The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase presiding.
After leading the opening prayer, the Deputy Speaker went on to examine and approve the votes and proceedings for Thursday, November 7th, 2019
1. Rep. Nasir Ahmed laid a petition from a coalition complaining of the incessant abduction of children mostly for financial reasons who end up having their names and religions changed by their abductors, this he stated has led the rescued children to a form of identity crisis. The coalition called on the Inspector General of Police to investigate the trend.
The petition was referred to the committee on public petitions
MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
1. Rep. Sada Soli Jibia moved a motion on the need to halt the operations of the Nigeria customs service restricting the supply of petroleum products to towns within 20 kilometres of the Nigerian border and it was seconded by Rep. Bello Kaoje. The operation is said to have been aimed at discouraging the smuggling of petroleum products outside Nigerian borders. Rep. Soli stated that the inhabitants of these border towns are already feeling the brunt of the border closure, to now deny them petroleum products which will adversely affect hospitals, businesses, the supplementing of the source of epileptic power etc. without due consultation and enlightenment is most insensitive to the plight of these Nigerians. He stated that being from Jibia in Katsina State which is also a border community; he has seen firsthand the adverse effects of this operation as the price of petroleum has skyrocketed beyond what is the reach of the common man.
He called on the House to call the customs service to order as the action is unconstitutional. Rep. Abdullahi Abdulkadir stated that the decision of the Nigeria customs service is draconian and aimed at increasing the level of suffering of the people without consideration of the effects. He called on the Nigeria customs to reverse the decision. Rep. Fatuhu Mohammed stated that the people in his constituency in Daura of Katsina State are suffering immeasurably and the Nigeria customs service should be sensitive to them as Nigerians and reverse the policy. Rep. Mohammed Umar decried the uncontrollable increase of petroleum products prices in these regions and called on the House to come to the aid of Nigerians who are suffering. The motion was then voted on and adopted.
2. Rep. Taiwo Oluga moved a motion on the plight of some beneficiaries of the N-Power program, especially in the teaching profession being excluded from subsequent benefits and it was seconded by Rep. Abdullahi Abdulkadir. In leading the debate Rep. Oluga stated that the beneficiaries who have their stipends withheld are supposed to be those with queries on truant behaviour, but it has become worrisome, especially in the Southwestern states where credible teachers have their stipends withheld without any queries or stipulated offence.
She urged the House to investigate the issue to set the records straight if the program is becoming discriminatory or some people are trying to sabotage the good efforts of the federal government aimed at helping out Nigerians, and maybe carry out some form of financial mismanagement. As an investigative motion, it was voted on and adopted.
3. Rep. Zainab Gimba moved a motion on the flood disaster in Kala Balge community in Borno State and it was seconded by Rep. Aishatu Dukku. She stated that the flood had destroyed farmlands and settlements and the residents are suffering untold hardship. Rep. Gimba stated that the level of the flood seems to have overwhelmed the resources of the state government, she then called on NEMA to come to the aid of those affected and the committees on ecological fund and disaster management to ensure compliance, as a disaster-related motion, it was voted on, adopted and referred to the relevant committees of the House.
4. Rep. Victor Akinjo moved a motion on the collapse of the security structure in the Ilaje local government area of his constituency in Ondo State and it was seconded by Rep. Abubakar Nalaraba. Rep. Akinjo stated that the state of insecurity has allowed violence to continue unabated and has claimed the lives of many individuals. He also stressed the state of fear which residents in the region live in which he said has caused many to contemplate fleeing their homes. Rep. Akinjo called on the relevant security agencies in the nation, especially the police to mobilize adequate personnel to the community and called on the House to ensure compliance. As an investigative motion, it was voted on, adopted and referred to the relevant committee of the House
PRESENTATION OF BILL
Finance Bill, 2019 (HB.423) (Executive) – First Reading.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
1. Need to Rehabilitate Akwanga - Jos Road:
Rep. Solomon Bulus Maren, Rep. Garba Shehu Nicholas, Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase, Rep. Usman Abdulkarim, Rep. Bagos Musa Dachung, Rep. Simon Davou Mwadkum:
Notes that Akwanga-Jos Road is a federal Road connecting Plateau State with Nasarawa State, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kaduna State and other States in the North East and North West of the country;
Aware of the economic importance of the Road for transportation and other economic activities in the North-Central geopolitical zone;
Worried that over 50% of accidents recorded on the road are caused by avoidable portholes;
Believes that the dilapidated state of the road will continue to pose serious threat and danger to lives and road users if not rehabilitated;
(i) Urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently award a contract for the rehabilitation of the road;
(ii) mandate the Committee on FERMA to ensure implementation.
Rep. Maren moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate the Akwanga - Jos road and it was seconded by Rep. Balarabe Salame Abdullahi. As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on, adopted and referred to the relevant committee of the House.
2. Construction of Roads in Nigeria with Concrete Pavement:
Rep. Makwe Livinus Makwe:
Notes that the prevalent method of road construction in Nigeria is asphalt which has a short life span, particularly in areas that experience heavy rainfall and easily develops potholes that account for the high percentage of accidents that cause deaths on the roads;
Concerned that despite improvements in road construction technology, Nigeria is still living in the past by expending efforts and scarce resources in their billions, in regularly resurfacing and maintaining asphalted roads;
Also concerned that while most nations have transited to cost and life-saving technologies in road construction, Nigeria is still stuck with asphalt technology which suffers short life span and high net costs and aggravates the rate of loss of lives on the roads;
Aware that concrete paved roads are very durable, carry very high traffic loads and require little or no maintenance over the course of several years;
Also aware that concrete pavements are produced from the abundant and locally available materials like granite, sand, cement and water and therefore, the adoption of this method will have multiplier effects in job creation in the road materials sector;
Appreciates that using concrete pavement guarantees durability, cost savings, environmental safety and elimination of the high mortality rates on the roads;
(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, States Ministries of Works, Contractors, Professionals and the Private Sector to consider using concrete pavement technology in the construction of roads in Nigeria;
(ii) mandate the Committee on Works to ensure compliance.
Rep. Makwe moved the motion on the need to improve the quality of materials in the construction of Nigerian roads and it was seconded by Rep. Sylvester Ogbaga. As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and adopted.
3. Need to Relocate Giwa Barracks to the Outskirts of Galtimari in Borno State:
Rep. Satomi Ahmed:
Notes that Giwa barracks, located in Galtimari Area of Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, was originally built as a military school for signals and communications but later converted in 1979 to serve as the office of the Brigade Commander of the 21 Armoured Brigade;
Also, note that the barracks has been attacked several times by Boko Haram insurgents as detainees in the barracks are mostly confirmed or suspected members of Boko Haram and their families;
Recalls that the first attack on the barracks by the insurgents was on 14 March 2014 in a bid to free some of their members, and in the process, hundreds of people were killed within and around the barracks which included inhabitants of surrounding areas;
Also recalls that in 2015 the barracks was also attacked three times, in January, February and May respectively and suicide bombers had attempted to bomb the barracks on occasions, the incidents that forced residents near the barracks to relocate;
Aware that the population of Galtimari ward has over the time, expanded and therefore the barracks is now surrounded by civilian settlements, which incidentally makes it prone to more attacks;
Concerned that the security challenges in the area make the military and its formation the first target of Boko Haram insurgents thus endangering the lives of civilians around the barracks;
(i) Urge the Chief of Army Staff to, as a matter of urgency, commence the process of relocating Giwa Barracks to the outskirts of Galtimari in the area laying between Bale Kura and Yawuri village or 10 kilometres away from the University of Maiduguri;
(ii) also urge the Chief of Army Staff to, after the relocation, donate the facilities in the Barracks to Borno State Government for use as Training Centre for the unemployed youths and victims of Boko Haram Insurgency;
(iii) mandate the Committees on Defence, Army and Appropriations to ensure compliance by including provisions for the relocation of the Barracks in the 2020 Budget estimates.
Rep. Ahmed moved the motion on the need to relocate the Giwa barracks to the outskirts of Galtimari in Borno state and it was seconded by Rep. Kabir Abubakar. As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on, adopted and referred to the relevant committees of the House.
4. Need to Prioritize Gold Mining as one of the Major Earners of Revenue to the Nation:
Rep. Oghene Emma Egoh:
Recalls that on 7 April 2019, the Federal Government banned all mining activities in Zamfara State and directed all foreigners operating in the mining fields to leave within 48 hours, threatening to revoke the license of any recalcitrant mining operator;
Aware that Nigeria has about 21.40 tons of gold deposits and therefore there is the need for many large scale gold mining companies, gold mining policies, state of the art geological survey, including map production and maintenance of up to date geological records, health and safety inspections and maintenance records, legal records of licences and legal examination of new applications, among others;
Also recalls a publication in This Day Newspaper that Nigeria loses about $9 billion (nine billion dollars) to illegal mining every year and that many lives are lost as a result of mining activities that ignore environmental protection policies;
Also aware of official records that mining in Nigeria accounts for a mere 0.3% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), meaning that the Federal Government may not have official records of the number of mineral deposits in Nigeria which if ascertained, could make the mineral sector one of the largest contributors to Government’s revenues through the payment of royalties, employees income taxes and corporate taxes;
Concerned that though Gold is found in large quantities in Zamfara State, illegal miners cart away billions of dollars’ worth of gold yearly, leaving the State with a a poor state of education and an inadequate healthcare system;
Acknowledges that if the resources are effectively managed by the Government, 30% derivation from gold earnings can go a long way in boosting the economy of Zamfara State while the remaining 70% can go into the federation account;
Desirous of the need for the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, whose responsibilities are to promote full-scale gold mining in Nigeria, facilitate interaction between mining employers, examine mining policy issues, create partnerships with key stakeholders and to come up with modernized and conducive policies, legislative and functional environment to facilitate real investments in gold mining;
(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to provide geological records of Gold deposits in Nigeria;
(ii) mandate the Committee on Solid Minerals Development to ensure compliance.
Rep. Egoh moved the motion on the need to prioritize gold mining as one of the major revenue earning ventures in Nigeria and it was seconded by Rep. Ndudi Elumelu.
In leading the debate Rep. Egoh stated that it is past time Nigeria shows serious commitment to diversifying its economy from just oil exploration. He called for the setting up of a supervisory and regulatory body in charge of mineral exploration operations in the nation.
Rep. Egoh lamented that it has become clear that revenues from oil cannot take care of all the sectoral needs in Nigeria, hence the urgent need for the economic diversification. Rep. Ahmadu Jaha in contributing to the debate reiterated the need of diversifying the Nigerian economy to boost employment and wealth creation which will ensure the youth are gainfully engaged and not available to be used as pawns of violence.
He stressed the need to ensure the environment from which these minerals are extracted are well maintained, this was reiterated by Rep. Olumide Osoba who praised the nationalistic nature of the motion. Rep. Yakubu Barde called for financial empowerment of those willing to participate in the mining sector by the government through the provision of capital and investment, so that this becomes a reality, as Nigeria would benefit immensely from these resources which have been left in the hands of illegal miners.
Rep. Ndudi Elumelu stated that motions like this would ensure every state engages in maximizing their potentials for their immediate benefits and more national development. Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno reminded members that for the prayers of this motion to see the light of day; there is the need to amend the constitution so that mining is removed from the executive list to the concurrent list for states to become active participants in developing their resources.
The motion was voted on and adopted.
The House adjourned plenary to Wednesday , 13th November, 2019 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by Rep. Babatunde Hunpe and seconded by the Chief Whip, Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno
Office of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives