In a move to ensure that the programmes and aspirations of the 9th Senate are clearly spelt out and the mode of implementation vividly defined, the Chamber on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 constituted two strategic and very important Ad-hoc Committees that would work out the agenda of the 9th Senate and equally ensure the efficient and effective dissemination of its activities for the main time.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan during plenary announced the formation of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Media that comprised of Six Members which include; Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye (Ekiti South) – Chairman, Sen. Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru (Adamawa Central) – Member, Sen. Uba Sani (Kaduna Central) – Member, Sen. Abba Moro (Benue South) – Member, Sen. Betty Apiafi (Rivers West) – Member, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah (Anambra South) – Member.
Similarly, another Ad-hoc Committee on 9th Senate Legislative Agenda was announced by the Senate Presiding Officer. The Committee Membership comprised of Sen. Adamu Aliero (Kebbi (Kebbi Central) – Chairman, Sen. Jibrin I. Barau (Kano North) – Member, Sen. Abdulfatah Buhari (Oyo North) – Member, Sen. Olubunmi A. Adetunbi (Ekiti North) – Member, Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu East) – Member, Sen. Uche L. Ekwunife (Anambra Central) – Member, Sen. Dung I. Gyang (Plateau North) – Member, Sen. Sadiq S. Umar (Kwara North) – Member, Sen. Aishatu A. Dahiru (Adamawa Central) – Member, Sen. Dauda H. Jika (Bauchi Central) – Member, Sen. Gershom H. Bassey (Cross River South) – Member, Sen. Degi Eremienyo b. Wangagra (Bayelsa East) – Member and Sen. Ifeanyi P. Ubah (Anambra South) – Member.
Meanwhile, the Red Chamber considered and passed three Motions that include:
1) Urgent need to review the Import Duty of Soap Noodles, sponsored by Sen. Barau Jibrin (Kano North) and four other.
The Senate is aware that the Federal Government in a bid to boost local production of Soap Noodles increased its Import Duty to 35% from 10% which made it unprofitable for Manufacturers to import it from overseas. This made the Manufacturers to resort to making huge investment in setting up manufacturing lines to produce Soap Noodles in Nigeria to the tune of N420 billion while creating 250, 000 jobs.
However, the recent Federal Government downward review of the import duty on Soap Noodles from 35% to 10% led to massive importation of the product into the country and had negative impact on the nation’s economy that include reduction in revenue drive, collapse of the industry and its attendant unemployment, impede local sourcing and self-sufficiency, discourage investors and mount pressure on the country’s forex reserve. The Motion sailed through with a resolution below:
i) Appeal to the Government to review the Import Duty on the importation of Soap Noodles to save the industry in particular and Nigeria’s economy in general.
2) Avastin Injection: The case of ten Kaduna patients who went blind after administration of the injection. The Motion was sponsored by Sen. Aishatu A. Dahiru (Adamawa Central) and seven others.
The Senate is alarmed at the use of Avastin Injection meant for treatment of Cancer at the National Eye Centre, Kaduna for eye treatment. It noted that on the 25th May, 2019, ten patients visited the National Eye Centre, Kaduna unaided for poor eye sight due to cataract and other minor ailments. But to the shock of the patients and the general public, they went blind after taking an eye injection at the Centre. This was reported in the Nation and Daily Trust Newspapers respectively on the 20th, 23rd and 29th June, 2019. The Motion scaled through with three prayers below:
i) Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to carry out a holistic investigation on the use of the Avastin Injection for eye treatment leading to the blindness of ten Nigerians.
ii) Urge NAFDAC to suspend the use of Avastin Injection by Hospitals in Nigeria for eye treatment.
iii) Mandate the relevant authorities to compensate the victims and bring to book the practitioners found wanting.
3) Pipeline explosion in Komkom Town of Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State, sponsored by Sen. George Sekibo (Rivers East) and three others.
The Senate is aware of an Oil Pipeline explosion at Komkom Town in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State and over 15 (fifteen) persons died instantly and fifty persons receiving treatment while properties worth millions of naira were consumed by the fire from the explosion. The Motion was passed with five resolutions below:
i) Observe a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives at the Komkom explosion and all other explosions that had taken place in the country in past.
ii) Sympathize with the Government and people of Rivers State and especially the Komkom people in Oyigbo Local Government Area.
iii) Urge the NNPC, PPMC, Oil Companies and all other Agencies involved in the Oil and Gas exploration and exploitation activities especially those involved with the laying of pipelines to take a holistic survey of their pipelines so that very aged ones should be replaced.
iv) Urge the NNPC, PPMC, Oil Companies and other Agencies in the Oil and Gas Sector to improve on the security of the nation’s oil and gas pipeline all over the country.
v) Direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to visit the scene and provide succor to those affected.