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 Wednesday, July 17th, 2019.
1. Hon. Fatuhu Mohammed brought a petition from the Daura Emirate Progressive Forum on the fact that the permanent site allocated to them has not been developed and they have been occupying the premises of the Federal Teachers' College, Daura all this while. This he said has adversely affected both their functions and that of the teachers' college.
2. Hon. Solomon Adaelu brought a petition from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, who, based on their belief in the sanctity of sabbath that holds Saturdays, have been continuously prevented from exercising their rights to cast votes during elections as it clashes with the sabbath.
They prayed the Independent National Electoral Commission to fix alternative days for conducting the voting exercise.
Hon. Adaelu also brought another petition from 1,200 students from the University of Port Harcourt who sat for their exams in the 2015/2016 academic year but were hindered from participating in the national youth service scheme due to their inability to pay some dues. They were made to come back the next academic year and paid the dues, sat for the exams and passed but were still stopped from being mobilized for the youth service.
They prayed for the intervention of the House to resolve the issue.
The petitions were referred to the Committee on Public Petitions when constituted.
MOTIONS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
1. Hon. Aishatu Dukku moved a motion on the urgent need to prevent the impending ASUU and NASU strike. Hon. Dukku in leading the debate pointed that the notice to mobilize both ASUU and NASU for the proposed strike is as a result of the refusal of the government to recall sacked workers whose reinstatement had been backed by the ruling of the industrial court.
She said part of their grievances was also due to the accumulated N8 billion, approved by the Federal Ministry of Labour, but the payment has not been released to them. She noted that there is also the alleged discrimination against non-teaching staff in enjoying benefits similar to academic staff.
Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf praised the spirit behind the motion. He expressed sadness that the education sector is still handled with kids gloves. He called for the speedy implementation of all agreements the government entered into with the unions. He noted that the dearth of the education sector is the reason Nigerians move to other countries looking for educational services.
Hon. Victor Mela blamed a lack of accountability for what the education sector is going through. He called on the House to ensure that such strikes do not keep occurring.
Hon. Solomon Maren sympathized with the students whose future is being toyed with during industrial actions.
This, he stated, also contributes to the issue of criminality in the country.
Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta enjoined all parties to only sign realistic agreements that would be implementable. He also called on all parties to keep the interest of the students paramount.
Contributing, Hon. Bello Asuku called on the House to be the voice of the voiceless students, whose future is being mortgaged on the negotiating table. He also called on the government to honor agreements it goes into.
Hon. Mohammed Bio blamed the continuous disruptions of tertiary education calendars for the dwindling level in the employable capacity of graduates being graduated.
Hon. Sada Soli Jibiya said the logjam between government and the unions has lingered for about 10 years, and it was hight time it was resolved for the interest of the students.
Hon. Abubakar Yalleman blamed the domiciling funds for all universities in the Single Treasury Account (TSA) by the Federal Government, denying the institutions the privilege of financial flexibility.
Hon. Ben Igbakpa asked the government to be responsible and respect its terms of the agreement entered into to avert agitation. He called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the education sector.
Supporting the motion, Hon. Hassan Fulata asked the government to address the grievances of the non-academic staff of all forms of tertiary institutions.
Hon. Nnaji John called on Members to be patriotic and committed so that it doesn't end as paying lip service, especially as most of their children are studying abroad.
Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha blamed the regular tension between both sides to hastily sign agreements without the zeal to implement. She noted that all Nigerian students are looked at as the children of their representatives and that everything must be done to ensure their right to education does not suffer.
Hon. Bunmi Ojo stated that the near-collapse of the education sector is part of a wider collapse that can be seen in all the aspects of the sector. He called for the principal actors of all the sectors to come together in a bid to find lasting solutions through implementing strong policies. Hon. Ojo also called for increased funding for the education sector.
Hon. Musa Sarkin Adar wondered why the solution to the problems in the education sector is always palliative and not progressional despite the countless interventions by Parliament and other well-meaning parties.
The motion was voted on and passed as amended to urge the unions to suspend their strike till the House is able to intervene.
2. Hon. Pat Asadu moved a motion on the need to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Nigerians in South Africa. Hon. Asadu wondered why South Africa, which Nigeria stood by during the days of Apartheid, would be so hostile to Nigerians at this time. He called for the re-examination of treaties and agreements entered into between Nigeria and South Africa as well as with other countries aggressive to Nigerians living within their shores.
The motion was voted on and passed.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS
1. National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Bill, 2019 (HB.171) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno) – First Reading.
2. River Basins Development Authorities Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.172) (Hon. Patrick Asadu) – First Reading.
3. National Inland Waterways Authority Bill, 2019 (HB.173) (Hon. Patrick Asadu) – First Reading.
4. Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Bill, 2019 (HB.174) (Hon. Patrick Asadu) – First Reading.
5. Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Identification Bill, 2019 (HB.175) (Hon. Patrick Asadu) – First Reading.
6. Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.176) (Hon. Patrick Asadu) – First Reading.
7. National Council of Radiology and Radiation Medicine Establishment Bill, 2019 (HB.177) (Hon. Patrick Asadu) – First Reading.
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8. Federal University of Technology, Enugu (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.178) (Hon. Patrick Asadu) – First Reading.
9. Health Records Officers (Registration etc) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 179) (Hon. Muhammad Umar Jega and Hon. Gideon Gwani) – First Reading.
10. Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 180) (Hon. Muhammad Umar Jega and Hon. Gideon Gwani) – First Reading.
11. National Blood Service Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.181) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) – First Reading.
12. Federal Medical Centres (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.182) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) – First Reading.
13. Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) (Repeal) Bill, 2019 (HB.183) (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta) – First Reading.
14. Federal Polytechnic, Zandi, Plateau State (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.184) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) – First Reading.
15. Federal University of Agriculture, Vom, Plateau State (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.185) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) – First Reading.
16. Foreign Service Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.186) (Hon. Benjamin O. Kalu) – First Reading.
17. National Planning Process Bill, 2019 (HB.187) (Hon. Benjamin O. Kalu) – First Reading.
18. Entrepreneurship Development Bank of Nigeria Bill, 2019 (HB.188) (Hon. Benjamin O. Kalu) – First Reading.
19. Patents (Additional Rights) Bill, 2019 (HB.189) (Hon. Benjamin O. Kalu) – First Reading.
20. Unclaimed Dividends Trust Fund Bill, 2019 (HB.190) (Hon. Benjamin O. Kalu) – First Reading.
21. Sexual Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.191) (Hon. Shina Abiola Peller) – First Reading.
22. National Fertilizer Bill, 2019 (HB192.) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno) – First Reading.
23. Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.193) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno) – First Reading.
24. Assets Recovery Bill, 2019 (HB.194) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
25. Nigeria Police Academy (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.195) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
26. Solid Minerals Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.196) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai) – First Reading.
27. Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.198) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) – First Reading.
28. Nigerian Ports Authority Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.199) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) – First Reading.
29. Nigerian Postal Service Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.200) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) – First Reading.
30. Immigration Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.201) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) – First Reading.
31. Good Samaritan Bill, 2019 (HB. 202) (Hon. Babajimi Benson) – First Reading.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigeria Metrological Agency Act, No. 9 of 2003 to grant the Nigeria Metrological Agency the sole Authority to Grant Approvals and Licenses for the Establishment of Metrological Stations; and for Related Matters (HB. 19) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – Second Reading.
Debate: Hon. Benjamin Kalu moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Shehu Koko.
In leading the debate, Hon. Kalu stressed the importance of ensuring the capturing and analysis of relevant climatic data from functional weather stations, especially in the current era of global warming and drastic climate change. He advocated for accurate and timely weather predictions and warnings, as the consequences of not having such data are better imagined than experienced.
He said the spread of weather stations nationwide is grossly inadequate. He also called on tertiary institutions to open individual observation units to be manned by qualified personnel and able to complement government efforts.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading. It was referred to the committee on aviation when constituted.
2. Appointment of Special Advisers to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria:
Hon. Garba Alhassan Ado:
Notes that pursuant to the provisions of Section 151 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has the power to appoint any person as a Special Adviser to assist him in the performance of his functions;
Also notes that the President, in a message on 9 July 2019 to the House of Representatives requested for the approval of the House to appoint fifteen (15) Special Advisers;
Aware that Section 151 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 empowers the National Assembly to prescribe by law or resolution the number of such Advisers and their remuneration and allowances;
Also aware that Section 2, Part 1 (B) of the Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc.) (Amendment) Act, 2008 prescribes the remuneration and allowances of such Special Advisers;
(i) Approve the request of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to appoint fifteen (15) Special Advisers in accordance with the provisions of Section 151 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999;
(ii) Transmit the Approval to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for concurrence.
Hon. Garba Ado moved a motion on the above subject matter and it was seconded by Hon. Nicholas Ossai. The motion was voted on and passed.
3. Urgent 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 the increasing humanitarian crisis affecting the people of Bama/Ngala/Kala Balge Federal Constituency of Borno State;
Also notes that the Boko Haram insurgency precipitated a massive humanitarian tragedy on a scale only comparable to the Nigerian civil war and arguably the worst of any man-made or natural disaster in Nigeria’s history;
Further notes that the new returnees are largely from the bordering countries of Chad and Cameroon Republics;
Aware that most of the new returnees and the Internally Displaced Persons have suffered untold hardship getting the basic needs of livelihood like food, shelter, and clothing;
Also Aware that most of the residents of Bama/Ngala/Kala Balge Federal Constituency have gone through traumatic experiences which have affected 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;
Acknowledges the efforts made so far by the Borno State Government through support for the security agencies and provision of temporary shelter, foodstuff medications, clothing and other basic needs for the affected people;
Commends the Federal Government for setting up the North East Development Commission (NEDC);
Concerned that if nothing is done, the humanitarian crisis will be further worsened with the coming rains and create a major food shortage for the people;
Also Concerned that there is currently a total of 773,626 Internally Displaced Persons who have been forced out of their homes and living in shanties all over the constituency;
(i) Urge the Federal Government to immediately commence infrastructural works in Bama/Ngala/Kala Balge Federal Constituency of Borno State to enable partners to resume humanitarian services;
(ii) also, urge the North East Development Commission to seek avenues of strategic collaboration with the Development Partners in the North-East so that they will continue to provide humanitarian services to the people affected;
(iii) further urge the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to expeditiously provide relief materials for these new returnees and the Internally Displaced Persons;
(iv) mandate the Committee on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Refugees and Initiatives on the North East Zone and North East Development Commission to ensure compliance;
Hon. Zainab Gimba moved the motion l and it was seconded by Hon. Beni Lar. The motion was voted on and passed.
4. Need to Revamp the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) Abak Sub Station, Oruk Anam in Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State:
Hon. Unyime Idem:
Notes that the agriculture sector presents Nigeria with the opportunity to diversify her economy and break the over-dependence on oil as the major source of revenue and agriculture also has the potential to create jobs for both the youths and other Nigerians, increase wealth and overall revenue base of the nation;
Also notes the economic history of Nigeria which reveals that in the 1960s, (prior to the discovery of crude oil) agriculture sustained the economy as shown by the groundnut pyramids in the North, the cocoa plantations in the West and the oil palm plantations in the East;
Aware that in 1932, Nigeria established the West African Institute for Oil Palm Research (WIFOR) now known as the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) with the main station in Edo State and substations in Akwa Ibom State, Badagry, Dutse, Delta State and a Raffia Institute in Bayelsa State;
Also aware that Nigeria became a major producer and exporter of palm oil because of the exploits of NIFOR, one of which substations is at Abak from where, in 1960, Malaysian agricultural experts collected and cross-pollinated oil palm seedlings which now makes Malaysia the second-biggest producer and exporter of palm oil;
Informed that the Oruk Anam substation is now in a deplorable state and can no longer create jobs or wealth for the people, consequently stifling economic growth in that sector;
Also informed that although Nigeria controlled 43% of the global output and generated 82% of its national export revenue from palm oil in the 1960s, the country is now a major importer of the product with a yearly demand of 2.7 million metric tons and the Nigeria Ports Authority Report of 2017 shows that Nigeria imported 450,000 tons of palm oil worth billions of Naira, which contributes to depleting the nation's foreign reserve;
Cognizant of the fact that in some counties like Indonesia, 50 million citizens build their lives around palm oil and its derivatives as shown in a 2018 report by Globe Asia, a business magazine;
Concerned that NIFOR’s substation at Abak is now completely dilapidated as it does not have a laboratory even as a Research Institute despite consistent budgetary allocations, and workers there, earn a paltry sum of N4,000.00 monthly;
(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) to come up with a blueprint to revamp the substation at Abak;
(ii) also, urge the Nigeria Customs Service and other relevant Agencies of Government to strictly enforce the laws on importation of palm oil to boost local production and protect local industries;
(iii) again urge the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to carry out remedial works on the access road to the Oruk Anam substation;
(iv) further, urge the Federal Government to adhere to the Federal Character Principles by appointing an indigene of Akwa Ibom State on the Board and the Management cadre of the Institute; and
(v) equally, urge the management of NIFOR to immediately implement without delay the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it entered into with the host communities to prevent the breakdown of law and order;
(vi) mandate the Committees on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, Works and Special Duties (when constituted) to ensure compliance.
Hon. Idem Unyime moved the motion, and it was seconded by Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji. As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and passed as amended to incorporate other states where the functions of the institute are relevant.
5. Urgent Need to Construct a Pedestrian Bridge at the Madalla Market Suleja, Niger State to Reduce the Rate of Accidents around the Market:
Hon. Abubakar Abdullahi Lado.
Notes that the concept of pedestrian bridges dates back to the 2nd century in Ancient Rome and has since gained popularity all over the world because it enables traffic by allowing traffic to move smoothly, and averts a whole lot of accidents and deaths;
Also notes that a pedestrian bridge provides architectural safety measures against hazards and dangers pedestrians encounter while crossing roads because it helps them cross from one side of the
road to the other side without having to dash into an oncoming vehicle and facing the risk of being knocked down by speeding vehicles;
Aware that Madalla Market located in Suleja, Niger State, is one of the many weekly markets which attracts both traders and customers from different parts of the country, particularly Abuja, Niger State and other places like Kaduna and Jos;
Cognizant that apart from traders encroachment onto the main road which narrows into Zuba, the market also causes traffic gridlock along the busy Abuja-Madalla highway and motorists capitalize on the traffic to drive recklessly thereby causing fatal crashes;
Regrets that such avoidable crashes have claimed the lives of scores of traders and travelers on that road particularly pedestrians;
Concerned by the high mortality rate in developing countries due to a combination of factors, including rapid motorization, poor road and traffic infrastructure and lack of pedestrian bridges, etc;
Informed that road traffic crashes have been one of the main causes of death in Niger State and based on the information by the Federal Road Safety Commission, as at December 2018, a total of 9,383 crashes were recorded with 2,587 being fatal and 5,121 people killed across the country within the period, with Niger State accounting for 516 crashes and 197 deaths;
Appreciates the need to forestall further accidents and loss of lives and properties;
(i) Mandate the Committee on Works (when constituted) to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to come up with a workable modality that will ensure that a pedestrian bridge is constructed on Madalla Market road as soon as practicable;
(ii) Mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation.
The motion was stood down due to the absence of its sponsor
6. Commendation of the Federal Government On the Warri-Itakpe Rail Project while Urging for its Expansion to Abuja and an Expansion and Overhaul of the Rail Infrastructure in the Country for Economic Development:
Hon. Francis Ejiroghene Waive Hon Ahmed- Tijani Damisa:
Recalls the various efforts by governments in the past to construct and develop rail transportation in the country since 1898 when the first railroad was constructed, the enactment of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act in 1955 and the continuous but slow development of the railway in Nigeria;
Also recalls the construction of a 32km line of 1067mm gauge from Iddo (Lagos) to Ota (Ogun) and in 1901, it was extended to Ibadan by a distance of 193km and then from Ibadan to Jebba (295km);
Further recalls that the Kano-Baro line which was 562km was constructed in 1907-1911; the Jebba-Minna (252km) from 1909-1915; Port Harcourt-Enugu (243km) 1914-1916 and Kafanchan-Jos (17km) 1922-1927; kafanchan to-Bauchi (238km) 1958-1961; and Bauchi-Maiduguri (302km) 1961-1964;
Notes the development, industrialization and economic growth the introduction, construction and development of rail lines brought to the citizenry in those days who were able to move their goods from one location of the country to another with ease;
Regrets that the development and rise in trade engineered by the construction of the railway lines were however cut short by war, corruption, lack of funds, policy inconsistency, management inefficiency and none continuity of projects by successive governments such that in spite of the huge sums of money plunged into the sector, thereafter, passenger traffic and patronage started to decline from 11,288,000 passengers in 1964 to 4,342,000 ten years later;
Commends the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for resuscitation and expansion of the railway project with 12 new Stations and expansion of the Warri-Itakpe rail line from strictly that of Industrial goods only to goods, passenger and other commercial services, a railway project which was conceived in 1983 originally for the purpose of transportation of products from Ajaokuta to Delta Steel Company in Aladja in Delta State and which was abandoned by previous governments for about 35 years after the construction of about 245kms;
Also commends the Administration's commitment towards resuscitating, developing and expanding the Railway infrastructure all over the country, the construction of 156.5krn double-track Standard Gauge line between Lagos and Ibadan to enhance Intra and inter City trade, especially in the transportation of agricultural produce and livestock for the exponential growth of the economy and regional development;
(i) Call on the Federal Government to extend the rail line from Itakpe to Abuja and beyond to ensure easy transportation of passengers and goods;
(ii) Urge the Government to follow up with its promises to construct the 2163 km Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Single Track Standard Gauge Line and the Coastal Railway Project;
(iii) Mandate the Committee on Land Transport (when constituted) to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Transport and Nigeria Railway Corporation to ensure compliance.
Hon. Francis Waive moved a motion on the above subject matter and it was seconded by Hon. Yusuf Tijani. As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and passed.
7. Call for Investigation of the Non-Remittance of Contributions into the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) by the Federal, States and Local Governments, Parastatals, Public Corporations and Companies from 2010 to Date:
Hon. Zakaria Dauda Nyampa Hon. Abiola Makinde Hon. Hassan Sokodabo
Hon. Bamidele Salam Hon. Ajao Adejumo Hon. Lazarus Ogbee
Hon. Makwe Livinus Makwe Hon. Ikengboju Dele Hon. Obinna Onwubuariri:
Recalls that the Employees Compensation Act, 2010 provides a guaranteed and adequate compensation for all employees or their dependents for any death, injury, disease or disability arising out of or in the course of employment, rehabilitation for employees with work-related disabilities, establishment, and maintenance of a Solvent Compensation Fund managed for the interest of the employees or employers, among others;
Notes that Section 33 of the Act states that every employer shall within the first two years of the commencement of the Act, make a minimum monthly contribution of 1.0 percent of the total monthly payroll into the Fund and subsequently, payment will be passed on estimates of the employer’s payroll for the year, actual assessment or based on minimum assessment;
Also notes that the private sector players have, to a limited extent, been complying with the provisions of the Act, particularly, in view of Section 16(6)(d) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 which makes it mandatory for bidders to have fulfilled all obligations to pay taxes, pensions and social security contributions, however, the Federal, States, and Local Governments and Parastatals,
Public Corporations and Companies have all failed to make payments of their contributions to the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), despite the mandatory provisions of the Act;
Further notes that the definition of an employer under Section 73 of the Act is broad and covers all levels of government, given that it defines an ‘employer’ to include any Individual, Body Corporate, Federal, State or Local Government, or any of the Government Agencies, which has entered into a contract of employment to employ any other person as an employee or apprentice;
Cognizant that by failing, refusing or neglecting to pay the statutory contributions to the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Governments at all levels are not only violating the law but are equally exposing the vast majority of the Nigerian workforce to uninsured and uncovered risks and occupational hazards, and by extension, the large pool of workers cannot be compensated for injuries, mental stress, occupational hazards, hearing impairments, total/partial disability or disfigurement, among others;
Aware that only members of the Armed Forces, excluding civilian employees of the Armed Forces, are exempted from mandatory employer’s contributions under the Act;
Observes that if this anomaly is not addressed, civil and public servants will continue to be short-changed and remain at the receiving end of a system that exposes them to occupational hazards, without any form of insurance or compensation.
Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the non-remittance of contributions to the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund by the Federal, States and Local Governments and Parastatals, Public Corporations and Companies and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.
Hon. Zakari Nyampa moved the motion, and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Gololo. As an investigative motion, it was voted on and passed.
8. Need to Eradicate Child Destitution and Remove Beggars from Nigerian Streets through Provision Of Standardized Education System and Improved Livelihood.
Hon. Mansur Manu Soro Hon. Ibrahim Umar Hon. Saidu Musa Abdullahi
Hon. Shehu Barwa Beji:
Notes that the menace of Child destitution in most parts of Nigeria has become a matter of grave concern for the continued wellbeing of the country and is also a source of increasing national embarrassment;
Also notes that the large number of children captured in the destitution net most of whom roam the streets begging for alms or hawking at traffic spots come at a huge cost to the nation in terms
of loss of critical human capital and erosion of family values;
Aware that the various religious and cultural value systems frown at begging and abandoning children without proper care, yet parents release their children to pass through such horrific conditions out of
poverty and sheer abdication of responsibility;
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 the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, abuse or neglect;
Concerned about the probable consequences of child destitution and street begging, which ranges from kidnapping, sexual abuse to overall public insecurity;
Further concerned that the negligence by and indifference at all levels of government about the presence and plight of the child destitute are condemnable;
Cognizant that an immediate ban on child destitution and begging will only worsen the situation, and make the children more desperate, vulnerable and threatening to the society, while their continued existence poses a grave danger to Nigeria is collective wellbeing and security of the present and succeeding generations;
(i) Declare child destitution and begging a national emergency and call on Governments at all levels to ensure that children are provided with opportunities to access basic education as guaranteed by the United Nations Convention;
(ii) urge the Federal Ministry of Education to integrate the Almajiri Education System into the Universal Basic Education Programme;
(iii) also urge the affected States to comply with extant laws on basic education, especially the UBEC Act by ensuring that all children between the ages of 6 -16 are given free and compulsory education;
(iv) further urge the Federal Government to create a department under the UBEC to handle the Almajiri matters with adequate funding 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) equally urge the Federal Government to conduct an extensive enumeration and mapping exercise to, among other things, determine the location of the Almajiri schools, sizes and staff strength to ensure comprehensiveness of the policy;
(vi) again urge the Federal Government to immediately embark on a comprehensive enumeration of handicapped and people with disabilities in the country to integrate them into the cash transfer component of the Social Investment Programme to improve their livelihood and commit them to stop begging;
(vii) call on the Office of the Vice-President to, in collaboration with States’ relevant institutions, conduct a census of Almajiri schools and headcount of the destitute children with the view to enrolling them in the on-going National Home-grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP);
(viii) also call on the Federal Government to forward an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to enact a law for the criminalization of child destitution and street begging, one year after the implementation of these resolutions;
(ix) further, call on the relevant ministries, departments and agencies of Government to collaborate with the organised private sector, international donor partners and philanthropic high-net-worth individuals to support the new education structure of the Almajiris;
(x) mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure compliance.
Hon. Mansur Soro moved the motion and it was seconded by Hon. Usman Zannah. The motion was voted on and passed.
9. Need for Mop-up of Grains through Mass Purchase to Sustain Agricultural Production during the Rainy Season:
Hon. Musa Sarkin Adar Hon. Satomi Ahmad Hon. Abubakar Umaru
Hon. Victor Nwokolo Hon. Magaji Da’u Aliyu Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha
Hon. Muh’d Ali Wudil Hon. Odebunmi Segun Hon. Adedeji Stanley Olajide
Hon. Raheem Olawuyi Hon. Ari Mohammed A. Hon. Ibrahim Almustapha A. Hon. Olododo Cook A. S. Hon. David Idris Zacharias Hon. Tijani Kayode Ismail
Hon. Simon Mwadkwon Hon. Alex Egbona Hon. Ibrahim Hamza
Hon. Yusuf A. Gagdi Hon. Bala Kokani Hon. Salisu Isansi
Hon. Joseph Asuku Bello Hon. Aminu Ashiru Mani:
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 during 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 to ensure national food security;
Aware that a well-coordinated mop-up of grains by the Federal Government will enable 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 project;
(iii) 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
(iv) mandate the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services (when constituted) to ensure compliance.
Hon. Satomi Ahmad moved the motion and it was seconded by Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji.
In leading the debate, Hon. Satomi said the subject matter is in the spirit of improving the availability of agricultural yield and output and to ensure food security for the nation.
Hon. Yusuf Yakub stated that the need to sustain bountiful food production cannot be overemphasized. He called for the assurance of establishing crop processing facilities for farmers and adequate grain banks for farmers.
Hon. Yakub also called on the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to educate local farmers on the need for adequate packaging of their products.
Hon. Haruna Mshelia in his contribution commended farmers for participating in the diversification of the Nigerian economy. He, however, called on the government to give the farmers all necessary support in order to meet the desired diversification.
Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji recommended that the Nigerian Customs Service to monitor the country's borders to ensure the flood of grains from outside the country does not continue as it has crashed the prices of grains unfavourably against Nigerian farmers.
Hon. Yusuf Tanko stated that the stability of the food market depends on the availability, security, and marketability of the food crops so that food security can be sustained.
Hon. Ibrahim Almustapha called for the sustenance of progressive government agricultural policies to protect the Nigerian farmers.
Hon. Sada Jibia praised the spirit of the motion but pointed out that the Federal Government is yet to tie the up-taking policy to either the CBN or the anchor borrowers scheme. He also condemned the activities of dubious middlemen who uptake the grains and hide them, thereby creating artificial scarcity to be able to fix the price. Hon. Jibia also debunked the claim of flooding Nigeria with foreign seeds. As one living on an international border, he stressed that it does not happen.
Hon. Abdullahi Abdulkadir called on the government to make agricultural production and storage attractive through measures of financial assistance. He also called for the control of inputs such as fertilizer, sprays and other additives so as to maintain the natural state of food.
Hon. Ganiyu Johnson called for the availability of silos and commodity bonds to boost the preservation and freshness of the seeds.
Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa decried the harsh financial, physical and policy conditions the Nigerian farmers go through to produce food for the nation. He praised the timeliness of the motion and sought the support of Members to support the farmers.
He urged the government to mop up the available grains, which will have the twin benefit of financially rewarding the farmers and ensuring the food security of the nation. Hon. Doguwa urged the leadership of the House to ensure the resolution of the motion is taken seriously and implemented.
Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, being the immediate past chairman of the House committee on agriculture, said the Federal Government recently made N10 billion available for the mop-up of grains and as an intervention for the agricultural sector. Out of the amount, he said, N9.8 billion has been released for the exercise.
He advocated for the timely release of the 2019 budget as it concerns agriculture, as it is time-bound, due to the fact that Nigerian agriculture is still heavily rain-dependent.
The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase assured Members that the 9th House of Representatives would not allow critical resolutions made by the House for the good of Nigerians to be discarded by government MDAs as was the practice in the past. The motion was voted on and passed.
10. Urgent Need for Community Engagement and Participation in the Final Push to End Insurgency in the North East Zone:
Hon. Haruna Mshelia:
Notes the tremendous successes achieved by the men and women of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the fight against insurgency in the North-East;
Also notes the significant part played by men and women of the Civilian Joint Task Forces (C-JTF) in assisting the Armed Forces in their operations;
Aware that the Civilian Joint Task Forces (C-JTF) are local young men and women trained and kitted by the State Government to provide, mainly intelligence and other sundry services to the security forces;
Also aware that most of the insurgents come from communities in the North East, which goes without saying that local community engagement and participation in the final push to bring the insurgency to an end cannot be overemphasized;
Informed that most if not all the communities in the North East have local vigilante groups and hunters that know all the nooks and crannies of their various communities;
Believes that if those local vigilante groups and hunters are given formal training by the Armed Forces on an ad-hoc basis, as was given to the Civilian Joint Task Forces, they will be of great assistance to the Armed Forces in flushing out the remnants of the insurgents in their various localities;
Appreciates that the Theatre Command, the 7th Brigade, Nigerian Army, Maiduguri has initiated a laudable plan to train about 1000 vigilantes and hunters, however, the venture needs to be scaled up to cover the entire zone and with appropriate logistics and resources to go with it;
Concerned that despite all the commendable efforts of the Armed Forces, some pockets of insurgency activities still continue in the North East with guerrilla-type warfare leading to looting, kidnappings, and killings in the affected areas;
Cognizant that since insurgency is mostly local in nature, the role of community engagement and participation through the use of local vigilante and hunters can best be exploited;
(i) Urge the Federal Government to provide logistics, materials, and financial resources to the Armed Forces to enable it to engage and train local vigilantes and hunters who will then assist in the final push to end the insurgency;
(ii) Mandate the Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Refugees and Initiatives on North East Zone (when constituted) to ensure that funds are included in the 2020 budget for the attainment of the above objective.
Hon. Haruna Mshelia moved the motion, and it was seconded by Hon. Abubakar Kusada. In leading the debate, Hon. Mshelia praised the government for the liberation of Borno State indigenes from Boko Haram captivity. He also attributed it to the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces as well as that of the civilian JTF.
He, however, pointed out that there still remains the remnants of Boko Haram that attack soft targets. He called for continuous support by the Armed Forces as well as the civilian JTF to ensure the complete liberation of the Northeast from the clutches of Boko Haram. The motion was voted on and passed.
11. Call on the Federal Government to Redress the Mass Exodus of Medical and Healthcare Professionals:
Hon. Yusuf Tanko Sununu:
Notes the adage that “health is wealth”, given that without a healthy and productive workforce, the economy of any nation would suffer jeopardy and progress would become stunted;
Also notes the abysmal health indices of the country which is rated as one of the worst in the world as Nigeria is counted among the countries with the highest material, new-born and under-5 mortality rates;
Further notes that the country is currently facing triple challenges of communicable diseases such as cholera, meningitis and tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, heart diseases, and diabetes and re-emerging infections like monkeypox and Lassa fever;
Aware that the human resources for health (medical/health workers) to population ratio for the country is far below the ratio recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) given that the doctor to patient ratio for Nigeria stands at 1:6000, as against the WHO’s recommended 1:600;
Aware that the gross deficiency of human resources in the health care sector causes a great delay in attending to the sick, especially in emergency situations often leading to preventable deaths and also burn-out syndrome which further reduces the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare provider;
Cognizant that Nigeria had one of the best healthcare delivery services in the 1970s and early 1980s among the Commonwealth countries as many foreign nationals came to be attended at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, however the situation started deteriorating in the late 1980s, thus leading to the exodus of practitioners to other countries with the attendant consequence of many of the medical colleges in the nation’s universities losing accreditation to train medical and healthcare practitioners;
Aware that the major reasons for the emigration of healthcare professionals which trend has been on the rise recently include embargo on employment, longer period in securing waivers for replacement of dead, retired or disengaged staff, poor job satisfaction, lack of capacity building, professional enhancement and fulfillment, among others and the effects of this negative trend include loss of specialists, especially the ones with rare skills in various fields of medicine and allied professions;
Also aware that the loss of lecturers by medical colleges lead to a reduction in the standard of medical education and training at both undergraduate and postgraduate/specialist levels, resulting into loss of accreditation by the medical colleges of universities and further reduces the number of new entrants into the medical and healthcare practice;
Informed that the worsening trend of medical tourism to other parts of the world with better resourced health sector is both a cause and effect as they have serious economic consequences, especially that of capital flight, noting that Nigeria lost more than $1billion to medical tourism in 2017 and the cumulative effect of all the above is that Nigeria would never achieve Universal Health Coverage, thus leaving her behind in the path of wholesome development among the comity of nations;
(i) Urge the Executive Arm of the Federal Government to lift the embargo on the employment of medical/health professionals as a matter of utmost priority;
(ii) also urge relevant agencies of government such as Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the National Salaries, Income, and Wages Commission, and the vacancies currently existing in the hospitals and medical and health training institutions resulting from the disengagement of staff;
(iii) further urge the Governments of the States of the Federation and federal capital Territory Authority (FCTA) to consider, with dispatch, the employment of medical and health professionals into the States and Local Government Health Services to fill existing vacancies and further bridge the gap in human resources for the health sector.
(iv) mandate the Committee on Healthcare Services (when constituted) to ensure compliance.
Hon. Yusuf Sununu moved the motion, and it was seconded by Hon. Leke Abejide.
The motion was voted on and passed.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE)
The Deputy Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Idris Wase presiding:
12. A Bill for an Act to Establish Proceeds of Crimes Management Agency and make Provisions for the Management of Properties derived from unlawful activities; and for Related Matters (HB. 64) (Hon. Babajimi Benson) (Committee of the Whole: 17/7/2019).
Synopsis of the report:
Hon. Julius Ihonvbere standing in for Hon. Babajimi Benson stated that the Bill helps Nigeria to be at par with the international community as regards handling proceeds of crime and it ensures monies and properties recovered can be tracked so that if they are disposed of; the proceeds can be used for the commonwealth of all Nigerians.
Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and carried: 1-30
HOUSE IN PLENARY
The House in Plenary Adopted its Votes and Proceedings in the Committee of the Whole
BILL FOR THIRD READING
The House suspended its relevant rules and the Leader of the House, Hon. Ado Doguwa Moved for the Third Reading of A Bill for an Act to Establish Proceeds of Crimes Management Agency and make Provisions for the Management of Properties derived from unlawful activities; and for Related Matters (HB. 64) just considered in the Committee of the Whole and it was Seconded by Hon. Tahir Monguno.
The Bill was voted on, approved for passage, the Clerk read the long title and it was passed.
The Leader of the House, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the adjournment of plenary till Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019, it was seconded by the Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu
Media Unit, Office of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives.