and Infant Mortality Rate in Nigeria”, sponsored by Sen. Ahmed Ogembe (Kogi Central) also sailed through. The law-maker expressed concern over the alarming rate of maternal and infant mortality rate in Nigeria; stressed that recent statistics has shown that every single day, Nigeria loses about 2, 300 under five year olds and 145 women of child bearing age. The Motion was passed with a single resolution below:
i) Mandate the Senate Committees on Women and Health to liaise with the Federal Ministries of Women Affairs and Health on ways to curb Maternal, Newborn and Infant Mortality in Nigeria and report back to the Senate.
Similarly, a Motion titled “Urgent Need to Stop the Increasing Rate of Child Labour, Molestation and Abuse in Nigeria”, sponsored by Sen. Benjamin Uwajumogu (Imo North) was equally passed by the Red Chamber. It was passed with two prayers below:
i) Urge the Minister of Women Affairs to take measures that would arrest this war against the Rights of Children.
ii) Call on the members of the Senate Committee on Women Affairs and Youth Development to investigate the viral trend and report back to the Senate in two weeks.
Nonetheless, another Motion titled “Urgent need to initiate proceedings for the release of Certificates and Mobilization of Graduates of Federal College of Education, Pankshin, Plateau State to participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Programme”, sponsored by Sen. Jonah Jang (Plateau North) was also debated and passed by the Senate. The Motion scaled through with four resolutions below:
i) Mandate the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to investigate this matter and report back to the Senate.
ii) Invite the Hon. Minister of Education to explain why students of the College are not issued their Certificates and mobilized for National Youth Service Corps Programme as and when due.
iii) Invite the Management of the Institution to explain the circumstances surrounding the delay in the release of the certificates and mobilization of the students.
iv) Mandate the College to issue the Graduates of 2016 and 2017 with their certificates and mobilize them for the next National Youth Service Corps Programme forthwith.