The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila Presiding.
After leading the opening prayer, the Speaker went on to examine and approve the Plenary Votes and Proceedings for Tuesday, July 16th, 2019.
MOTION OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Hon. Nwawuba Henry moved a motion on the urgent need to curb cultism in Nigerian schools, the spread of which has become alarming. He stressed that the menace is a thriving channel for terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry and criminality. He called on the House to take a critical look at the issue with a view to stopping it before it takes an untamable twist.
Contributing, Hon. Kolade Victor said the security agencies in Nigeria need to invest in intelligence gathering in schools and monitoring of neighborhoods to curb the menace. He also urged institutions and agencies of government to invest in sensitization and advocacy programs.
Hon. Waive Francis in his contribution said the menace of cultism is so widespread and alarming, and that the children involved are the breeding ground for kidnappers and insurgents. He said the National Orientation Agency, which has been under-utilized, could have mitigated these problems, it would not be so widespread, but it seems they have been overwhelmed by lack of manpower or funds as well as lack of focus. He called for the inclusion of the menace of cultism in school curriculum at all levels.
On his part, Hon. Ifeanyi Momah called on the National University Commission (NUC) to keep a register of cultists that have been convicted so that when they are rusticated, they cannot gain admission into any other Nigerian university to further spread the menace.
Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai argued that the best way to address the issue of cultism is advocacy. He also said he is working on a bill to further strengthen the Students' Union Act with clear punishment for cultism offences.
Minority Leader Hon. Ndudi Elumelu proffered some solutions to the issue, which include sincerity in the political class not to use these cultists during election campaigns. He also called on parents, traditional and religious leaders to sensitize the people in their communities. He suggested the need to lay less emphasis on the need for affluence, which usually lure children into cultism.
Hon. Tobi Okechukwu in contributing to the debate on the motion called for the positive engagement of youth to demystify the enticement to get them into cultism. He blamed the deteriorating level of morale and patriotism in every sector of the Nigerian psyche for the growth of cultism over the years.
Hon. Peter Makinde decried the widespread nature of cultism, which has infiltrated all sectors of the country. He advocated for everyone to imbibe the "change begins with me" mantra of the Federal Government to begin to spread positivity into the system. He also called for the introduction of a proper identification database to track offenders.
Hon. Ogunlola Olubunmi called on parents to be ideal role models for their children and nip negative tendencies in the bud before they get out of hand. She also called for adequate rehabilitation of those already found to be cultists.
Hon. Mela Victor blamed the hyping of foreign influences in the lives of Nigerian youth for the rise of cultism. He called for the scrutiny and monitoring of the activities of organizations affiliated to cultism.
Hon. Ade Adeogun lamented how developmental confraternities have metamorphosed into blood-thirsty cults. He blamed lack of database of apprehended culprits for the continued prevalence.
Hon. Amos Magaji blamed the need for helpless citizens to defend themselves against bullying and harassment as one key reason why some people become cultists. He blamed the society and the system, which he said have failed in protecting such individuals and called for the strengthening of laws to deal with bullying and harassment.
Commenting on the motion, the Speaker Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said denying individuals the right of education by hindering them from gaining admission after being rusticated for cultism could have the the unintended effect of making them go further into illegality. The motion was voted on and passed.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS
1. Nigerian Authors Trust Fund Bill, 2019 (HB. 132) (Hon. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas) – First Reading.
2. Sustainable Development Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.133) (Hon. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas) – First Reading.
3. Adamu Sanda Federal College of Education (Technical) Ganye, (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.134) (Hon. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas) – First Reading.
4. National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.135) (Hon. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas) – First Reading.
5. Nigeria Institute of Translators and Interpreters (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.136) (Hon. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas) – First Reading.
6. Advertising Practitioners (Registration, Licensing, etc.) Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2019 (HB.137) (Hon. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas) – First Reading.
7. Chartered Institute of Risk Management of Nigeria Bill, 2019 (HB.139) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) – First Reading.
8. Chartered Institute of Financial and Investment Analysts of Nigeria Bill, 2019 (HB.140) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) – First Reading.
9. Oil and Gas Investment and Free Zones Bill, 2019 (HB.141) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) – First Reading.
10. Hire Purchase Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.142) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) – First Reading.
11. National Automotive Industry Development Plan (Fiscal Incentives and Assurances) Bill, 2019 (HB.143) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) – First Reading.
12. Institute of Chartered Franchise Executives of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.144) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) – First Reading.
13. Chartered Institute of Customer Relationship Management Bill, 2019 (HB.146) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) – First Reading.
14. Corporate Social Responsibility (Special Provisions, etc.) Bill, 2019 (HB.147) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
15. Chemical Weapons Prohibition Bill, 2019 (HB.148) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
16. Criminal Justice (Release from Custody) (Special Provisions) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.149) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
17. Students Union Activities (Control and Regulation) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.150) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
18. Nigerian Communications Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.151) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
19. Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.152) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
20. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.153) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
21. Chartered Institute of Trade and Investment of Nigeria Bill, 2019 (HB.154) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
22. Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.155) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
23. Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.156) (Hon. Solomon Bulus Maren) – First Reading.
24. National Building Code (Enforcement etc.) Bill, 2019 (HB.157) (Hon. Solomon Bulus Maren) – First Reading.
25. National Shipping Policy Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.158) (Hon. Solomon Bulus Maren) – First Reading.
26. Investment and Security Tribunal (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.159) (Hon. Solomon Bulus Maren) – First Reading.
27. Army Colour (Prohibition of Use) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.160) (Hon. Solomon Bulus Maren) – First Reading.
28. Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.161) (Hon. Solomon Bulus Maren)
29. Institute of Chartered Economics of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.162) (Hon. Solomon Bulus Maren) – First Reading.
30. National Biotechnology Development Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.163) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
31. Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.164) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
32. Civil Aviation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.165) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
33. Nigeria Railway Corporation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.166) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
34. Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.167) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
35. National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.168) (Hon. Dachung M. Bagos) – First Reading.
36. Federal College of Education (Special) Birnin Kudu (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 169) (Hon. Magaji Da’u Aliyu) First Reading.
37. Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill, 2019 (HB. 170) (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta) – First Reading.
PRESENTATION OF REPORT
Ad-Hoc Committee on Need for Intervention in the Edo State House of Assembly Crisis:
Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Need for Intervention in Edo the State House of Assembly Crisis (HR. 15/07/2017)” (Referred: 9/7/2019):
ORDERS OF THE DAY
1. Reconsideration of Outstanding Bill from the Preceding Assembly, Pursuant to Order Twelve, Rule 16 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives:
Hon. Babajimi Benson:
Proceeds of Crime Management Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 64)
Notes that pursuant to Order Twelve (12), Rule 16 of the Standing Orders of the House, Bills passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence for which no concurrence was made or negatived or passed by the Senate and forwarded to the House for which no concurrence was made or negatived or which was passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the Assembly, the House may resolve that such Bills, upon being re-gazetted or clean copies circulated, be re-considered in the Committee of the Whole without being commenced de-novo;
Also notes that the Proceeds of Crime Management Agency (Establishment) Bill was passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the last Assembly;
Aware that the Bill was read the first time on Tuesday 16 July, 2019;
Commit the Bill to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.
Hon. Babajimi Benson moved the motion and it was seconded by Hon. Henry Achibong. As a recommittal motion, it was voted on and passed.
2. Need to Address the Worsening Plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Returnees in Bama/Ngala/Kala Balge Areas of Borno State:
Hon. Zainab Gimba:
Notes that there has been an increase in the humanitarian crisis affecting the people of Bama/Ngala/Kala Balge Areas as a result of lack of preparedness of Relevant Agencies to cater for the large number of persons living in IDPs Camps and the returnees from the neighbouring countries of Niger and Cameroon numbering over seven hundred thousand;
Aware that most Internally Displaced Persons and returnees undergo untold hardships to get the basic needs of livelihood like food, shelter and clothing;
Also aware that most of the residents of Bama/Ngala/Kala Balge Areas are going through traumatic experiences, which are affecting their physical, psychological, emotional, mental, economic and social well-being;
Further aware that humanitarian development partners are reluctant in continuing to offer assistance to the displaced persons and returnees because of the deplorable state of road infrastructure in Maiduguri-Gamboru, Maiduguri-Bama-Banki and Gamboru- Rann and believes that if nothing is done to ameliorate the situation, the humanitarian crisis will further worsen with the onset of the rains which would create a major food shortage for the people;
Cognizant of the need to ensure the security of lives and property of the displaced persons and returnees so that they can return to their homes to resume their normal lives;
(i) Urge the Federal Government to commence construction of houses for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees and rehabilitation of road infrastructure in Maiduguri-Gamboru, Maiduguri-Bama-Banki and Gamboru- Rann and seek for collaboration with Development Partners to enable them resume the provision of humanitarian services for the people;
(ii) also urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Borno State Emergency Management Agency to expeditiously provide relief materials to the IDPs and the returnees;
(iii) further urge the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to carry out returnees registration in Bama/Ngala/Kala Balge Areas for identification purposes;
(iiii) mandate the Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Refugees and Initiatives on North East Zone (when constituted) to ensure compliance.
Motion stepped down due to the absence of its sponsor.
3. Call for Intervention in the Communal Clash between Adadama Community in Abi Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State and Amagu Community in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State:
Hon. Alex Egbona:
Notes that violent communal conflicts have become recurring decimals in many Communities across the country and oftentimes, the skirmishes leave behind tales of woes and agonies among people of the affected Communities;
Aware that people of Adadama Community have suffered loss of lives and destruction of properties as a result of conflict with the people of Amagu Community;
Recalls that people of the two neighouring Communities lived in relative peace with one another until recently when the conflict started to the consternation of the people of Adadama who have not been able to identify the reason behind it and all efforts to restore peace in the area have failed;
Aware that before 1920, the Adadama people had common boundary with Okpitumo people and not Amagu people and except for Amagu Community, Adadama and Okpitumo Community or any other Communities sharing boundary with her have never been engaged in conflict of any kind;
Also aware that the Amagus' were refugees driven away from Ezza Community because of constant altercations with the Ezza people, and had to settle in Adadama, but the problem started when the Amagu people made a forceful trespass and desperate quest to annex part of Adadama land in 1920 which led to intervention by the then District Officer of Afikpo District, Mr. G.G. Shute who demarcated the Adadama/lkwo boundary with concrete pillars;
Informed that the attacks that took place in 1986, 2006 and 2013 resulted in colossal losses that have paralyzed economic and communal activities in the area;
Concerned that there has been a similar lingering dispute between the Ekureku Community in Abi LGA of Cross River State and the Abomege Community of Onicha LGA in Ebonyi State since 1982, following the failure of the National Boundary Commission (NBC) to completely demarcate the boundaries between the two communities, even though the Commission had successfully traced the boundary lines in the early 1990s;
Cognizant that if there is no urgent intervention to address the perennial problem, it may result in the procurement of small arms by those Communities for self-defense;
(i) Send a delegation to visit the disputed area and interact with people of the warring Communities and recommend measures to resolve the conflict;
(ii) urge the National Boundary Commission to immediately embark on a proper boundary delineation process within 4 weeks;
(iii) Also urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the affected Communities to ameliorate their sufferings;
(iiii) Further urge the National Boundary Commission to return to the Ekureku-Onicha boundary axis and plant beacon stones to show the clear boundary lines between the two Communities;
(v) mandate the Committee on Special Duties (when constituted) to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.
Motion stepped down due to the absence of its sponsor.
4.Need to Investigate the Molestation of Pupils of the Deaf and Dumb School at Kuje, Abuja:
Hon. Musa Mohammed Pali:
Notes that the Punch Newspaper of February 6, 2019 published a report on tension at the School for the Deaf and Dumb in the Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja by suspected cultists;
Also notes that the school which accommodates little children, both boys and girls of between 5-6 years who are mostly defenseless and vulnerable is being invaded regularly by the cultists who abduct and molest the children;
Concerned that those children have special needs and cannot easily or freely communicate the abuses and other forms of ill treatment meted to them;
Aware that the Federal Ministry of Education had been intimated of the serious brutality and sodomy going on in the school and the Permanent Secretary led a delegation to the school which confirmed the incidence;
Also concerned that since investigation into the matter by the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the Nigeria Police Force no action was taken on the matter;
(i) Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to visit the school to obtain first-hand information on the matter and also interface with the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the Nigeria Police Force on the outcome of their investigation into the matter;
(ii) urge the Inspector-General of Police and the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to provide adequate security in schools across the Country to prevent such incidents;
Motion stepped down due to the absence of its sponsor.
5. Need to Reform the Almajiri Education System and Remove Beggars from the Streets through Provision of Formal Education and Improved Livelihood:
Hon. Mansur Manu Soro:
Notes that the Almajiri System of Education in the Northern part of Nigeria has become a matter of grave concern and embarrassment for the continued wellbeing of the country;
Also notes that the large number of children cut up in the Almajiri group come at a huge cost to the nation in terms of loss of critical human capital and erosion of family values;
Acknowledges the efforts made by the Administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in constructing Almajiri Schools in the country;
Aware that Islam frowns at begging in any form because it reduces a Muslim’s self-esteem and dignity, yet parents release their children to pass through such horrific condition out of poverty and sheer abdication of parental responsibilities;
Concerned about the harmful effects of street begging which ranges from kidnapping, sexual abuse to overall public insecurity;
Also aware that Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children requires every Member State to take all appropriate legislative, social and educational measures to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, abuse or neglect;
Also concerned about the negligence by and seeming indifference at all Levels of Government on the plight of the Almajiris;
Cognizant that an immediate ban on Almajiri System of Education and begging practices will only worsen the situation, thus making the children more desperate, vulnerable and becoming sources of threat to the society, while their continued existence poses grave danger to the collective wellbeing and security of the present and succeeding generations;
(i) declare the Almajiri menace a national emergency and call on Government at all levels to ensure that the Almajiris, being Nigerian citizens, are provided with opportunities to access basic education as guaranteed by the United Nations Convention;
(ii) call on the Federal Ministry of Education to integrate the Almajiri system into the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) programme;
(iii) also call on all the affected States to comply with extant laws on basic education, especially the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Act by ensuring that all children between the ages of 6 -16 are given free and compulsory education;
(iiii) urge the Federal Government to create a Department in the UBEC to handle the Almajiri matters and to be provided with adequate funds to construct a minimum of one Almajiri school in each of the electoral wards of the affected States by the year 2021 and also ensure that the Almajiri school curriculum is planned to include technical and vocational courses with long-term objectives of self-reliance and sustenance;
(v) further call on the Federal Ministry of Education to conduct an extensive enumeration and mapping exercise to, among other things, determine the locations of the Almajiri schools, sizes and staff strength to ensure comprehensiveness of the policy;
(vi) also urge the Executive Arm of the Federal Government to immediately embark on comprehensive enumeration of the handicapped and people with disabilities in the country to integrate them into cash transfer component of the Social Investment Programme to improve their livelihood and commit them to stop begging;
(vii) again urge the Office of the Vice-President to, in collaboration with States' relevant institutions, conduct a census of Almajiri schools and headcount of the children with a view to enrolling them in the on-going National Home-grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP);
(viii) further urge the Federal Government to forward an executive bill to the National Assembly for the criminalization of street begging with effect from six months after the implementation of this Resolution;
(ix) also urge the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government to collaborate with the organized Private Sector, International Donor Partners and Philanthropic high-net worth individuals to support the new Education Structure for the Almajiris;
(x) mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure compliance.
Motion stepped down to a further legislative date due to the fact that its sponsor sought to co-opt other Members that have shown interest as co-sponsors of the motion.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE) The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Idris Wase Presiding:
6. Ad-hoc Committee on Need for Intervention in the Edo State House of Assembly Crisis:
Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas:
“That the House do consider the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Need for Intervention in the Edo State House of Assembly Crisis and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 17/7/2019).
(i) That the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in the interest of peaceful co-existence of the State, should issue a fresh Proclamation within One (1) week in line with Section 105(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) stating the date, time and venue and publish in any National Daily and Television Station;
(ii) that all actions taken by the 7th Assembly Members should be declared null and void pending proper inauguration;
(iii) that all Members of the Edo State House of Assembly, both those who have been inaugurated and those who have not been inaugurated should dissolve their factions in the interest of peace and stability of the House with the view to moving the State forward;
(iiii) that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Director General (DG), Department of State Service should shut down the Edo State House of Assembly and provide adequate security to allay further fears of intimidation and threat as alleged by Members-elect;
(v) that where recommendations (i) (ii) and (iii) above fail, the National Assembly should invoke the Provisions of Section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to take over the State House of Assembly until the situation normalizes.
Synopsis of the Report:
Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas said the Ad-Hoc Committee had interactions with all relevant parties in the crisis including the State Governor, the Deputy Governor, Members-Elect of the House of Assembly, Oba of Benin, among others. Having investigated the crisis of the House of Assembly, he said, it was found that all factions wanted to produce the Speaker of the House.
Namdas said the other issue was lack of proper proclamation of the House of Assembly by the Governor immediately after assuming office as it came late and it did not mention the time the inauguration of the House was supposed to take place.
This, he said, caused a clash of activities as some concerned members were addressing the press when the inauguration was speedily done without the majority of the members of the House of Assembly.
Hon. Uzoma Nkem Abonta raised concerns that some of the recommendations border on the line of illegality on the powers of the House of Representatives and also contradict one another. He called for careful consideration of the recommendations so that the House would not be seen as taking side with persons involved in the matter.
Summary of Voting:
All the recommendations contained in the report were voted on and approved.
HOUSE IN PLENARY
The House in Plenary adopted its Votes and Proceedings in the Committee of the Whole
The Leader of the House, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the adjournment of plenary to Thursday, July 18th, 2019. The motion was seconded by the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Peter Akpatason.
Media Unit, Office of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives.