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Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Tuesday, November 5th, 2019. The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila presiding.

Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Tuesday, November 5th, 2019. The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila presiding.

After leading the opening prayer, the Speaker went on to examine and approve the votes and proceedings for Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 ______________________________

PETITIONS 1. Rep. Femi Fakeye presented a petition from a complainant against the National Arts Council where he was offered employment, but after a year of documentation, has not been paid. He was seeking the intervention of the House. 2. Rep. Gogo Bright presented a petition from some youths who were engaged on a search and rescue occupation but had not been paid their salaries. 3. Rep. Tyough Aondoana also presented a petition of some youth against the brutal force of the Nigeria Police on youth activities in their region of Benue State. 4. Rep. Sada Soli Jibia laid a petition from a constituent from Jibia/Kaita of Katsina State who was wrongfully dismissed from the Nigeria Police, he asked the House to intervene. 5. Rep. Victor Mela presented a petition from a complainant against the Ministry of Agriculture for non-payment of his salaries and entitlements, he craved the intervention of the House All petitions referred to the committee on public petitions. ______________________________

MOTION OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

Rep. Buba Yakub moved a motion on the urgent need for the House to save Nigerian diplomatic missions abroad and it was seconded by Rep. Gogo Bright. Buba in leading the debate pointed out the critical function of foreign missions as the image of the nation abroad. He urged the House to use its legislative tools to ensure the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ensures the missions and their workforce are well taken care of so they can portray the positive image Nigeria seeks to establish. He pointed out unfortunate incidents of attacks on Nigerian missions abroad by aggrieved individuals in some countries due to what they termed as inefficient services. He called for proper funding of such missions where they are sited, and that the missions be enabled to keep a percentage of the revenue generated through their services to help with their administrative costs. Rep. Buba also decried the zero capital allocation to these missions that have affected their efficiency and making them a laughing stock in diplomatic relations.

Gogo Bright stated that the foreign missions are a mirror reflection of who Nigerians are in the eyes of the international community, and no serious investor would visit a nation with a dilapidated foreign mission. He lamented the way Nigerian missions in virtually all countries are almost totally run down. Rotimi Agunsoye called for a collaboration between the legislature and the executive to ensure the Nigerian missions and image abroad are revived.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila emphasized the need to ensure there is a law that allows foreign missions to spend part of their internally generated revenue for administrative costs. He urged Rep. Buba to forward a Bill to that effect. the motion was voted on and adopted. ______________________________

PRESENTATION OF BILLS 1. Federal College of Agriculture, Katcha, Niger State (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.403) (Rep. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading. 2. Public Service Efficiency Bill, 2019 (HB.404) (Rep. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading. 3. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.405) (Rep. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading. 4. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 ((HB.406) (Rep. Dachung Musa Bagos) – First Reading. 5. National Rice Development Council Bill, 2019 (HB.407) (Rep. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading. 238​​​​​ Tuesday 5 November 2019​​​​​ No. 54 6. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.408) (Rep. Dachung Musa Bagos) – First Reading. 7. Counselling Practitioners Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.409) (Rep. Muhammad Ali Wudil) – First Reading. 8. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.410) (Rep. Dachung Musa Bagos) – First Reading. 9. Federal University of Medicine and Health Services, Bida, Niger State (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.411) (Rep. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading. 10. Traffic Warden Service Bill, 2019 (HB.412) (Rep. Alex Egbona) – First Reading. 11. Federal University of Agriculture, Igboora, Oyo State, (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.413) (Rep. Muraina S. Ajibola) – First Reading. 12. Armed Forces Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.414) (Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante) – First Reading. 13. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.415) (Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante and 13 others) – First Reading. 14. Sea Fisheries Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.416) (Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante) – First Reading. 15. National Institute for Brackish Water Fisheries Research, Ngo-Andoni (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.417) (Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante) – First Reading. 16. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.418) (Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante) – First Reading. 17. Private Guard Companies Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.419) (Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante) – First Reading. 18. Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.420) (Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante) – First Reading. 19. Closed Circuit Television (Compulsory Installation etc.) Bill, 2019 (HB.421) (Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante) – First Reading. 20. River Niger Transit Act (Repeal) Bill, 2019 (HB.422) (Rep. Awaji-Inombek Abiante) – First Reading. ______________________________

ORDERS OF THE DAY BILL

1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Acts Authentication Act, Cap. A2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and for Related Matters (HB.18) (Rep. Benjamin Okezie Kalu) – Second Reading. Debate Rep. Kalu moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Rurum Usman. In leading the debate, Rep. Kalu stated that the amendment seeks to bridge the gap of Bill tracking and curbing the waste of time and resources associated with the process. It also seeks to ensure the authentication and implementation of such critical Bills in the lives of Nigerians. He proposed 30 days for the Clerk of the National Assembly to authenticate such Bills between both Houses of Parliament, as well as ensuring the transmission of the Bills to the President for assent or withholding such assent should also be done within another 30 days. The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the committee on Justice. ______________________________

MOTIONS

2. Reconsideration of Outstanding Bills from the Preceding Assembly, Pursuant to Order Twelve, Rule 16 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives: Rep. Abubakar Hassan Fulata: (i) Environmental Health Officers Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.44); (ii) Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan Bill, 2019 (HB.46) (iii) Environmental Health Bill, 2019 (HB. 48); (iv) Federal Capital Territory Health Insurance Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 60) (v) Health Records Officers Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2019 (HB.179); (vi) Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB.180); (vii) National Ethics and Values Compliance (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 242); (viii) National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency Bill, 2019 (HB.288); (ix) Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute Bill, 2019 (HB.290); (x) Federal University of Agriculture, Sabon Gida, Langtang (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB.291); (xi) Climate Change Bill, 2019 (HB. 357); (xii) Federal Roads Bill, 2019 (HB. 362); (xiii) National Roads Fund Bill, 2019, (HB. 367); The House: Notes that pursuant to Order Twelve (12), Rule 16 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, 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 aforementioned Bills were 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 Bills were re-gazetted as HBs. 44, 46, 48, 60, 179, 180, 242, 288, 290, 291, 357, 362 and 367 respectively read the first time; Resolves to: Commit the Bills to the Committee of the Whole for consideration. Debate Rep. Hassan Fulata moved the motion, it was voted on, adopted and committed to the committee of the whole. 3. ​Call for Rehabilitation of Ikirun-Eko Ende Junction-Ore-Ilie-Ilosin/Ogbomoso Road and Construction of Ilie Bridge Connecting Ilie to adjoining Communities: Rep. Afolabi Rasheed Olalekan. The House: Notes the deplorable state of Ikirun-Eko Ende Junction-Ore- Ilie-Iosin/Ogbomoso Road and the abandoned Ilie bridge connecting the town to Ikirun, Eko Ajala, Eko Ende, Ore, Olowosoke, Agbeye and Ilie to Ogbomoso in Oyo State; Aware that the contract for the design and construction of Ilie bridge over River Erinle in Osun State was awarded by the then Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to Messrs MM & IF Integrated Nigeria Limited at the cost of N494,696,895.00 in 2011 with the expected date of completion in 2012, but it is yet to be completed; Also aware that another contract for augmentation of the subsisting contract for additional work and review of the rates for construction of the bridge was awarded by the then Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to Messrs MM & IF Integrated Nigeria Limited at the cost of N2, 546, 757, 559.10 in 2018 with an expected date of completion in December 2020, and yet the contractor has not mobilized to site; Worried that the absence of a connecting bridge along the dilapidated road is aggravating environmental degradation and erosion scourge in the vicinity because the accumulated rainwater is not channeled properly and therefore ends up flowing into people's farmlands and homes;

Also notes that the continued abandonment of this vital bridge that serves as a link with the adjoining communities is inhibiting movement and hampering the transportation of agricultural produce from the predominantly farming communities to the urban centers; Cognizant that if an urgent action is not taken, especially in view of the current economic realities, the people of those communities will continue to suffer economic hardships and also remain at the mercy of perennial flooding that is ravaging the area; Resolves to: Mandate the Committees on Works and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and FERMA with a view to bringing about the rehabilitation of the road and expedite action on the construction of the abandoned bridge. Debate Rep. Olalekan moved the motion and it was seconded by Rep. Chinedu Obidigwe. As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on, adopted and referred to the committees on Works and FERMA. 4.​ Need to Rehabilitate Aguleri-Otuocha-Ezuanaku-Omor-Omasi-Adani Road: Rep. Vincent Ofumelu. The House: Notes that the Aguleri-Otuocha-Ezuanaku-Omor-Omasi-Adani Road which was constructed by the Administration of late President Shehu Shagari in the early 1980’s links the agrarian communities of Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State and Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, which are the food baskets of the two neighbouring States; Concerned that the continuous neglect of the road by both the Governments of the States and the Federal Government has left it in a state of disrepair and thus turned to a haven for all forms of criminal activities and a source of major environmental degradation; Worried about the quantity of agricultural produce that goes to waste in the course of conveyance to the markets due to the bad road, which would have fed up to 10% of Nigerians, especially with the ban on imported food items like rice, in a bid to boost local production; Cognizant that the vision for the creation of the Anambra/Imo River Basin Development Authority to support agricultural initiatives for increased food production for local consumption and export has been defeated due to the deplorable state of the Roads in the areas; Disturbed that despite the persistent cries of residents and commuters for remedial actions on the road, nothing has been done by successive governments to ameliorate the situation, leaving the people to undergo hardships while commuting to their various destinations with the attendant resentment against the Government; Resolves to: (i) Urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to carry out rehabilitation work on the Aguleri-Otuocha-Ezuanaku-Omor-Omasi-Adani Road; (ii) Mandate the Committees on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and Appropriations to ensure that the project is accommodated in the 2020 budget estimates. Debate Rep. Ofumelu moved the motion and it was seconded by Rep. Taiwo Oluga. As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on, adopted and referred to the committees on Appropriations, Works and FERMA. 5.​ Looming Reoccurrence of Ebola Crisis in Nigeria Rep. Paschal Chigozie Obi The House: Notes the recent outbreak of Ebola Virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in March 2019 where more than 1000 cases of Ebola infections were reported; Recalls that in 2014, the Ebola epidemic spread to some West African countries such as Guinea, Sierra-Leone, Liberia and then to Nigeria, when a Liberian, Mr Patrick Sawyer, arrived Lagos by aeroplane and infected many Nigerians, including doctors and nurses;

Also recalls that the virus quickly spread to different parts of Nigeria, causing up to 50% death rate of infected people; Conscious of different measures by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to curtail the menace of Ebola, ranging from issuing an alert to Airline Operators directing them to ensure a high level of vigilance and ensure that proper checks were carried out on passengers and other relevant measures such as providing sanitizers and clinical equipment, where necessary; Also conscious of steps taken by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on August 8, 2019, to sensitize the public by declaring Ebola outbreak a public health emergency of international concern and also raising alarm on the need for nations to take preventive actions against the possible further outbreak of Ebola virus; Commends the Federal Government for its efforts in tackling the menace of the Ebola disease in 2014, notwithstanding the ravaging force it came with; Worried that given the proximity of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Nigeria and other West Africa Countries, if necessary measures are not put in place to prevent the reoccurrence of the pandemic in a densely populated country like Nigeria, the impact may worsen and become difficult to curb; Also worried that aside from the airport rout which gave access to the initial outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria, there are other routes such as seaports and land borders which enables entry into Nigeria, hence, the need for precautionary measures to be extended to the seaports and land borders; Resolves to: (i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Health to deploy necessary materials and personnel at the airports, seaports and land borders for carrying out screening exercise on passengers; (ii) Also, urge the Federal Government to set aside funds for the management of the Ebola virus in the event of its reoccurrence in Nigeria; (iii) Mandate the Committees on Health care Services and Health Institutions to ensure that relevant agencies take precautionary measures to avert the reoccurrence of the Ebola Disease. Debate Rep. Obi moved the motion and it was seconded by Rep. Dachung Bagos. The Deputy Speaker reiterated the seriousness of the motion and asked that the motion be passed for further investigation as not to scare the public without facts. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Committee on Health and other related Committees. 6.​ Immortalization of Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh Rep. Akiolu Moshood Kayode The House: Recalls that in 2014, Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, a Nigerian physician, risked her life in a bid to curb the spread of the Ebola Virus in Nigeria by placing a Liberian-American diplomat, Mr Patrick Sawyer, whom she suspected of having the virus in quarantine; Also recalls that Mr Sawyer entered Nigeria from Liberia to attend an Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) conference in Calabar, the Cross River State capital but on arrival at the Lagos Airport on 20 July 2014, he collapsed and was taken to First Consultants Medical Centre, a private hospital in Lagos, where Dr Adadevoh worked; Notes that despite Mr Sawyer’s initial positive malaria diagnosis, Dr Adadevoh remained suspicious and got Mr Sawyer tested for Ebola Virus and despite personal risks, threats and diplomatic pressures on her to discharge the diplomat to attend the conference while waiting for the outcome of the test, she refused, stating that “for the greater public good” she would not release him; Also notes that the Liberian Government had threatened to sue Dr Adadevoh for kidnapping and holding the diplomat against his will; Regrets that by quarantining Mr Sawyer in the hospital, Dr Adadevoh and some of her staff became infected as Mr Sawyer was diagnosed with Ebola infection from which he eventually died in the hospital on 25 July 2014; Cognizant that the Nigerian Health Sector was not fully prepared for the Ebola Virus, hence Dr Adadevoh and members of her medical team had to make do with the resources available to them and in the process, were exposed to and eventually died from the virus; Appreciates Dr Adadevoh's bravery and professionalism which saved Nigeria from a devastating impact of an uncontrolled outbreak of the Ebola Virus and thus prompted the Government, good-spirited individuals and organizations, and the international community to deploy resources to curb the outbreak of Ebola virus; Further recalls that the actions of Dr Adadevoh allowed a swift, strategic and coordinated containment process of the Ebola Virus in Nigeria and all possible contacts with Mr Sawyer were established and quickly contained and consequently, on 20 October 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Nigeria Ebola Free; Aware that Nigeria recorded a total of 8 deaths out of the 20 Ebola cases, with 11 health workers being part of the victims, of which 5 died, including the proactive Dr Adadevoh who died on 19 August 2014;

Also cognizant that Dr. Adadevoh had been consistent in her acts of patriotism even before the Ebola incidence, as in 2012, she was the first doctor to issue an alert to the Federal Ministry of Health on the need to take proactive steps when the HINI (Swine flu) spread to Lagos, an action that contributed to averting an outbreak of the flu; Concerned that failure to give due recognition to the heroic acts of Dr Adadevoh could dampen the spirit of patriotism among Nigerians, especially health care workers, and possibly deter others from making sacrifices for the nation; Resolves to: (i) Observe a minute silence in memory of Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, her medical team and all Nigerians who died from the Ebola virus; (ii) Urge the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recognize the heroic acts of patriotism of Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh and her medical team and confer a befitting Posthumous National honour on her; (iii) Also, urge the Federal Ministry of Health to assess and certify Nigeria’s emergency preparedness against unexpected epidemics; ​ (iv) Call on the Federal Ministry of Education and other related authorities to ensure the inclusion of the heroic deeds of Dr Adadevoh and other such national heroes in the country's civic education curricula to build the spirit of patriotism and nationalism in the young ones; (v) Further urge the Federal Government to recognise and provide every support necessary for Ebola virus survivors and the families of Ebola victims; (vi) Mandate the Committee on Health care services to ensure compliance. Debate Rep. Kayode moved the motion and it was seconded by Rep. Emmanuel Igwe. In leading the debate Rep. Kayode called the attention of the House to the brave acts of Dr Adadevoh under such intense pressure, these acts he stated made the difference between Nigeria containing the situation and national pandemonium. As one that laid the supreme price, she deserves to be honoured. Her actions of hindering Mr. sawyer, Dr Adadevoh saved the lives of those in Lagos, those they may have come in contact with and the international community at the Calabar international conference and those they would have been in contact within Nigeria and internationally. Rep. Oghene Egoh in his contribution stated that the Repor of Dr Adadevoh is long overdue because she willfully gave her life for Nigerians. Rep. Chinedu Obidigwe called for the honouring of Dr Adadevoh to inspire the patriotic spirit in others. He called for the renaming of a national monument in her Repor for defending the Repor and sanctity of Nigerian and other human lives. Rep. Uzoma Nkem Abonta praised the courage and patriotism of Dr Adadevoh and proposed the renaming of a national medical health center after her to Immortalize her name. Rep. Luke Onofiok stated that patriotism is the real panacea for corruption, so anyone patriotic to the level of paying the supreme price should be Repored without delay. He called for the honouring of the other medical personnel who lost their lives in fighting Ebola, and also the likes like late Prof. Dora Akunyili. Rep. Onofiok called for the honouring of others too in the fight against insecurity to keep the fire of patriotism burning in the Nigerian society. Rep. Omowumi Ogunlola stated that honouring national heroes is a global phenomenon which Nigeria is also known for, so honouring Dr Adadevoh and her team should not be an exception. This she said is not just for Dr Adadevoh, her team and family and friends, but for the encouragement of others nationally. Rep. Taiwo Onuga stated that the best way to find oneself is to lose oneself in service and this is the embodiment of Dr Adadevoh. She stated that just as we go to great lengths to punish unpatriotic acts, patriotism should be honoured in great lengths too to encourage the younger generation. Rep. Sada Soli Jibia stated that the story of the Ebola containment in Nigeria would not be complete without mentioning Dr Adadevoh who saved lives by giving hers. He bemoaned the delay in honouring her sacrifice taking into cognizance the enormity of the ripple effects to her brave acts. Rep. Benjamin Kalu called for changing of the African narrative by the celebration of the story of Dr Adadevoh nationally and internationally so that the Nigerian spirit can be celebrated in a positive light. Rep. Babajide Obanikoro stated that the hospital where Dr Adadevoh saved Nigerians is in his constituency in Eti-Osa, Lagos State and he remains grateful for the acts of Dr Adadevoh. Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha reminded members that the House of Representatives passed a resolution that the family of Dr Adadevoh be taken care of, she hopes that resolution was adhered to. Rep. Onyejeocha praised the selfless will of Dr Adadevoh who portrayed the true Nigerian spirit and called on all Nigerians to emulate this spirit. She called for the setup of a well-funded foundation on behalf of Dr Adadevoh so that others can continue to benefit from her legacy. She called on the House Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure the earlier resolution of the House for the nation to take care of Dr Adadevoh's family is being complied with and report back to the House.

The motion was voted on, adopted as amended to name a health institution in Lagos state after late Dr Stella Adadevoh and referred to the relevant committees of the House. 7.​ Need to Enhance a Broad-Based Agricultural Policy in the Country with Emphasis on Youth Participation: Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, ​​​​Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Rep. Ossai N. Ossai​​​​​Rep. Chris Azubogu​​​ Rep. Chukwuma Onyema ​​​​Rep. Magaji Da’u Aliyu Rep. Boma Goodhead.​​​ The House: Aware of the dire prerequisite of initiating and driving a deliberate and broad-based agricultural policy in order to galvanize the required economic diversification in the country; Also aware of the large youth population which ought to stimulate economic activities but could also result in a demographic disaster if this enormous youth population is not provided with adequate social and economic investments to harness their potentials; Concerned about the absence of a clear strategy in place to ensure a youth inclined agricultural policy where the youths can earn from the agricultural sector and be able to contribute to the growth in the gross domestic product, and the economy at large while also assuring food security in the country; Notes the 2012 Baseline Survey of the National Bureau of Statistics which revealed that 37.0 percent of the youths are engaged in agriculture, spreading through various sub-sectors like crops, livestock, fishing and forestry; Also notes that the same Baseline Survey indicated a distribution of the annual turnover of the youths from agricultural business based on types of activity as crop farming contributed the sum of four trillion (N3trn) naira, livestock contributed two trillion (N2trn) naira, poultry contributed twenty billion (N20bn) naira, fishing also contributed twenty billion (N20bn) naira, while forestry contributed one billion (N1bn) naira; Further notes that Agricultural Programmes of successive Administrations like the National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) and Green Revolution (GR) were policies which showed genuine intent towards Agricultural Revolution in the country; Recognizes government's efforts towards diversifying the economy, with emphasis on the agricultural sector as evident in the Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative (PEDI), the Anchor Borrowers Programme, Presidential Fertilizer Initiative and the much-publicized Food Security Council; Also recognizes and lauds government's Social Investment Programme which earmarks about one hundred and fifty billion (N150bn) naira for conditional cash transfer to the vulnerable, school feeding programme and a monthly disbursement of N30, 000 to youths between the ages of 18 - 35 years aimed at training 500,000 university graduates to be deployed to work in their local communities as teachers, agricultural and health support workers, among others; Determined to complement the efforts of the executive arm by deliberately shaping government's policy in the area of social investment programmes in order to accommodate and enhance more youth participation in agriculture, thereby making agricultural activities attractive to more than half of Nigeria's population comprising mostly the youths; Desirous of initiating a broad-based agricultural programme that is youth inclined, using the National Social Investment Programme as a platform; Resolves to: (i) Mandate the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services to appraise the National Social Investment Programme with a view to creating the opportunity and possibility of engaging more than 50 percent of the youth population in various agricultural activities; (ii) Also mandate the Committee to organize a public hearing or stakeholders meeting centred on developing a broad-based agricultural programme with a focus on the creation of agricultural clusters in the country as well as youth participation in view of the National Social Intervention Programme. Debate Rep. Nkem Abonta moved the motion and it was seconded by Rep. Bitrus Laori. In leading the debate, Rep. Abonta stated that the motion seeks to ensure food security for Nigerians. He called for the proper channelling of social investment programs and safety nets to ensure well-trained professionals are engaged in all service delivery channels. He called for a broad-based agricultural policy that would have a true national spread to all local government areas of Nigeria.

Rep. Sergius Ogun in his contribution appreciated the government for the steps taken so far in the rice value chain program. He called for such dedication and professionalism to be spread to other agricultural produce. Rep. Ogun called for the repackaging of the agricultural sector as obtained in the oil sector. He also called for proper implementation of technological advancement initiatives in the agricultural sector and the development of agricultural produce to all forms of finished goods. Rep. Ogun called on the Federal government to channel the social safety nets to this agricultural development initiative. Rep. Victor Mela stated that agriculture is one of the only ways to ensure the survival of the majority of Nigerians for a foreseeable future. He stated that almost all states in Nigeria are agro-based on a menial level and need technological development and financial investment. Rep. Mela stated that these engagements would ensure the youth are meaningfully engaged, self-sufficient and can then resist being pawns for violence. Rep. Bitrus Laori stated that the Nigerian youth have one of the most creative minds and unfortunately they have been skewed negatively. He called for the Federal government to ensure agriculture is repackaged so it can become a viable alternative to the shortcuts being employed by the Nigerian youth now. Rep. Wale Raji bemoaned the lack of sustainability of good ideas and programs that made the old Nigerian regions to thrive in the past. With a major percentage of the Nigerian population under 30, Rep. Raji stated that if the youth are not positively engaged; Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. He called for the political will to begin to meet the yearning and aspirations of Nigerians before national frustration becomes uncontrollable. He called for the development of all value chains linked to agriculture. Rep. Sada Soli Jibia called for the involvement of banks, organizations and businessmen in the agricultural sector. He asked for huge investments in the sector if success is truly desired. Rep. Jibia recognized the enormity of funds needed to turn the agricultural sector to a more advanced and functioning one and clarified that with the numerous responsibilities of government; it is evident government needs help to effectively develop the sector. Rep. Saidu Abdullahi called for the full implementation and backing of the ideas already being introduced by the government and on a full national scale. He called on leaders to be alive and responsible to the needs of the public and positively engage those in their communities in self-sustaining ventures. Rep. Igwe Emmanuel stated that agricultural development is the means of dealing with unemployment on a large scale. He called for the social intervention programs to be channelled to helping the youth to be more involved in agriculture. Rep. Mohammed Wudil stated that the motion mandating the Committee on Agriculture to ensure compliance was infringing into the purview of the Committee of the House set up to oversight social intervention programs. He praised the spirit of the motion but called for channelling of funds earmarked for agriculture to suit agricultural needs, while social intervention is all-encompassing of not just youth, but national development at all forms and levels, through various activities, not just agriculture.

The Deputy Speaker, Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase also shared the concern of stifling other policies of government to improve just one sector which has been duly budgeted for through various other initiatives and policies. There was then an amendment to ensure all funds budgeted for agricultural policies be duly expended for the development of the sector and leave the implementation of social safety initiatives for the purposes they were set up for to avoid manipulation. The motion was voted on and adopted as amended. _____________________________

Adjournment:

The House adjourned plenary till Wednesday, 6th November 2019 following a motion for adjournment moved by the Deputy Leader of the House, Rep. Peter Akpatason and seconded by Rep. Vincent Ofumelu

Courtesy: Media Unit,

Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives

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