After leading the opening prayer, the Speaker went on to examine and approve the Plenary Votes and Proceedings for Tuesday, September 17th, 2019.
Hon. Jimoh Aremu brought a petition from a constituent who was complaining about being wrongfully dismissed from service, he craved the intervention of the House for his reinstatement.
The petition was then referred to the committee on public petitions
Admittance into the Chamber:
Hon. Garba Alhassan Ado Doguwa moved a motion that the House; pursuant to Order 19, Rule 8 (2) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, do admit into the Chamber, Mr. Oscar Onyema, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airline for the purpose of commending him for air lifting Nigerians from South Africa, following the Xenophobic attacks on them, it was seconded by Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila praised Mr. Onyema for showing exceptional human character in sacrificing his business time and profit to bring back Nigerians who were facing life threatening attacks in South Africa. Hon. Gbajabiamila on behalf of the House of Representatives commended and appreciated him and urged other Nigerians to emulate him and that the Federal Government commends his gesture and bestows a national honor on him.
Mr. Onyema in his response to the commendation from the Honourable Speaker stated that he felt honored and encouraged from the leadership of the House of Representatives, and that would urge himself, as well as other people in the private sector to do more for Nigerians. The decision to airlift Nigerians from South Africa was spontaneous to stop the suffering of Nigerians in South Africa and stop the stigmatization of Nigerians worldwide. He acknowledged that though his airline may be blacklisted in South Africa which would adversely affect his business earnings; he does not regret his decision.
He is happy that evacuating Nigerians have sent a clear signal that Nigerian lives matter. He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the matured way he handled the issue.
He also commended the Nigerian Consular General to South Africa, his pilots, cabin crew and friends of Nigeria for the success of the operation. Some of the Nigerians coming have been stranded for years without means of coming back home. He called on the Nigerian government to compensate Nigerians who have lost their livelihood in South Africa. He assured that Air Peace is ready to continue to serve in this capacity.
The xenophobic attacks have bonded Nigeria in a new way to appreciate one another and he admonished Nigerians to fight for each other and not against each other so that Nigeria as a nation can stand strong. He called for more unity in diversity and that the diversity not be used for ethno-religious divides, he called on Nigerians to fight for broad nationalism and use the diversity and size of the population to build a stronger nation.
In contributing, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha thanked Mr. Onyema for restoring the dignity of Nigerians in South Africa and showing that Nigerians have a home and country that loves them. She assured him that he would reap the benefits of his sacrifice for his country men.
Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso praised Mr. Onyema as a great employer of labor and a detribalized Nigerian who has made Nigerians proud by his legacy, he also called on all well meaning Nigerians to show true national sacrifice.
Hon. Olufemi Bamisile commended Mr. Onyema for being a shining beacon of integrity and forthrightness and thanked him for his charge to all Nigerians to unite. He called on the Federal Government to make a positive example of Mr. Onyema to encourage people to be selflessly good.
Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno expressed the desire that a sizable chapter of Nigeria's history be dedicated to Mr. Onyema's example for sacrificing his business profit for the love of his country men and women.
Hon. Sada Soli Jibia praised Mr. Onyema for shedding light on the hope of a progressive Nigeria by this exceptional act that is a first worldwide as evacuations are always done by governments.
Hon. Ifeanyi Momah who represents Ihiala Federal Constituency where Mr. Onyema comes from stated that Mr. Onyema is a son the community has always been proud of and respect.
Hon. Chris Azubogu praised Mr. Onyema as a courageous Nigerian worth emulating. Hon. Haruna Dederi praised Mr. Onyema for his track record of doing good sacrificial deeds like his contribution in the amnesty program, almajiri school system and the disaster management schemes and expressed the hope that Mr. Onyema's name remains crafted in gold.
Hon. Isiaka Ibrahim stated that his state of Ogun benefited most from the gesture of Mr. Onyema and feels personally indebted to Mr. Onyema's goodwill.
Hon. Yakubu Barde commended the Speaker for having the knack of always exposing exceptional Nigerians for commendation which serves to encourage others to do more. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu commended and thanked Mr. Onyema for being a humble, detribalized and an exemplary Nigerian. He stated that Mr. Onyema's action has positively laundered the image of Nigerians worldwide.
Hon. Elumelu also praised the Speaker for his stand on the xenophobic attack.
Hon. Julius Pondi remembered how Mr. Onyema used his non-governmental organization to train militant agitators so as to eschew violence and embrace peaceful usefulness. He stated how he and some others were trained internationally and equipped to train others by Mr. Onyema's organization.
Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa praised the foresight of the Speaker for seeing it fit to recognize and commend Mr. Onyema for his good deeds and in essence encouraging him and other well-meaning Nigerians to do more for Nigeria. He commended Mr. Onyema for the rescue mission in the heat of the attacks which is an action words cannot equate. He called on other Nigerians with means to emulate the character of Mr. Onyema. He called on members to make it a commitment to always fly Air Peace when traveling.
Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas moved a motion that the National Assembly officially recommends to the Federal Government that Mr. Onyema be conferred with one of the highest national honors as his action has positively changed the perception of the world towards Nigerians worldwide.
The motion was seconded by Hon. Isiaka Ibrahim.
It was voted on and passed.
The Speaker then directed the clerk of the House of Representatives to immediately get a letter of commendation from the Office of the Speaker addressed to Mr. Onyema and to transmit the resolution of the House recommending Mr. Onyema for a high national award to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS
1. Nigerian Film Corporation Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 324) (Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun) – First Reading.
2. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.325) (Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun) – First Reading.
3. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.326) (Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun) – First Reading.
4. Firearms Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.327) (Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun) – First Reading.
5. Chartered Institute of Management Information Technology of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.328) (Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun) – First Reading.
6. Chartered Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.329) (Hon. Gideon Gwani) – First Reading.
7. Nigerian Press Council Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.330) (Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun) – First Reading.
8. Fiscal Responsibility Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.331) (Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun) – First Reading.
9. National Broadcasting Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.332) (Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun) – First Reading.
10. Border Communities Development Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 333) (Hon. Kolawole Lawal) – First Reading.
MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved a motion on the urgent need to investigate the act of gross negligence in the process of handling the contract between the Nigerian Petroleum Resources Ministry and the Industrial Development Ltd. that has led to a negative judgement in a court of law against Nigeria and the efforts aimed at correcting the mode of its execution.
It was seconded by Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.
Hon. Ihonvbere by the motion frowned at the handling of the contract process as it is in clear disregard for the development of Nigeria's gas sector. The terms of the contract has continued to drain the petroleum resources of Nigeria without commensurate development in Nigeria to the tune of over $9 billion.
He also termed as unfortunate the slow manner in which the necessary redress through prosecution aimed at correcting the situation is being handled. He called for the House committees on Justice and that on Petroleum Resources to investigate the matter and recommend appropriate actions where necessary and initiate the proper line of actions to correct the illegality.
Hon. Benjamin Kalu proposed the setting up of an Ad-Hoc committee to speedily investigate the issues and report back to the House.
Hon. Bamidele Salam called for a thorough investigation to see why the terms of the contract was against the economic and national interest of Nigeria.
Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji termed as unfortunate the fact that scarce resources are being wasted in servicing such a contract when Nigeria can barely fund its budget. He called for the investigation to punish the culprits as a form of deterrence against future unpatriotic acts, this view was re-echoed by Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno.
Hon. Luke Onofiok praised the spirit of the motion as it seeks to prevent waste of scarce funds and correct the huge wrong done to the common wealth of Nigerians. He also queried the modalities behind entering into the said contract. Hon. Onofiok used the opportunity to call for the passage of the PIGB and that the assigned Committees do a good job to correct the wrong image of Nigeria as being a country that is unwilling to meet its contractual obligations.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila approved the setting up of an Ad-Hoc Committee to be chaired by Hon. Sada Soli Jibia to speedily and comprehensively investigate the issue.
The motion was voted on and passed as amended.
2. Hon. Aishatu Dukku moved a motion on the devastating effects of flood that has ravaged her entire constituency and it was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Galadima. Hon. Dukku expressed fear that if urgent aid isn't given to the affected; there could be the outbreak of communicable diseases. To this, she urged the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA) to speedily provide relief for the affected.
The Speaker of the House urged for the motion to include all other constituencies ravaged by flood so that the relief efforts can be holistic.
An amendment of the prayer of the motion was moved by Hon. Henry Nwawuba and seconded by Hon. Babangida Alasan.
As a devastation related motion, it was voted on and passed as amended.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Export Prohibition Act, Cap. E22, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and for Related Matters (HB. 29) (Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Hon. Benjamin O. Kila) - Second Reading.
Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Rotimi Agunsonye. In leading the debate Hon. Monguno stated that the Bill seeks to ensure the diversification of the Nigerian economy away from oil and ensure the exploration and development of other resources to become exportable goods. He urged members to support the drive as it is set to develop many sectors including the agricultural and processing sectors among others. He called for the repeal of the Act as it currently exists, due to the fact that it is a disadvantage to would-be entrepreneurs.
Hon. Nicholas Ossai praised the Bill for the multiplier effect on the development of varying sectors of the economy, which is sure to improve trade, foreign relations and exchange. He also stated that the value chain of many products will also be harnessed by the full implementation of the Bill.
Hon. Nkem Abonta supported the Bill so that the law restricting export thereby shortchanging the nation be repelled expeditiously, a view also shared by Hon. Ade Adeogun and Hon. Anthony Afe.
Hon. Sada Jibia however opposed the Bill as he stated that the ban on excessive export was to ensure food security. He stated that the export promotion council was there to ensure the proper export is being supported.
Hon. Yusuf Gagdi also supported the Bill but called for balance and caution in the outright repeal of the existing Act as to ensure the fear of threatening food security in Nigeria is not realized.
Hon. Akin Alabi supported the Bill as it seeks to support the development of small and medium industries which would help generate employment and wealth diversification.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading.
The clerk read its long title and was referred to the Committee on Commerce.
The House adjourned plenary till Thursday, 19 September, 2019 following a motion for adjournment moved by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.
Media Unit, Office of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives..