After leading the opening prayer, the Speaker examined and approved the Plenary Votes and Proceedings for Wednesday, July 10th, 2019.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE PRESIDENT
1. President Muhammadu Buhari communicated to the House of Representatives for the Consideration of the House his desire to Appoint 15 Special Advisers
2. President Buhari hopes to Host a dinner for the Leadership of the National Assembly today at 8:00 PM, venue: President's residence, Aso Rock Villa.
1. Hon. Wunmi Onanuga brought a Petition from a constituent whose employment was unlawfully terminated by her employees. She prayed the House to look into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
2. Hon. Abiante Dagomie brought a petition from a constituent who suffered a breach of trust with Standard Trust Off-Shore Investment Company with whom he invested his life earnings and the investment seems to have been scammed, as there is no return on investment. He called for the intervention of the House to grant him respite.
3. Hon. Kabiru Amadu through his Petition on behalf of some of his constituents is seeking the intervention of the House regarding the wrongful termination of the appointment of newly recruited Academic and Non-Academic staff of the University of Gusau. He called on the House to weigh into the matter.
All Petitions Referred to the House Committee of Public Petitions
MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
1. Hon. Olufemi Adebanjo Moved the Motion on a fire disaster in his constituency that claimed 5 lives. The fire outbreak was as a result of the vandalism of an oil pipeline by hoodlums who came with a trailer and were even secured by policemen while carrying out the illegality.
2. Hon. Ali Ibrahim Moved the Motion on the urgent need for the rehabilitation of the bridge on the Ajaokuta road which is in terrible shape. He pointed out that the road is one plied by travelers from mostly the Southeast, Southwest, Northeast and Northwest parts of the country. He urged the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to, as a matter of urgency, commence work on the road, and also that the House Committee on Works and FERMA ensure compliance.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS
1. Federal Capital Territory Abuja Area Courts Bill, 2019 (HB. 67) (Hon. Munir B. Dan Agundi) – First Reading.
2. Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Bill, 2019 (HB.68) (Hon. Munir B. Dan Agundi) – First Reading.
3. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2019 (HB.69) (Hon. Munir B. Dan Agundi) – First Reading.
4. Veterinary Surgeons Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2019 (HB.70) (Hon. Munir B. Dan Agundi) – First Reading.
5. Nigerian Co-operative Societies Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.71) (Hon. Munir B. Dan Agundi) – First Reading.
6. National Food Reserve Agency (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2019 (HB.72) (Hon. Munir B. Dan Agundi) – First Reading.
7. Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.73) (Hon. Sergius Ose Ogun) – First Reading.
8. Births, Deaths, Etc. (Compulsory Registration) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019(HB.74) (Hon. Sergius Ose Ogun) – First Reading.
9. Piers Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.75) (Hon. Sergius Ose Ogun) – First Reading.
10. Currency Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.76) (Hon. Sergius Ose Ogun) – First Reading.
11. Federal University, Omoku (Establishment) Bill, 2019(HB.77) (Hon. Uchechuku G. Nnam-Obi) – First Reading.
12. Palm Oil Development Bill, 2019 (HB.78) (Hon. Francis Charles Uduyok) – First Reading.
13. Agriculture (Control of Importation) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.79) (Hon. Francis Charles Uduyok) – First Reading.
14. Trade Unions Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 80) (Hon. Francis Charles Uduyok) – First Reading.
15. National Universities Commission Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2019 (HB.81) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
16. Jury Bill, 2019 (HB.82) (Hon. Francis Charles Uduyok) – First Reading.
17. Fire and Rescue Service Bill, 2019 (HB.83) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
18. Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019(HB.84) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
19. Environmental Impact Assessment Bill, 2019 (HB.85) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno) – First Reading.
20. Food Safety and Quality Bill, 2019 (HB.86) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno) – First Reading.
21. Nigerian Minerals and Mining Bill, 2019 (HB.87) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
22. Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.88) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
23. Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.89) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno) – First Reading.
24. Nigeria Police Academy (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.90) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno) – First Reading.
25. Arbitration and Conciliation Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2019 (HB.91) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno) – First Reading.
26. National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.92) (Hon. Simon Mwadkwon) – First Reading.
27. National Mathematical Centre Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.93) (Hon. Simon Mwadkwon) – First Reading.
28. Estate Surveyors and Valuers (Registration, Etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.94) (Hon. Francis Charles Uduyok) – First Reading.
29. Public Servants Foreign Education Prohibition Bill, 2019 (HB.95) (Hon. Francis Charles Uduyok) – First Reading.
30. Trade Malpractices Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.96) (Hon. Simon Mwadkwon) – First Reading.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons to Coordinate and Implement activities to combat the Problem of the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria in line with the Economic Community of West African States Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons; and for Related Matters (HB. 10) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno) – Second Reading.
Hon. Mohammed Monguno moved for the Second Reading of the Bill and it was Seconded by Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha. In leading the debate Hon. Monguno made it clear that the primary responsibility of any responsible government is to provide for the security and welfare of its citizenry. It is also beyond dispute that the proliferation of small weapons and light arms abound beyond the possession of the legally licensed owners, this is directly related to the rise in violence across the country in diverse forms which is worrisome, hence the need to have a legal move with vigor aimed at mopping up the avalanche of small arms from Non-State actors so that peace can be attained. It is against this backdrop that the House of Representatives as the voice of Nigerians should ensure this legal mop up is done. Hon. Monguno called for the constitution of a Commission saddled holistically to coordinate the mop up of these arms nationwide. Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha in contributing to the debate blamed the proliferation of these arms for the high indices in the occurrence of robbery, kidnapping and other social vices. She lamented that despite the desire of the police to rid such arms from individuals; they seemed to be handicapped by the outcry of citizens with licensed weapons to protect their families and communities against criminals. She supported the setting up of the Commission. Hon. Mohammed Bago supported the Bill, but queried the need to create a Commission to handle what should be handled by the Police. This he said is in the light of reducing the cost of governance, this exact view was echoed by Hon. Aminu Suleiman. He stated that if the Police is overwhelmed they can be assisted through Legislation for additional manpower, appropriation or any other assistance within the purview of the Legislation. Hon. Segun Odebunmi reminded Members that he Moved a Motion on the subject matter in the 7th Assembly, Hon. Nnenna Ukeje Moved the Motion in the 8th Assembly and nothing has been done, hence it coming as a Bill is timely and should be supported. Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas supported the setting up of the Commission as the police has not been able to deal with the issue else it would not still be a problem plaguing the Nigerian society. Hon. Yusuf Gagdi supported the constitution of the Commission despite the cost to government if it would efficiently tackle the menace of light arms proliferation. He also called for the investigation into the activities of local blacksmiths who also produce local weapons that also contribute to the menace of local criminality. Hon. Abubakar Kani supported the Bill on the premise of its aim to tackle Nigeria's main problem by priority which is insecurity in all forms. Hon. Nicholas Ossai stated that the EFCC and ICPC are Agencies on financial crimes, before their constitution, it was handled by the Police, but they have proved effective, the constitution of this Commission to carry out the necessary function of mopping up light arms should be supported. Hon. Sada Soli supported the Bill in its bid to adhere to the ECOWAS Treaty to ensure Nigeria conforms with International best practices for the good of the community and people of the nation. He also stressed that the situation in the nation has gone beyond proliferation of light weapons, but has evolved into large caches and it is dangerous considering the large population of Nigerians. He urged for the Bill to be concerned with all arms, large or light. Hon. Wale Raji linked the menace of light arms to the attack on the premises of the National Assembly and stressed the importance of effectively tackling the menace. Hon. Mohammed Jafaru blamed the porous borders in Nigeria for the inflow of these weapons and strange criminals, he urged for serious security in the borders, this view was also echoed by Hon. Zainab Gimba. Hon. Nasir Ahmed praised the fact that the proposed Commission is to comprise of individuals from almost all the Security Agencies in Nigeria, this would ensure all the Agencies remain on the same wavelength. Hon. Olatubosun Oladale praised the Bill but queried setting up the Commission to take care of the failure of other Agencies. He wondered how Nigeria hoped to developed if taking care of Commissions, and other MDAs take up over 70% of each year's national budget. Hon. Usman Kumo lamented that only about 30% of the Nigeria Police personnel are concentrated on maintaining security in the society, 70% are assigned to guard structures and VIPs, this he said needs to be addressed. Hon. Oghene Egoh stated that rather than establishing a Commission, the office of the DIG of Police should be mandated to carry out the function and with the rank behind the office; the function should be duly carried out. Hon. Onanuga Oriyomi was of the opinion of strengthening the existing apparatus including the police, army, vigilante etc who know the people locally and their activities, instead of setting up a new Commission with all the bureaucracy, this position was supported by Hon. Waive Francis, he also called for the establishment of community policing. Hon. Bayo Balogun called for the proliferation of arms to be put as a department under the Nigeria Police, as the proposed Agency may lose steam after a while, but the police would always be there to carry out its functions. The Mover of the Motion, Hon. Mohammed Monguno yielded his right of reply to Hon. Ossai Nicholas who clarified that the Commission is not in spirit of duplication; but that of promoting engagement and collaboration between already existing Agencies. The Foreign Affairs Minister is intended to Chair the Commission and it has already been established that all other Security Agencies will be involved, so it is just to give additional responsibilities to them, hence this will not attract much more funding, it is to give legal backing to the much needed function of the Commission. The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila stated that in listening to the Debate it is clear that Members are passionate for the function to be carried out. He reminded them that the fine terms of the Bill can be tweaked at the Committee level. He also reminded them of the clamor against the EFCC and the ICPC before their creation, that it would be duplicating the functions of the police, but today both Agencies are doing outstanding work. He reminded Members that the Commission is to take care of a specific function, like a Sun-set Law, and when the function is taken care of; it can be then dissolved if need be. The Bill was Voted on, Passed for Second Reading, the Clerk Read its Long Title and it was Referred to the Committee on National Security and Intelligence when constituted.
2. Commemoration of World Population Day: Need to Address Growing Concerns Confronting the Women Population in Nigeria:
Hon. Nkeiruka C. Onyejeocha:
Notes that since 1989, 11 July has been designated annually to commemorate the World Population Day;
Also notes that the World Population Day focuses attention on Population issues like family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health, infant mortality, human rights, immigration and education of women;
Recalls that the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development identified reproductive health and gender equality as key issues for attaining sustainable development;
Aware that this Year's World Population Day calls for global attention on the unfinished business of the 1994 International Conference;
Concerned that 25 years after this landmark Conference, which was well attended by over 20,000 delegates from about 179 nations, United Nations (UN) Agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the Media, Nigeria still lags behind in issues affecting women like economic exclusion, high maternal/infant mortality rate, gender inequality and recently the plight of women in Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps;
Also concerned that with the rise in insurgency, sectarian crisis and killings in recent years in Nigeria, the plight of women has worsened with more widows and orphaned children, especially the girl child;
Observes the need for Nigeria to urgently carry out another population census in order to distill the demographics and living conditions of women in Nigeria;
Cognizant of the need for due attention to issues of gender inequality, economic exclusion of women, high maternal mortality, gender discrimination and abuse of women in internally displaced Persons’ camps as the nation commemorates the 2019 World Population Day;
(i)Urge the Federal Government to develop short, medium and long term action plans to address the increasing challenges faced by women in Nigeria like gender inequality, high maternal mortality, economic exclusion, gender discrimination/abuse, displacement and forward same to the National Assembly for legislative action;
(ii)further urge the National Population Commission to prepare an action plan for a population census in Nigeria and forward same to the National Assembly for legislative action;
(iii)mandate the Committee on Population (when constituted) to ensure compliance;
Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Benjamin Mzondu. In leading the debate Hon. Onyejeocha stated that since 1989 the 11th of July every year has been earmarked as the world population day to analyze such indices as women and child mortality, disesses, war, farming and others that would affect the family and society. In the 2019 edition, Global attention has been focused on the unfinished business of the 1994 International Conference which show that women and children still remain highly vulnerable to societal hazards. The Motion was Voted on and Passed.
ALL OTHER ITEMS ON THE ORDER PAPER STEPPED DOWN TILL ANOTHER LEGISLATIVE DATE
3. Need to Assess the African Continental Free Trade Agreement Signed by President Muhammadu Buhari:
Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun Dokun:
Notes that President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Extra-ordinary session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of States and Governments in Niamey, Niger Republic on Sunday 7 July, 2019 signed the Pact to establish the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria;
Also notes that the President, while signing the Agreement, stated that the Nigerian Government will seek to include terms that will engender the development of policies that will promote African production, among other policies, while reiterating that what Africa needs goes beyond trade policy but includes a manufacturing agenda as well as attracting investments and combating smuggling;
Believes that President Buhari deserves commendation for signing the Trade Agreement with significant caution on the need to prevent excessive prosperity for importing nations along the coasts while landlocked nations will continue to suffer;
Further notes that Nigeria, as the largest economy in Africa should, in line with the Agreement, define various ways to optimize benefits accruable from the Pact by ensuring that its exports to other African Markets surpass its imports in order for it to have positive effects on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Balance of Trade Payment and Employment generation objectives;
Also believes that if that is not done, the nation could be turned into a dumping ground for products from other African Countries, a development that will be adverse to the nation’s Macroeconomic Objectives;
(i) Commend President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the step of placing Nigeria in the right place among her colleagues in the Continent of Africa through the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA);
(ii) urge the Federal Government to set machineries in motion to ensure that Nigeria optimizes the expected benefits from the Agreement.
4. Need to Address the Dearth of Manpower in the Nigeria Police Force:
Hon. S. Ajibola Muraina:
Notes that effective policing is the nation’s most pressing challenge, hence the need to boost the capacity of Nigeria Police Force to enable it perform its core constitutional function of maintaining law and order and safeguarding the lives and property of ordinary citizens, thereby addressing the spate of insecurity in the country;
Aware that Nigeria has approximately 370,000 police personnel to police an estimated 200 million people which is glaringly inadequate and self-defeating, hence the need for recruitment of more personnel for the Force;
Conscious that the Nigeria Police Force is clearly overwhelmed by the numerous security challenges plaguing the country given that most of activities of bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and herdsmen are carried out in enclaves, jungles and forests located all the over Nigeria, which were hitherto guarded by Forest Guards;
Cognizant that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, is making efforts to improve the performance of police personnel and has recently ordered police formations across the country to revert to the eight- hours, three-shift work schedule from the present 12- hours, two-shift regime which will improve the performance of police personnel by reducing work-related stress and emotional conditions that negatively impact on their performance;
Also conscious that the Police Service Commission (PSC) is proposing having part-time constables, and has outlined the requisite qualifications of prospective constables and some operational details, and they will be drawn from the pool of already employed Nigerians in various professions who are physically fit and within the ages of 21 and 50 years who, unlike their regular counterparts, will not be armed even when in uniform as their duties will be restricted to administrative matters, crowd control, alternative dispute resolutions, emergency management and other less risky or sensitive services;
Also aware that there are so many Nigerians with excellent professional qualifications roaming the streets daily seeking for employment who are suitable for recruitment and should therefore be the target of the Nigeria Police Force with regard to the proposed part time constables;
Concerned that the proposal to enlist between 15,000 to 25,000 part-time constables annually over a period of five years will not address the shortfall in the conventional Force, since it is glaring;
Further aware that the police personnel are not as well kitted as their counterparts in other countries as officers on duty ought to have a duty belt consisting of a handgun, a taser, an expandable baton, pepper spray, a set of handcuffs, ammunition magazines, gloves, touch and a two-way radio;
(i) Call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to direct the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to put on hold the proposal for recruitment of part-time constables as the measure will not address the shortfall in police personnel in the country or ensure the needed security;
(ii) also call on the Federal Government to commence the recruitment of Nigerians with requisite professional qualifications to address the shortfall in the Force;
(iii) urge the Federal Government to ensure that the Forest Guards responsible for law enforcement in National Parks and forests should have their operations streamlined to include enforcing poaching duties, safeguarding and protecting animals' species and patrolling the forests to keep off bandits and criminal elements and should be incorporated into the security architecture of the country, being a para-military agency;
(iv)also urge the National Security Adviser to put in place effective collaboration between the security agencies with a view to harmonizing their intelligence gathering and operations;
(v)mandate the Committees on Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence (when constituted) to ensure compliance and report back for further legislative action.
5. Need for Mop–up of Grains through Mass Purchase to Sustain Agricultural Production during the Rainy Season:
Hon. Musa Sarkin AdarHon. Abubakar UmaruHon. Aminu Ashiru Mani
Hon. Victor NwokoloHon. Magaji Da’u AliyuHon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha
Hon. Muh’d Ali WudilHon. Odebunmi SegunHon. Adedeji Stanley Olajide
Hon. Raheem OlawuyiHon. Ari Mohammed A.Hon. Ibrahim Almustapha A.
Hon. Olododo Cook A. S.Hon. David Idris ZachariasHon. Tijani Kayode Ismail
Hon. Simon MwadkwonHon. Alex EgbonaHon. Ibrahim Hamza
Hon. Yusuf A. GagdiHon. Bala KokaniHon. Salisu Isansi
Hon. Joseph Asuku Bello:
Notes that Nigerian farmers have responded to the Federal Government's call to embark on massive agricultural production which resulted in impressive output in the last few years;
Also notes that prices of agricultural products, especially grains, have fallen down to a point that a large number of farmers may not have the financial capacity to return to the farms to maintain the same degree of output this farming season;
Concerned that the current crash in the prices of agricultural produce may engender hunger and poverty which could constitute a threat to the Government's desire of ensuring national food security;
Aware that a well co-ordinated mop up of grains by the Federal Government will enable the farmers to invest in the current season to be able to produce more and the grains moped –up can be utilized to address emergency situations, re-cycled for sale to the general public at subsidized prices and also boost Nigeria's export earnings;
(i) Urge the Federal Government to mop up grains from farmers at attractive prices to boost their morale and guarantee the sustenance of agricultural output recorded in recent years;
(ii) also urge the Federal Government to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Bank of Industry, the Bank of Agriculture and Commercial Banks to execute the mop up grains projects;
(iiii) further urge the Federal Government to revive the National Grains Reserve where the Grains that would be moped-up will be kept for re-sale to the general public at subsidized prices; and
(v) mandate the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services (when constituted) to ensure compliance.
The Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Peter Akpatason moved for the Adjournment of Plenary till Tuesday , July 16th, 2019, it was Seconded by Hon. Nicholas Ossai
Speaker’s Media Office,
House of Representatives.